Get More Productive with Professional Organiser, Nathalie Ricaud
Nathalie is a Professional Organiser and the Founder of Get Organised & Beyond, a company that helps de-clutter and organise various aspects of people's lives, being their home or part of it, their office or their time. Here's my interview with her.
1. It's not only external space and time that you help people master. Please share more.
Yes indeed. Cluttered spaces and chaotic schedules often take up a lot of our mental space. Getting rid of excess stuff, i.e. stuff that we don't use, need or love, helps free our minds and alleviate feelings of overwhelm and stress. Same when we streamline our schedules. But it even goes beyond that, because when you go through a decluttering exercise, you're bound to find out what really matters in your life and make room or time for it. It can help you tackle a new stage in your life, pursue a passion, undertake a project you had been putting off for a while etc.
2. I understand now why your slogan is "Get organised and make room for life!" Could you please share a before-and-after story of one of your clients that illustrates this - a project that brought you great fulfilment?
Sophie [name has been changed], the mother of 3 young children, who had brought me in to help her de-clutter and organise her 3-story house, is a good illustration of this philosophy. What she was really after – but realised only after a few sessions – was some time in her schedule to dedicate to her passion for writing. And our work helped her achieve this:
- She let go of a significant amount of stuff which meant she needed less time to take care of her remaining stuff.
- We established some processes which meant that she and the rest of her family could find what they needed very quickly and that she didn't have to waste time (or money) buying stuff she couldn't find or remember she had.
- We established some routine into her schedule and blocked a two-hour timeslot for her to dedicate to her writing.
The day the book she had participated in was launched was very special to her but also to me.
3. I think people are usually left to keep their work spaces in any way they want. Would you like to share more about how learning about space management could build a positive and high performing work culture?
An organised workspace brings many benefits:
- An increased efficiency because you can find what you need when you need it and you eliminate distractions and are hence better able to focus
- A greater sense of accomplishment
- Reduced stress levels which makes you happier and more productive
- A more professional image given to your boss, colleagues and clients and hence a higher self-esteem.
Ultimately it creates a positive energy and translates into a higher performing work culture.
4. Time management is not new. There are many courses out there. You provide a more personalised, bespoke service where you coach clients over time. What's the process and approach you use and how does this help clients? What kind of relationship do you strive to build with client?
Indeed I run a one-on-one time management coaching programme to help people regain control over their time at work but also at home. It includes three sessions of two hours each, with typically two weeks in between sessions so that my clients have the opportunity to practice what they have learned and so that we can make necessary adjustments to the tools I am equipping them with.
The programme is based on an Inside Out approach developed by time management expert Julie Morgenstern whereby the individual's needs, preferences, energy cycles etc. are taken into consideration to design a solution that will work for her/him and will be easy to maintain.
5. One of my favourite blog posts of yours is on time management lessons from learning Taekwondo for six years. You mentioned learning to focus on progress to keep perfectionism from stalling you. Would you like to share more on this theme of progress vs perfectionism as you look back on your work life in the corporate sector before? It could help others who also are challenged by it.
I've been a perfectionist in all areas of my life from as long as I can remember until one of my ex-bosses made me realise what my perfectionism was costing the company and me. During my first performance appraisal, he showed me how, for most of the projects I had worked on, I had delivered 80% of the results in say one day but had spent an extra week (or more…) to fine tune my work to deliver the remaining 20%. This time, or at least part of it, could have been used on other projects for the benefits of the company and would have given me the opportunity to grow faster. It was a real eye opener.
I have been working hard since then to tame my perfectionism so I know it's not easy, but it's a process and it requires practice. If I had only one tip to give all the perfectionists out there, it would be to take some time before jumping into a new task or project to decide what level of details is really needed to deliver the expected results.
6. If you could pose a "power question" to time-strapped executives who want to free up more time for leisure and family, what would it be?
Do you ever say NO to requests? Most people tend to say yes to whatever request comes their way. But whether they realise it or not, when they're saying yes to something, at the same time they're saying no to something else, something that might actually be more important and that they are now jeopardising. Time is finite and we have to make choices. Having clarity on our professional goals and personal aspirations can help us make decisions about how we use our time and whether we should say yes to every single request.
Nathalie Ricaud is a Professional Organiser and the founder of Get Organised & Beyond, a Singapore-based company that helps individuals and families de-clutter and get organised so that they can regain control over their space, their time and most importantly their sanity.