Tuesday, January 22, 2019

How to Use a Body Double

Many of my clients use me as a body double at least part of the time. One client uses me as a double most of the time and told me that he was so happy that someone had come up with the term "body double" as he likes it a lot better than "babysitter".

As a body double, I am near the person who is doing the project. Often that is all I need to do. My presence helps the client focus and stay on task. I am just a tool that allows them to get important tasks accomplished. I can even do this virtually using Facetime.

At first, some people are embarrassed by this arrangement. They realize that they are doing these chores all by themselves while paying me to sit there. They know they can do the work but at the same time they realize that they won't if I am not there. This is especially true of ADHD clients.

Sometimes I am a combination of body double and assistant. I may sort the mail, open it, and hand it to the client one piece at a time. The client then does the task that is needed and hands it back to me to file if appropriate. We may chat a bit about what needs to be done but the client actually pays the bill, makes the call, or discards the paper.

A body double does not have to be a paid professional. A friend or family member can do the work of a body double if they understand what is expected of them. If they realize that they are being the best help by sitting near the person but not intruding. They can read a book or work on a crossword puzzle but just by being there the person will continue to work. I have had one client use her sister as a body double while she was the body double for her sister. One lived in Georgia and the other in Texas. They would connect by phone and for one hour would work on projects with just a word or two as they worked to make certain each was on task.

Once a person accepts that a body double can be an important tool to help hem, it can be a relatively easy way to move a project forward.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The Importance of Flexibility

We all are aware that if a tree is not flexible in the storm, it will break. So, it is with us.

When the storms come, we must have the ability and the willingness to change or compromise our plans for the upcoming day or longer.

My husband is now recovering from a cancer. The radiation has made it very difficulty to swallow much food and so we are doing tube feedings for nutrition 5 times a day. This means both of us have had to adjust our schedules accordingly and this has not been easy. This will be temporary and in time the tube feedings will diminish and finally be a thing of the past.

Usually we don't have such big things that change our day to day life, but frequently little things can require flexibility if we don't want to become upset or stressed. Almost weekly, I have some client that needs to change their appointment with me. Almost always it is a very good reason. Sometimes it is just because of their lack of planning but then again that might be something the client and I are working on. The bottom line is that my day's schedule must now be changed. I have the choice of what to do with that "found" time. I can choose to write. I can also choose to read. I can work on a project. What I don't want to do is squander this time.

Most of us have had to deal with such schedule changes due to a car not working, power outage, broken appliances, colds and other illnesses. Instead of stressing about the situation, look for a way to use that time. I find it helpful to have a list of tasks with an idea of how long that task will take. If I only have 15 minutes, I can clean out a drawer or take a short walk. If I have 30 minutes I can work on a blog or read.

The key point is that when events disrupt our lives, routines, and schedules, don't shut down. Practice flexibility. Discover other directions and not squander this time.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Organize Your Office Zone

A new year is beginning. It feels like the right time to set up the home so that it is open to all the new offerings the year will bring.

The reality is that it would be overwhelming to tackle the whole house, so this January I will begin with my office. I have been using the Zone Plan for many years and by the end of this year I will have touched everything in my home. (http://timespaceorg.com/services/)

Over the past year, my files have gotten overfull, project bins need to be updated, new items have come into my office and now the office is feeling a bit crowded. Now is the time to follow the program and work my plan on the office.

1. What is bothering me in my office zone?
  • Loose paper that is not filed
  • Project bins that hold old projects and new projects lying around 
  • Files too full
  • Items lurking on my desk and in the back of my credenza all shouting "Do me!"
2. How do I want my office to look and feel?
  • Look and feel inviting - a place that I enjoy
  • Empty spaces in files and on surfaces that allow for growth
  • Clean and uncluttered
  • Feel productive and energized by the space
3. What do I need to do to make this vison come true?
  • Clean out files
  • Shred and archive papers
  • Clear out desk drawers
  • Purge project bins and update them with current projects
  • Deep clean the room
4. Schedule time for each task.
  • Review calendar and see what times are available
  • Schedule reasonable times for each task
  • Write times to work on the calendar and honor that commitment
By the end of the month, I will call whatever has been accomplished "good enough" and move on to the next zone. The office is now ready for regular maintenance until next January. I always reward myself by buying a fresh flower for my desk.

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! But, wait, what is so different today from yesterday? I still have my cold and I'm overweight. My bank account is the same. My house is still a mess from pulling down holiday decorations and not yet getting them boxed up and to the attic.

The only thing that has changed is an increased attention to savoring life. Instead of eating and running off to the next thing, I will savor my well-prepared food. I will enjoy and savor the clients I have learned to care about and welcome to the fold any new clients who are ready to work with me. As I put away my decorations, I will linger over them, remembering how they came into my life, and blessing the people who are associated with them.

I will reinstate my morning ritual of a gratitude journal, and before I have that first sip of coffee in the morning, I will take a moment to notice its aroma and really enjoy that first sip. I will spend a few extra moments cuddled up to my husband in the mornings before we go our separate ways.

To keep me grounded, I am setting my timer for five times a day and when it goes off, I am going to check in. Am I savoring or squandering my time?

It's going to be a great year!

Jonda S. Beattie
Professional Organizer