Pt 2 – “Mindful” Organizing & Productivity

This is Part 2 from “The Catalyst Conversation Podcast” with host Jennifer Maggiore, Founder of Catalyst Branding & Business Consulting.

You can find my episode, “Mindful Organization, Marie Kondo-mania, and Productivity with Ellia Harris” and other interesting episodes! at

Part 2… “Mindful” Organizing & Productivity

How I got started…

JM: How did you get into this line of work?

EH: I seem to have stumbled into several careers in different ways throughout my life. I came to a point where I was really tired of working for other people and I thought, “What are the things that I’m good at and that I enjoy as well?” I decided that they were things like helping teams to solve problems – in a previous life I was a corporate trainer working with teams – and executive coaching. The third area that I really liked and was good at was project management, how you basically put a jigsaw puzzle together so you get a finished product at the end of a project. This is important for organizing as well.

I realized that not only do I enjoy those things, but I’m good at them, and it dawned on me, “People get paid to do this!” I researched professional organizing and dove right in – I’m the kind of person that trusts the process whatever I decide. I just trust that the right thing’s going to happen, that I’m going to land on my feet, and so I go with it.  That was over four years ago and I have no regrets at all.

Coaching isn’t “telling”

JM: That’s so interesting! How do you describe what you do to somebody? What is “mindful” organizing and productivity coaching? When we talk about coaching, I think sometimes we imagine that it’s just somebody who’s telling us what to do or giving us the instructions for us to go carry out.

EH: The way I look at coaching, first of all, is that it’s my goal to bring the knowledge out in somebody. A lot of times, the knowledge already exists. We generally know what our preferences are, and we know – maybe not consciously – how we work best. My job as a coach is to help people discover things about themselves that they don’t already recognize, and I do that through asking questions. I also do it through education because we’re not taught how to organize in school. If we’re lucky, we had parents who were good at it and we picked that up from them. But oftentimes, it’s just a skill that nobody bothered to spend time learning. So there’s a bit of an education process, and there are so many aha moments that my clients get as a result of that.

Mindful Organizing is about awareness

I see mindful organizing as a concept. First of all, “mindfulness” is about noticing and being aware, without any kind of judgment, about what’s happening right now, not thinking about the past or worrying about the future. When we’re mindful, we deliberately engage our senses and our curiosity.

I describe “mindful organizing” as being aware of your surroundings and how you interact with them. Being aware of your environment is about knowing what motivates you or over-stimulates you. We can be over-stimulated by the clutter in our home; not only do we get over-stimulated by seeing clutter, the fact that it’s reflected back into our brain means we’re constantly over stimulated and distracted when we’re in a cluttered environment. That’s why I tell clients to close their closet doors and put their things away, because it will help them maintain a sense of peace.

I describe “mindful productivity” as being aware of how you work and whether it still serves you well. Part of this is knowing what your learning preferences are. For instance, some of us learn better by what we see – we look at charts and we understand those charts. Other people prefer audiobooks, for example, and still others need to spend time processing the information that they’re taking in to see how it feels in their gut.

I help people work those things out. Sometimes it’s about designing a system that works for you, other times it just takes little tweaks to figure out what’s going to help you, say, get out the door faster or get through a project with less stress.

JM: That’s really cool that you do that!

ER: Thanks, Jenn – I had a blast!

What can you take from this?

·      Start being aware of the room you’re in – is it nurturing and calming, or sapping and disruptive?

·      What do you already know about yourself? What helps you focus? What distracts you? How do you best learn?

·      With this new information, what tweaks can you make in your environment or in how you work that will feel more positive to you?

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“Mindful” Organizing & Productivity

“Mindful” Organizing & Productivity


- Messy home, smothered by clutter?
- A never-ending to-do list?
- Scatterbrained and trouble focusing?

Let me help you be more organized and productive!
My clients are organized at heart, but they have difficulty clearing the clutter in their home or their head. If you, too, are ready to get organized, be more productive, and improve the quality of your life, I can help you.

Virtual Coaching - 1 hour video call for organizing or productivity issues, anywhere
Onsite Coaching - 3 hour session for organizing and productivity issues, in the Seattle area
Packages - 6 or 12 discounted sessions, either Virtual or Onsite

Not sure which option is best for you? Contact me to arrange a free, 20-minute phone consultation: Ellia@MindfulOrganizing.NET or Click here to learn about my organizing and productivity coaching services.