Inside the mind of a professional organizer: How to maintain your momentum

Jessi Bushman PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

Jessi Bushman PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

Jessi Bushman PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

Jessi Bushman PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

Jessi Bushman PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

Jessi Bushman PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

Jessi Bushman PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

What motivates and excites you?

In a world where we are overwhelmed with things to do, what is your method to accomplish tasks, especially when your tasks are not enjoyable?

Do you fall into the category of having

half-finished projects, with hopes to start something new and with the supplies you’ve already purchased?

Why do you have unfinished tasks or projects? Be truthful: You probably know why.

Our day-to-day lives can be like a roller coaster. Finding time to accomplish what’s in front of us can be challenging enough, let alone catching up and planning for the future. That said, our life journey presents different phases, projects and aspirations as we evolve.

What phase of life are you living? My easy answer: I’m in the present. My simplified view of life phases includes the past, the present and the future. How we evolve and maintain momentum is about our outlook, mindset and realistic expectations.

The definition of “mover and shaker” is a person who is active or influential in some field of endeavor. As I digest this phrase, I like to think I’m a mover and shaker in the field of organization. I’m fulfilled by helping people overcome organizational challenges faced on a daily basis.

To maintain your sanity, remember, take it day-to-day to achieve your goals.

How are you a mover and shaker? Think about your passions, and offer yourself some well-deserved credit while you share your influence with others.

A great way to maintain momentum is to evaluate how you spend your time, and focus on things that energize you, while factoring out tasks you do not enjoy.

This is very much like creating a list of pros and cons.

• Job.

• Family.

• Friends.

• Home maintenance, organization and rotation.

• Social gatherings.

• Community involvement.

• Crafts, hobbies and activities.

• Travel.

• Legacy planning.

In these areas, what do you enjoy? What is your time commitment, the duration and frequency? When you identify the positive, the negative will stand out. Time is something we can never get back, so why are we spending so much of it doing things we do not enjoy?

I’ve spend a lot of time reflecting on my present. I’m 40 and acknowledge time is going fast. Somehow, I’m already on the downhill slope. I was not enjoying my present, so I made several changes. Of course, changes do not only affect us, but they also affect everyone in our life. Change is unknown, but instead of focusing on what could happen as a negative, focus on the positive.

Movers and shakers love what they do and are good at it. They accept they are not good at everything and remove their weaknesses from the equation. This is a positive approach that allows you to live your present and make the best of your situation.

As you look ahead, what ways to maintain momentum will you practice? Who will you look to for motivation and guidance? How will you overcome tasks that you do not enjoy? The opportunity to improve your lifestyle is different for everyone and can be customized to accommodate you and those important to you.

The greatest advantage of organization is there is no right or wrong way to do things. You always can modify your strategy. The most important step is to start.

Jessi Bushman is a professional organizer, member of the Iowa Professional Organizers Association and owner of Organizer Jessi in Dubuque. Visit her at or on Facebook at OrganizerJessi. You also can email her at

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