“August Creates As She Slumbers, Replete and Satisfied”

This quote by Joseph Wood Krutch, exemplifies the slow and lazy days of summer.  Entering the third, and final month of summer we find ourselves winding down, taking stock and preparing for the upcoming change, not only in the weather but also in our daily lives. As summer begins its sunset, NAPO will focus on the role organizers and productivity professionals serve in many of their clients lives – the role of holistic problem solver. The theme for August is “Relax and De-Stress: The Benefits of a Holistic Approach.”

Professional Organizers and Productivity Consultants focus on more than just a task at hand or a particular job. While each professional has their specialty, and is able to provide guidance in specific areas, Professional Organizers and Productivity Consultants are in their essence, holistic in nature. What does it mean to be holistic? Holistic means that there is an interest in engaging and developing the whole person – or solving a problem at its source. There are different levels of problem solving; physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. A holistic approach relates to the concept that the human being is multi-dimensional and therefore so are the needs of NAPO clients.  NAPO is unique in that it offers members the opportunity to even become involved in the Holistic Organizers Special Interest Group.

Professional Organizers and Productivity consultants work with clients who need help within a space, with a process, with a part of their life or with their mental approach. Really, what NAPO members do is provide individuals, families, businesses and organizations with solutions to meet a greater need – peace of mind. For organizers who are helping with space organization the elimination of clutter, opening of space, maximization of utility all provide clients with an improvement of daily function. Organizers or Productivity Consultants who work with students are helping to reduce anxiety, improve daily function and improve life skills. The list of specialties goes on from working with seniors to technology and the common tie that binds is the end result for clients: A reduction in stress and an increase in functionality.

NAPO is home to more than 3,500 members who work daily to improve the lives of others. These professionals work to help individuals, families, organizations and businesses focus and eliminate stress where possible. As summer shadows get longer the Productivity Consultants and Professional Organizers of NAPO are getting ready to share that which they do best – offer solutions to problems, not just tackle the individual symptoms of that problem.

“…and all at once, summer collapsed into fall…” so said Oscar Wilde. We suddenly find ourselves at the end of that slower paced world being thrust back into busy days, less daylight and more to do! As August winds down we must take advantage of this preparation space for the increase in activity that always comes with autumn. Emerging from lazy summer days and entering the hustle-bustle of fall, Professional Organizers and Productivity Consultants help their clients survive the collapse and enter autumn with renewed purpose and efficiency. Join us this month as we explore that process.

Blog submitted by: Kahra F. Buss, NAPO Membership Communications Manager

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Need help getting organized? Visit NAPO's Professional Organizer and Productivity Consultants Directory to search for professional organizers or productivity consultants in your area.

NAPO Research on Baby Boomers Strikes a Chord

One of the greatest advantages of belonging to a professional association is the membership benefits that are provided.  One of the many benefits made available to NAPO members are “micro-volunteer-opportunities” where experiences can be shared with other members and important information in the organizing and productivity industry can be disseminated.  One such opportunity was afforded to NAPO Members following the “Organizing For Health: Help Baby Boomers Manage Health Information at a Pivotal Age.” The theme of NAPO content for March is “Clearing the Clutter” which was an underlying theme of the “Boomers” webinar.  

When NAPO members were asked to reflect and share on the Boomers webinar, the flood of responses was incredible.  Sue Pine, Senior Director of NAPO asked webinar attendees about the value of this educational experience.  Members responded that the session was “invaluable” and “game changing.”  The depth of this webinar reached many NAPO members, some of whom currently work with “Boomers” and many who have just started working with senior clients and even more who are now identifying this as a new market for their existing business.  This webinar was led by doctors Cynthia LeRouge, Ph.D. and Deborah E. Seale, Ph.D. who presented the highlights of their research on this important topic.

Dr. Cynthia LeRouge of the University of Washington provided a starting point for the session by defining Baby Boomers.  The Baby Boomer generation spans the 18 years between 1946 and 1964.  This nearly two decade age difference identifies individuals from their early 50s to early 70s.  The difference in needs, technological aptitude and living situations is so vastly different that the needs of each individual within this group vary greatly.  NAPO Member Judith Kolberg found the webinar truly enlightening.  Kolberg identified Boomers’ needs as trending in many unique ways.  “Boomers are besieged by health information from doctors, insurance companies, the internet, health apps and digital health devices like FitBit.”  Add to that the following factors: A growing number of multi-generational households which complicates living and storage spaces;  downsizing by older Boomers; and increased home-based businesses for younger Boomers.  This generation is drowning in information overload.

Julie Bestry shared her surprise over two interrelated comments that “Boomers are both overwhelmed by paper and feel anxiety about [using digital information systems , however, they also feel a sense of] co-responsibility (with the medical community) for maintaining [this information].”  Meaning that they are aware of their need to increase their personal advocacy but do not feel equipped to actually be able to advocate effectively.   

The shifting forms of data collection, in addition to the shift from doctor managed care to patient self-advocacy has created a tremendous need for guidance and assistance.  Ellia Ryan of Less Mess, Less Stress! was intrigued by the idea that Boomers are being expected to have more personal responsibility when it comes to their health care.  The amount of information that comes in paper form as well as digitally can be overwhelming to this generation which is “struggling with cognitive decline and less energy.”  Ryan really resonated with “the statement that [Boomers] can continue to learn, which helps make up for cognitive decline.  Teaching new skills, helping develop systems that work, and being their cheerleader [can help to] bring order to the chaos.”  Organizing professionals who choose to assist this “Grey Tsunami” of the population with the rapidly changing needs in health care will find many opportunities.  

