Curious Accountability: Our Newest Motivation Technique
We brought this new technique home from our NAPO conference and it has already proven invaluable. Kelly tried it out first with a client who routinely has trouble keeping herself motivated between sessions. Now they have re-framed tasks done outside of appointments as “Fieldwork” rather than “Homework.” The difference is more than semantic — Homework implies you do it on your own, without the teacher (or in our case, organizer). Fieldwork, on the other hand, implies you are trying something out with an expectation of discovery as a team. That something can vary widely from accomplishing tasks to noticing things that get in the way of your productivity.
Kelly’s Curious Accountability Case Study
When my client and I first tried this, we didn’t know what to expect. How could one word change her pattern dramatically? Classifying tasks as “Fieldwork” and agreeing that the assignment was something that we would proceed with together did two things:
• It made us more aware — and appreciative! — of her successes.
• It invited us to discover, through our curious inspection, what was getting in the way of her realizing her goals.
This led us to identify what she needed to make herself successful:
• a quiet household
• enough sleep to keep her focused
• a concrete, specific game plan or outline before our appointment ended
With these new and improved questions, we’re finding better ways to draw on your ability to follow through.
Client Trends: This month’s theme is Generosity
• Friends helping friends move: More than just physically schlepping boxes, friends have been gifting our de-cluttering and moving services. Everyone should have a friendship this close!
• Mothers paying to move their daughters: We help young adults learn to live independently, known as “launching.”
• A daughter-in-law treating a mother-in-law: We helped mom de-clutter before her downsizing move; their close relationship was beautiful to witness. For many families, moving a parent closer is a great idea, but a very stressful endeavor. We provide relief for both parents AND children.
• A brother showing love and care for his sister: He paid for all of her moving expenses from an apartment building to a senior living community, participated in the process, and made sure his sister was comfortable in her new place — complete with artwork hung and furniture arranged just so (Joy’s specialty!).
Three Generations of Organizing Expertise
OUR NEWEST HELPER: Kelly’s college-aged daughter is joining the family business this summer as an additional pair of hands. Think of her for any of the following projects or dream up your own:
• Packing kids for camp
(especially if you have more than one to handle!)
• Unpacking your family from a summer vacation
• Revamping your own dresser or closets
• Summer freshening of linen closets —she is a master folder!