Could your productivity benefit from a professional nagger?

We’ve talked in the past about how nagging the people you live with is never a good idea. It’s disrespectful, it upsets you, and it usually angers the person you’re nagging.

But, what if the situation were different and you chose to have someone nag you to keep you from procrastinating? What if you didn’t have any kind of an emotional or physical connection to the person who was nagging you to keep moving?

Last week, I learned about just such a person — a professional nagger. Her name is Rachel Cornell and people pay her to nag them.

She offers a daily nag, a power nag, an on-going nag, a week-long nag, and a community nag. She even has troubleshooting services to help you get over your bump in procrastination. I must be honest, I was flabbergasted to learn that she offered so many nagging options.

One of the reasons I think a professional nagger is an effective idea is because there isn’t a prior relationship between you and the nagger. You don’t have to sit down to dinner with your nagger. You don’t have to worry about what your nagger thinks of you. You have a business relationship with this person, and nothing else.

After learning about Rachel, I did some research and learned that there are hundreds of professional naggers available to nag at people who want their services. If you’re in the market for a push to keep you from procrastinating, do a search for “professional nagger” on Google to find one who might work best for you.

What do you think of a professional nagger? Would you ever use such a service? I definitely think I could have used one in college.

46 Comments for “Could your productivity benefit from a professional nagger?”

  1. posted by Jacki Hollywood Brown on

    I would definitely not hire a “nagger” I would try and find a friend and create an “accountability partnership” where you would each be responsible for making sure the other was accountable for his/her deadlines.

    I don’t do well in the “drill sergeant” environment.

  2. posted by Debi on

    I’ll let my husband know that I have an option to go “pro”, but I think I’ll retain my amateur status for future Olympic competitions.

    8-D

  3. posted by Melissa A. on

    No way. It would still bug the f*ck out of me.

  4. posted by FupDuckTV on

    In the business world, a professional nagger is called a “Project Manager”. Project Managers don’t actually do any work that contributes directly to the completion of the project, but none the less their role is essencial.

    “Did you do this yet? When you gonna do it? Is it done yet? You know we can’t move forward until you complete this. Is it done now?”

  5. posted by Mau on

    Wow! I want in!

    How much do Professional Naggers make? This sounds like something I could do! It’d be great! I wouldn’t even have to quit my 9-to-5!

    Career change!

  6. posted by Johnny on

    Wow, people get paid to nag? I dislike being nagged, and I can’t imagine paying someone to do something that annoys me so much.

  7. posted by Sky on

    Now I’ve heard everything….

  8. posted by whyioughtta on

    Haha…I love her photo. She looks good at what she does.

    My reservation is that people with the wherewithal to hire someone for this type of service probably don’t need it. They’re probably already pretty keen.

    BUT if I were a boss of a really promising, but really lazy, procrastinator, THEN I’d consider hiring her to get them in shape…

  9. posted by Stuart on

    That’s what Moms are for. They will probably nag for free.

  10. posted by momofthree on

    Hey, I am a Mom, and I also can be a nag.
    the math is real easy here:

    MOM=NAG

    Man, do I need some sort of degree to become a “professional” nag?
    I’m with Mau here, where do I sign up!!

    My oldest is now 18, so that MOM experience should count for something!

  11. posted by Mike on

    I don’t think I could justice the price of hiring someone. I’d rather ask one of my friends to keep an eye on me. But I could see this used by people who want to keep things secret such as recovering addicts. If you have extra change why not hire a personal assistant instead?

  12. posted by DJ on

    No, thanks, not interested. On being on either side of that situation.

    I’m a mom, I end up nagging way more than I like anyway.

    I agree on the personal assistant idea, or a professional organizer to help put some good systems for work in place.

  13. posted by Jason on

    good surprise gift for someone, haha.

  14. posted by STL Mom on

    If I forwarded this information to my husband, Rachel would have a new client. This must remain our secret!
    Actually, it might motivate me to think, “If I don’t stop procrastinating, my husband will hire a professional nagger to bug me about this. Better get to work!”

  15. posted by Sapphire on

    This service would backfire so badly for me! There’s nothing like being nagged to make me dig my heels in and refuse to do something.

