Inside the mind of a professional organizer: Time management and achieving daily tasks


PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed


PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed


PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

PHOTO CREDIT: Contributed

W hen we think about women who lead by example and show generosity, we can associate their success with outstanding time management skills.

The Salute to Women nomination and recognition within our community is a huge acknowledgment. Time management, setting goals and achieving daily tasks doesn’t happen without a plan.

The award categories include Woman of the Year, Woman Who Makes a Difference, Woman of Innovation and Woman to Watch. I believe that every one of you reading falls into one of the categories.

Time management revolves around knowing your responsibilities and setting realistic goals. Organizing your schedule based on short- and long-term priorities takes a little practice (and technology) to create a system that works for you.

How do you manage your personal and professional life? What approach do you take to keep the two separate? We all have different reactions to these questions, and in all honesty, I don’t think there is a correct answer. Finding your balance begins with your responsibilities.

Are you family or career focused? Do you juggle both? Is your time spent independently or interacting with others? Do you have a shared repeat schedule that acts as your guide to accomplish recurring tasks?

I suggest creating a schedule and command center for your daily outlook. This will enhance your time management skills, while setting realistic goals for what you need to and hope to accomplish.

Trust me, there are days where it’s just not possible to complete everything, and that’s OK. Focus your efforts on time sensitive tasks, and re-evaluate your approach to incomplete challenges.

I’ve missed deadlines and accept that I will miss things in the future. No one is perfect, but we do our best.

Beginning with the basics for your standard schedule is a great starting point. Tasks, such as doing the dishes, completing laundry, picking up the house, paying bills or getting groceries fall into this category.

I understand that basic chore completion might not come as easily to some. Factoring in time management skills and delegating will indeed, make tasks easier to approach. Understanding the frequency and duration needed to accomplish things is a big part of this.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day” is my favorite quote. When you think of Rome in comparison to your life, they are both a work of art and take time to perfect. When our time management skills are lacking, tasks that should only take a few minutes here and there end up becoming overwhelming challenges.

One example would be incoming mail. After attempting several approaches to dealing with mail, I discovered that I need to address it right away to prevent missing a due date or misplacing it.

I designed my mail station inside the garage door intentionally, so it’s one of the first things I accomplish when I get home. It’s as simple as setting down my incoming items on my landing counter, hanging up my purse, tote and coat, and stashing my shoes in the closet. Minutes later, I approach the mail.

Junk mail instantly is shredded or recycled. I record my autopay bills in my check register and file paper in their designated hanging folder until my end-of-year tax clean out.

This process can be modified if you record things electronically, discard papers or choose to do so on a less frequent basis. The beauty of organization and time management is you can custom tailor your approach and method to best fit your lifestyle.

As you implement ways to improve your approach, don’t forget, the extra time and effort you put in now will serve you in the long run, as well as benefit those around you.

Jessi Bushman is a professional organizer 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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