Organizing, Redesign & Staging

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Art of Follow-Through

Yesterday morning I went on a field trip with my preschoolers. Being that it was their first one and there'd be plenty of Kodak moments, I brought my camera. One of the other mothers commented on the bus that she had forgotten hers, but "knew exactly where it was" -- I think inferring that she was organized despite [I get this a lot -- women referencing organizational skills as to assure me or defend themselves or talk specifically about organizing becauese I am a Prof. Organizer (???) but that is a whole 'nother post].

It made me think about the 2-part nature of being organized, and the part she was missing on this particular task -- the follow-through. The action, which when completed along with the part about being able to find things, fulfills the definition of being organized. Of course, is it great that the mom knew where the camera was? Yes. Is it commendable that she got it out or had it accessible for that day? Yes. Or when someone says "I thought about doing such-and-such" or "I remembered that whatever, but then I (fill in something to excuse the lack of follow-through)".

Is it the thought that counts? Not in this case. Harsh -- yes, but true just the same. All I am saying is that is just part of it -- obviously it doesn't matter how ready things are if you don't remember to grab them or act upon them.

If you are the type that is great at thinking about tasks or events, but not so good at the follow-through, write things down. Make yourself accountable in tangible ways to ensure you act upon them. Reminders, alarms, emails, lists, string on fingers -- whatever it takes. Try putting the item you want to take with you on your purse or keys (with something you have to take to drive away). Or try a door hanger product like one at the Container Store or one from See Jane Work.
Good luck!