  16. posted by Lose That Girl on

    I think a person nagging me would make me go in the *other* direction — just to try to annoy her back!

  17. posted by Peter (a different one) on

    Hmmm… I have mixed emotions on this one. My mom used to nag me a lot. I got a lot done, but often felt resentment toward her. I would usually do whatever chore it was just to make the nagging stop. I really can’t see paying for that.

    That being said, but FupDuckTV was right; in business this is a Project Manager. I think I would be more apt to paying someone to be a “Life Manager”.

    Gentle coaxing, rather than grating nagging.

  18. posted by Catherine Cantieri, Sorted on

    My hat’s absolutely off to Rachel for finding a niche! I’m kinda like Sapphire, though. Honestly, not only would I refuse to do something for as long as I could, I’d start to build up a lot of resentment toward the person nagging and the thing they were nagging about, no matter how positive or beneficial it might be. (Mother issues? What’s that?)

    On the other hand, when it comes to actually doing hands-on organizing, it seems like a big component of what the organizer brings is the presence of another person in the room, the accountability of another human, that sort of thing. I guess it depends on how Rachel does her nagging. Maybe she customizes it for each client, so some folks would get the Full Nag, while folks like me would get the Gentle Cheerleader. Like I said, kudos to her for making it work!

  19. posted by Lori Paximadis on

    I’m with most everyone else in that this would make me want to do the thing even less.

    Project managing is one of the things I do, but I try very hard not to be a nag about it.

  20. posted by Jacinta on

    I have a nagger. Although I consider him more of a guilt trip artiste. We have a weekly skype call which runs over my list of things to do, what I didn’t get done last week and what I aim to do next week. And if I fail he doesn’t nag per se, just gives this little disappointed sigh and I feel so bad about it that I do my best not to hear it again next week.

  21. posted by rich on

    um, i don’t need a professional nag. my wife yells at me enough already!

  22. posted by pol* on

    Unlike most here, I think that service would do well for me!
    Did you get your invoicing out?
    Don’t forget to drink your water!
    Are you being as productive as you could be today?
    Don’t forget that this project is due in three days!
    etc….
    I need a voice from outside to poke at me, otherwise I procrastinate to the point of lazy.

  23. posted by Babette on

    I set up various free email reminders at 43things.com. I become resistant to them if I don’t change them fairly often.

  24. posted by Slothrop on

    Nagger please!

  25. posted by Dream Mom DBAwww.dreamorganizers.com on

    That is too funny. Whatever works! Hmmm…I wonder if more men hire professional naggers or if more women do?

  26. posted by Tracy on

    I think it is a great concept! I would not do it though…it is not for my personality.

    In my previous career I was a legal secretary. One of the attorneys that I worked for begged me to nag him about things he needed to get done all the time….and I was good at it!

    It wouldn’t work for me though. Like some others have said, I would wind up defiantly not doing the thing I was being nagged to do and resenting the nagger that I had hired.

    I also saw somebody mention getting involved in an accountability group with friends. I am involved in this type of thing and that doesn’t really work either. We all just wind up venting to each other, which helps, but in a different way.

    I think you either have to want to be productive or you don’t. If you want it badly enough you will do it. Depending on your personality, hiring a nagger might make you want it badly enough just to get your nagger of your back!

    I say good for her for turning an often frowned-upon personality trait into a career!

  27. posted by Lars Wirzenius on

    Being a computer programmer, I wrote a program to nag at me. Every morning at 07:00, it sends me e-mail about all the things I should do regularly but haven’t done recently. Each thing has its own interval, of course.

    Again, not for everyone, but I need all the motivation I can get, sometimes.

  28. posted by Alex Fayle | Someday Syndrome on

    I think it’s a fun name for coach, accountability partner, project manager. But very catchy and it’s something I’ve considered offering as part of my services. Or maybe I could partner with a nagger. I look at the big picture with the person and then the nagger comes in and makes sure the changes happen.

    I’m off to check Rachel out now.

    Cheers,
    Alex

  29. posted by Amie on

    I think people are getting hung up on the fact that it is called “nagging”. If it is done diplomatically by someone who does not have any emotional investment in your relationship, I think it would breed less resistance and resentment.

