My clients often save the most tedious tasks for our sessions – filing, planning, preparing for taxes, cleaning out that junk drawer, putting things away in the attic, or facing that overstuffed closet. In this case I serve as a “buddy” for my clients, helping them get through those tasks that are unbearable alone. I make our sessions fun, keep them motivated, and ultimately they get done what they wanted to.
Why does this work? Judith Kolberg talks about the phenomenon of “body doubling” in her book, Conquering Chronic Disorganization. The body double anchors the client to the tasks, and mirrors back to them patience, persistence and success. I may be sorting or handing the client items to go through, but my job is to be a calm presence.
Once my Bookclub got together and instead of discussing a book, we each brought boxes of photos to organize (this wasn’t even my idea!). Another friend has an annual holiday gift wrapping party. It just shows that tasks can become fun when you don’t face them alone.
Even if you don’t hire a professional organizer, get a friend to help you with that one task you really dread. Trade time with the friend – work at your house, then at hers. Maybe a family member can help. My husband and I can be very productive when we are both in our office quietly working on separate tasks. He’ll remind me of what I want to accomplish if I try to give up on my task, and we keep each other accountable.
So if you are feeling stuck, don’t give up - try organizing with a buddy.