If you've ever looked around your home office and suddenly discovered you were drowning in paper, then you can understand Judith Broadhurst's world.
"I can't even keep up with opening my mail," moans the 51-year-old entrepreneur, who estimates she receives at least 60 e-mail messages daily, as well as an armload of regular mail, for the four businesses she operates. She teaches writing classes at universities as well as online, publishes a weekly and monthly newsletter for freelance writers, writes magazines articles, and last year wrote a book, The Woman's Guide to Online Services.
"I tried getting organized. I've done everything. I've read books on the subject. I worked with a business coach for six weeks to find out why I was always behind schedule and stressed out. I even hired people a couple of times to come in and do my filing," admits the entrepreneur. Nothing worked.
Entrepreneur took Broadhurst's problem to Nancy Black, owner of Organization Plus in Beverly, Massachusetts, and a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers. Black, who has been a professional organizer since 1983, believes getting organized is something that can be learned; it's a matter of setting up a system, she says.
"But it does take time to get and stay organized," says Black, who adds that Broadhurst's problem is not unique. "I find a lot of creative people have problems with disorganization. It could be because they are right-brained and think more tangentially than left-brained people, who think more logically."