    In the past, I’ve been resistant to family nagging me. It feels judgmental, like they have no confidence in my ability to do tasks, and their “help” is not usually solicited. But if I ASK someone to bug me about getting something done, I feel less resistance or resentment. I used to have friends help me that way in college. Unfortunately, they would be reluctant to really put on pressure because they didn’t want me to feel guilty or shamed into doing things. I think an outsider would be BRILLIANT (especially if you live alone and can’t afford to hire a personal assistant).

    I can see how this wouldn’t work for everyone, but I am very open to this concept!

  30. posted by Nancy on

    I do benefit from being nagged at.. I consider it being reminded, not being nagged.

    I always ask my mother to nag me about things I want to make sure get done (that I know will fall behind). I learned that I could put her natural nagging talents to use for my own benefit. So now she nags me about what I want her to nag me about and not so much what she wants to ;).

    I would never pay someone to nag me though. If mom isn’t available, I set up 3-4 reminders in my Google Calender or Outlook..they work well also and don’t cost me anything.

    I don’t think I’ve ever written the word ‘nag’ so many times before.

  31. posted by Tabitha (From Single to Married) on

    Hmm… perhaps if they changed the title to something that didn’t have so many negative associations.

  32. posted by Productivity? « Design & Develop Blog on

    [...] I had no idea, but it turn out you can hire a professional nagger. [...]

  33. posted by Lola on

    I might have to hire one of these people for my husband! It seems like the more I ask him to do something, the less likely he is to do it, but as soon as someone from outside our household suggests that it be done, he’s all over it!

  34. posted by Rachel Z Cornell on

    Oh my gosh, how did I not know about this site and this post? I’m Rachel Z. Cornell, “The ProNagger” and I couldn’t be more exited to have found this site. A client told me about it… Actually a client found me because of it, so thank you!!

    I have lots and lots of comments to make so forgive me in advance cause I gotta set some issues straight and share about others.

    Jacki Hollywood Brown wrote:
    “I would definitely not hire a “nagger” I would try and find a friend and create an “accountability partnership” where you would each be responsible for making sure the other was accountable for his/her deadlines.

    I don’t do well in the “drill sergeant” environment.”

    First I need to say, good lord, I am no drill sergeant and I’m not your mama. I want you to do what YOU want to do. I want what you want for your life (as long as it’s legal and does not cause harm to yourself or others). I told a client the other day that she’s my Rocky, I want you to feel GREAT at the end of the day, that’s my goal.

    Also just like the post so cleverly pointed out. I don’t have that history with you that your friend does. You and I have a business agreement. A call a day to a girlfriend could be an enjoyable thing and could be helpful but my own experience is it does not do for you what paying someone can do for you. Investing in a service like mine has a success rate that I can nearly promise is greater than calling a friend.

  35. posted by Rachel Z Cornell on

    Melissa A. Wrote:

    “No way. It would still bug the f*ck out of me.”

    Way! I am not working my tail off for you to bug the bleep out of you! I don’t, by the way, ask you “have you done this, have you finished that, have you taken the trash out yet?” I would have to take myself out in back and shoot myself if I asked questions like that!

    I check-in with you and see if you were able to do what you wanted to do. If not, we look at the tasks and see how much they really matter to you. Maybe a clean house is not important to your “largest vision for your life” (a larger vision for your life is what I use to help you set your goal to).

    Maybe having a spotless house is a vision someone ELSE has for you. If that’s the case, you’ll never likely find it enjoyable or easy to clean cause it’s just not your thing.

    I like what FupDuckTV said, I am somewhat like a “Project Manager.” Yes AND I would NEVER say “Did you do this yet? When you gonna do it? Is it done yet? You know we can’t move forward until you complete this. Is it done now?” ..Because, again, I would have to take myself out in back and, well, shoot myself.

    I do ask you questions like, “at the end of the day, what would you like to say you have been able to get done?” Then I help you make that happen.

  36. posted by Rachel Z Cornell on

    Thanks for the photo love whyioughtta. I’m legally blind and my husband took that picture. It’s everything to get a shot of me with my eyes open. Really, I guess with my visual impairment I blink a lot, and the flash makes it like 100 time worse. He’s gotta take like 50 shots to get one with my eyes open. If I look good and “naggy” then go me!

