Once after a client’s first session he asked, “Can we take the ‘after’ shot now?” Though I thought we were nowhere near the end, to him we had made progress enough. My version of “during” was his version of “after.” You can view my before/after gallery here. We don’t just snap our fingers though to get to these glorious “after” shots. The bulk of our time is spent in the “during” phase. As powerful as “after” shots can be, they can also discouraging for someone who has no clue how to start. In the two pictures here, you see how much improvement you can make when taking imperfect action and using just what you have on hand to get to “during.”
This first picture is a perfect example of The Bag. (If you have the bag, you know exactly what lurks inside.) We didn’t yet have fresh new organizing supplies or even a master plan for all of his paper and photos. We just had shoeboxes. In about 15 minutes, a bag that had been shoved in a corner for about five years had turned into three neat little boxes. You can never jump from bags of paper, screws, sugar packets, & broken cell phones to a flawless system. You can, and must, take baby steps.
Even if his photos forever stay in the shoebox, we still made major success. So many clients are paralyzed by their goals, not taking action until the new scrapbooks, bins, and labels are bought. Give yourself permission to downgrade your goals and just get from “before” to “during.” Sometimes any improvement is improvement enough.
7 Day Inspired Office Challenge
This week I challenge you to use only what you have to get to your own “during” shot. If your new system is perfectly functional, but not beautiful, it’s good enough!
Do you feel like this post lets you off the hook a bit? Even if you haven't completely reached your organizing project goal, does progress still feel good? Please share in the comments your thoughts on the process of progress.