A friend named Tom, teased me about being a “pacifist” even though I have (he says) a tendency to say “shoot it”. He tweaked me to be more conscious of my use of language and thought process and offered to take me target practicing so I would have a greater appreciation/respect of firing a gun and my choice of words. I said yes – how hard could it be? Sure looks easy on TV.

He brought a number of guns (pistol and rifles) – oh boy – where to start? This was a bit overwhelming and VERY COMPLICATED looking. I watched him carefully unpack the guns, bullets, rest, safety glasses, ear protection, cartridges, targets etc. He was very methodical and spoke softly, talking me through the process of gun safety, handling a gun and what it would feel like in terms of weight, recoil, and how to stand and sit to be able to sight in on the target. He showed me how the gun safety worked and had me shoot a dry run (no bullets) just to feel what it was to gently pull the trigger. He then loaded the bullets into the clip and showed me how to load those into the gun. He walked me through every step of the process and then I made my first shot – not like TV at all.

He coached me through the first round of 10 bullets. When the gun misfired, he took it and cleared the chamber like an expert. It was my turn to shoot again. After each round of 10, we walked to the target to see how I did. We talked about what I was doing right and what steps I could take to improve my aim and accuracy. I was getting better and more confident. Tom was teaching me the skills as we progressed so I could clear the chamber of any misfired bullets, load the gun and use the safety. I was becoming more self sufficient and confident. This is the part that’s a lot like organizing – learning and practicing new skills while keeping the target in your sight.

After working with Tom who was a supportive teacher and mentor, I was less nervous and started enjoying the process of building a new skill set. I’m getting all of my bullets to hit the target now and they are better grouped. Moreover, I am hitting the center more often than not. I can feel when my concentration is off and I am learning how to hold my breath to steady my aim. I am also learning how to quiet my mind and refocus when I think I can’t hit the target. That feeling of “Ok, I was lucky once but can I keep it up?” is starting to fade.

Organizing can seem/feel/be very intimidating: You may not know where to start. You may feel like you will mess it up and make it worse. You know if you are not focused you can’t hit the target. And when you find that you have a misfire and don’t know how to fix it, you sometimes just want to give up. BUT, you need to know that organizing is a process you can learn with practice and support. It’s not as simple as watching a TV organizing show – if it were, everyone would be ultra-organized and I would have “killed” my paper bull’s-eye target with my first shot!

Working with a Certified Professional Organizer is like having a Tom on your team. It gives you someone who can talk and work you through the process of setting up systems and teach you how to effectively deal with misfires so you can move forward, practice and gain control of your mind & environment. It’s about having someone who can objectively monitor your skill building set and make suggestions that make you better and create more confidence. It’s about having someone who can help you consistently hit the target.

So… are you unsure of how to take proper aim on your clutter and stressed schedule? Do you feel that you get a lot of misfires (mental, emotional or physical) and don’t know how to clear the chamber so you can keep shooting? Do you lack the confidence and skill set to be able to consistently hit the target? If so, you may just need a professional organizer on your team for a while to help you get up and running with confidence, speed and accuracy. Think about working with a Certified Professional Organizer. If you want one who also is learning good gun safety – call me – I travel nationally for my clients.

Remember: Keep your aim true and don’t be intimidated by your clutter or asking for expert help.

Author's Bio: 

Mary Dykstra, MBA, Certified Professional Organizer® is a speaker, strategist, hands-on organizing and time management expert and Certified Senior Relocation and Transition Specialist. Mary is passionate about helping clients and audiences regain control of their minds, lives and environments – long term. Her listening, project management, problem solving skills, empathy and extensive education are focused on addressing the issues and opportunities that come up surrounding organizing, time management, planning, moving/relocation and setting up sustainable systems for her clients. Since 2006 she has served as the Director of Examination Development for the Board of Certified Professional Organizers. She is also an active member of NAPO – the National Association of Professional Organizers. She is the founder of Within Reach Organizing Services and speaks & teaches & consults nationally. www.withinreach.biz