  37. posted by Rachel Z Cornell on

    Alex,
    Thanks for taking the time to look at my site. I do work hand in hand with many coaches.

    I can see that the word “NAG” is really getting a lot of people’s attention. It does have that effect…Thank goodness.

    People who are sensitive to, or have struggle with, organizational issue probably have felt the sting of being nagged by friends and family. Those are my people!

    I am not a reminder service, what I do is help you put the how and why in your to-do lists. It’s true, I am a NAG, a “Notorious Action Generator.” My clients get amazing results, they know I care about them and their lives, and say so in their amazing testimonials.

    If you would like to know more about my Nagging services, please feel free to contact me.

    Best,
    Rachel…The NAG

  38. posted by susan kuhn frost on

    Rachel NAGS at me every morning….and do you know what she does? She AMAZES me with her insights(delivered in a 3-5 minute phone call) about what I can do to make tasks move more smoothly.

    NAGGING is usually seen as expressing the NAG’s annoyance at why you aren’t doing what they think you should be doing.

    But the ProNAGGER helps you figure out how to do — in small bits — what is it that YOU most deeply want to do. She’s figured out how to do that for herself and is now sharing her deep experience with others.

    In fact, the NAG stands for Notorious Action Generator —> try it and see!

  39. posted by Sharon on

    Ha! What do you know? Rachel is my ProNagger! But you guys have it all wrong. She helps me generate Action (the A in nAg). She is fun and smart and insightful and I know she is there for me. Sometimes when you are working on something…doesn’t matter what…you get stuck. Rachel is great at helping me sort some of the ‘resistance’ or other things out. Then I (not Rachel) set a goal for the time period and she works with me to get there. Talk about opening the log jam! You can all gripe and moan if you want to about ‘nagging’ but if you haven’t worked with a Pro-nagger, you don’t know what you are missing.

  40. posted by Beth on

    Having Rachel nag you is actually a very productive experience. She has a lovely sense of humor, so it doesn’t feel like she is brow-beating you. Many people DO need a gentle nudhe to stay on track with their own goals and the ProNagger is great with encouragement. I have recommended her to my friends who seem to get stuck.

  41. posted by Patricia on

    Hi everyone,
    I want to jump in and give my perspective on this too. I hate the word nag. It makes me cringe for what it has represented in the past: Shrill voices? constant droning, “have you finshed it yet?!” The problem is those voices are now also in my head and they shut me down.

    I had some resistence to working with Rachel, because of the connotation to the word. BUT, now I am seeing it differently. She is actually a partner with you to support you accomplishing your dreams, one step at a time. I don’t know about you, but, being a perfectionist, I can get really frustrated with the ways I stop myself from moving forward. Then there’s this negative feedback loop that goes on: the more I feel frustrated thae less I do, the less I do, the more I am frustrated. You get the drift.

    Rachel can step into that tangled mess with you and ask, what’s the one thing you could do today? or whats the 5 small steps you could take today, or some other rendition of a relevant question and surprisingly, the knot untangles and you are moving forward.

    So,even though the name is (intentionally)provocative, she is redefining what it means. She is really a partner, and well worth the investment of time and money.

  42. posted by PixieGirl Blog | My World Through Graphic Design on

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  43. posted by Jen on

    umm, seriously?? I would just ignore her e-mails the same way I ignore my outlook reminders. But my way doesn’t cost me anything. If I really need to be nagged, I tell my good friend about it and then I start to feel bad when I tell her over and over that I haven’t done something.

  44. posted by 7 things I did not know last week | bitful on

    [...] is such a thing as a professional nagger. I may have to [...]

  45. posted by Sheila on

    I do a pretty good job at self-nagging. I would be annoyed and resentful at someone else nagging me. However, if someone WANTS another party to nag them, I’m your gal. I’ve got 45 years of experience nagging all ages. And I’m told my all my naggees that I’m aces at it.

  46. posted by Jill on

    That’s kind of funny when I think about it, though I definitely could have used one when I was in college away from home, though I still might need one for my comm. college math classes :P

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