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Choosing An Organizer for Your Office - 4 Questions You MUST Ask

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When I started in the business of organizing for businesses, it was 1996 and nobody had even heard of a professional organizer, much less knew what to do with one.
Today you can't kick over a rock without uncovering an organizer.
That makes finding a good one much harder.
I can't tell you how many folks I've met who say they are organizers.
When asked how they got into the field they say "I've always been soooooo organized; way more organized than everyone else around me, so, it just seemed natural.
" Think about it - what is another word for the person who is WAY more organized than anyone else? OCD - obsessive compulsive disorder! They're not organized - they're obsessed! And they expect you to be obsessed, too.
I've spoken to so many people who have worked with an organizer in the past who embarrassed the, shamed them, yelled at them and/or made them cry! Who wants that? In an attempt to help you identify the organizer for you, I've come up with four key questions that will tell you a lot about them and their methods.
1.
"Are you an organized person?" You would expect the right answer to be "Oh, yes.
Very organized" but that is actually the wrong answer.
Think about it this way, if you were an alcoholic, would you want your AA sponsor to be someone who had never taken a drink? It they don't know what you're going through how can they possibly help you? The danger is they will expect you to set up and maintain elaborate, color coded, cross referenced, indexed systems, just like they use.
Organized people and disorganized people have totally different brain structures and therefore we work, think and organize very differently.
2.
"Why did you become an organizer?" Watch out for the "I've always been way more organized than everyone else" answer.
They may mean well but being hyper-organized is not a credential.
They need many other skills and aptitudes other than just being organized.
They need to be able to teach, for one.
They need to be a good listener.
They need to have business experience (i.
e.
large offices, small offices, one man shows, manufacturing, retail, services businesses, etc.
).
They need to have helped many different people in many different situations who have varying levels of disorganization.
The wider their experience, the better they can help you, whatever your situation.
3.
"What is the system you recommend?" If they plunge immediately into a description of what they suggest, you are going to find yourself being shoved into their cookie cutter solution.
If you ask what they recommend, they should come back with "What do your need?" You already have some areas that work just fine, don't you? You need help with the areas that don't work so well.
An ideal solution starts with what works and adds fixes for the things that aren't working.
You don't want to have to change everything you do just to fit into their "ideal box.
" You want your own, custom designed box, built just for you and the way YOU work! 4.
"Once I'm organized, what happens if I fall off the wagon?" If they say just call them up and they'll come back, they aren't teaching you how to be organized.
They are organizing for you and, just like a junkie, you'll have to keep coming back to them again and again.
Ideally you need to understand what your system is, how it works, why it works and how to fix it when it breaks.
Remember the old adage about give a man a fish vs.
teaching him to fish? You want them to teach you how to fish.
So, how would I measure up? Well, one, I am a right brained creative person who is organized because I was born legally blind (my vision is 20/360).
As a child I developed simple systems so I could find my stuff.
I ended up creating the disorganized persons organizing system.
Second, I became an organizer because I have owned and worked in many small businesses, spent 10 year in the corporate world, and have degrees in business and adult education.
My credentials go far beyond being organized.
Third, if you've read my books, you know I outline a basic system that requires you to fill in the blanks with your methods.
And finally, if you fall of the wagon you know exactly how to get back on and can do it in under an hour.
Trust me, I know.
I fall off regularly.
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