Kimberly Dahline, Your Paper Professional felt validated following this presentation.  “[To] my knowledge there isn’t a really good system for capturing all of your medical information in one central location.”  Dahline encourages clients to be strong personal information advocates but recognizes the importance of having an organizing professional help.  For individuals “it can be a full time job if [they] have a chronic illness or are the caretaker for another.”  The questions flooded in about centralizing information so that it is an easily accessible resource that is secure.  

Barbara Trapp from Zen Your Den, found the presentation invaluable saying “I hadn’t considered adding healthcare/information management to my list of services until this seminar.  Although I had done quite a lot of work for one client in this area, I thought he was the exception, not the rule.  With his many health issues, piles of EOBs and other medical mail, ADHD and memory loss, navigating the red tape was an overwhelming task.  For example, he thought he owed over $11,000 for some procedures when in fact he didn’t know how to read his EOBs or check status n his insurance portal.  I made a spreadsheet for him with the bills, insurance payments and amount due and he was ecstatic to see he owed less than $1,000…I now recognize there is a real need for these services among Baby Boomers, their parents, and anyone with significant health issues.  Professional organizers have the skills and background to meet this need.”

For more information about this informative and engaging topic, or future webinars please visit the Members Only Forum POINT at www.point.napo.net and use the search tool.  NAPO University is pleased to provide NAPO Members with relevant content, current research and opportunities to connect with other professionals in the organizing and productivity industry.  Register for an upcoming opportunity and complete the survey.   

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Need help getting organized? Visit NAPO's Professional Organizer and Productivity Consultants Directory to search for professional organizers or productivity consultants in your area.

Are You Feeling the Love Yet?

Ah, February, the month of love.  This month has been focused on all of the things to LOVE about the organizing and productivity profession and about being a member of NAPO.  Here are the top 5 reasons to feel the NAPO love:

#5.  Professional Development Opportunities!   NAPO Members love professional development, gaining new skills and earning credentials. Denise MacMurtrie from the Greater Philadelphia Chapter was eager to share her thoughts on the new Specialist Certificates:  “As a new organizer, the most substantial step I’ve taken thus far (besides joining NAPO) was completing the coursework for the Specialist Certificate programs. The courses are excellent–so foundational to the profession.  They gave me concrete tools and a deeper understanding of how to better serve my clients.  I grew in both knowledge and confidence with each course.  Thank you, NAPO University, for providing a focused path to support my own growth and my emerging business.”

#4. Research-based Educational Offerings!   In December, NAPO offered members an outstanding webinar on “Organizing for Health: Help Baby Boomers Manage Health Information at a Pivotal Age.”  This webinar elicited great responses from those who attended with interesting observations and reviews.  The overwhelming response was that the session gave NAPO members insights, validation and resources to assist in their day to day dealings with this unique population.  NAPO offers a variety of free learning opportunities as part of the Acceleration Learning Series. Watch for a detailed accounting of the Baby Boomer Webinar next month.

#3.  NAPOCares!  The NAPOCares Committee is NAPO’s social responsibility arm, providing members with opportunities and ideas about how to use their specific skill sets to benefit communities and organizations.  What better way to reach the public than by engaging in service projects that benefit your community?  Beginning in September 2016, NAPOCares issued a challenge to all members to utilize their organizing and productivity skills to help local organizations to benefit the greater good.  This challenge was just the first of many altruistic initiatives this committee is taking.  Stay tuned for more information about NAPOCares at NAPO2017 in Pittsburgh, PA.
#2.  NAPO2017!  NAPO2017 Conference! Conference is THE EVENT OF THE YEAR! It is an extraordinary convergence of people and ideas. The NAPO Annual Conference offers opportunities found nowhere else – attendees’ network, share experiences, and grow; they learn from leaders in the Productivity and Organizing industry as well as from professionals who assist with business infrastructure and growth, technology, human behavior, and more.  They collaborate with our corporate partners and are exposed to the latest trends and products in the field. Without a doubt conference is the best way to connect with friends and colleagues who share the same passion and ideal.  Not registered yet?  Register TODAY!

#1.Membership!  In what other industry can you can you find so many varied service providers and professionals with different skill sets?  From residential organizers to productivity consultants to relocations specialists, coaches, financial organizers, and more – NAPO professionals are qualified to help individuals, families, organizations, and businesses become more productive and better organized!  NAPO members are passionate about helping their clients become their best selves and investing in continuing education and professional development to do so.  Being a NAPO member means you belong to the professional association known for establishing industry standards that reflect best practices and high ethical standards.  Not a member yet?  Join us for the upcoming Public Webinar, “Learn the Magic of Running a Successful Professional Organizer or Productivity Business.” Find out why joining NAPO should be at the top of your to do list.

Would you like to share your blog here? NAPO members can sign-up to become a NAPO blogger.

Need help getting organized? Visit NAPO's Professional Organizer and Productivity Consultants Directory to search for professional organizers or productivity consultants in your area.