The Emergence of the Productivity Consultant



blog submitted by NAPO Information & Research Committee Judith Kolberg

It’s one thing to be knee-deep in cluttered offices, chaotic closets and disorganized domiciles. As you organize, you can at least touch and see the objects you are subjecting to order and clarity. It can still be a real challenge, but at least you can tangibly see progress. Organizing the ‘invisible’ like managing time and its’ offspring (effectiveness, prioritizing, and goal-setting and goal-fulfillment) can be a little less tactile. That’s where 24% of NAPO members shine, the ones who identify themselves as productivity consultants (PCs). PCs do office organization, of course, but they also focus on time management, workflow processes and email and e-document management. The “objects” to be organized are abstract minutes, Gantt charts, and all things digital.

When I hear “productivity services” I immediately think “office”. But the data tells us otherwise. In fact, a full 29% of all NAPO members publicize productivity services like time management in our service offerings…even in a residential setting (76%). What other productivity services cross domains? Everybody has a disorganized hard drive at home and at work. Even with search technology, it’s harder and harder to find our “stuff” in the cloud. Organizing electronic documents is hot in the business environment (50%) and in residential (35.6%) We do not have data on email management in the residential setting but I have yet to meet a PO who reports email and other messaging to homemakers, parents, and families has decreased.

As of now, professional organizing (PO) and productivity consulting share much terrain. The best POs recognize that embedding tasks inside a time-frame, whether it’s organizing an entire warehouse or an individual desktop, is the only way to close the gap between best intentions and actual action. And all of us; PO, PC or combined, support decision-making, prize good project management, and strive to transfer organizing skills to our clients. One can speculate about the emergence of the Productivity Consultant in the future. Perhaps as our membership grows, PCs might bifurcate into a totally distinct kind of NAPO member with unique skills and a different clientele. Or the trend for the boundaries of home and office, business and residential might continue to blur, planting POs and PCs soundly in both environments. Stand-by!

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2 thoughts on “The Emergence of the Productivity Consultant

  1. Thank you, Judith, for this timely focus on Productivity Consulting, another example of how the NAPO name change reflects the commitment of organizers staying informed about current trends.

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