Tuesday, April 8, 2008

It's All About the Timing


Do you have experience with flylady.com?
A fabulous site and newsletter for the routine-disoriented soul, like myself.

She has routines for the daily grind. For keeping house. For a healthy body. It really is a wonderful resource, though I don't really use it.

I like to use it when I'm playing stay-at-home mommy. Her routines are workable for both, but I'm less likely to use her schedule if I have to tweak it to the working outside of home role I play for 190 days a year. I like to get groceries when she says to. I know to get them, I just like the little game of doing it on a schedule.

I've never actually been that successful at "flying", but it keeps me more on task when I'm pretending to.

Today I'm trying out her tip of using a timer. She recommends setting a timer for all types of cleaning tasks. When the timer goes off, you wrap up and stop. So I'm up in the bedrooms, setting the timer for 35 minutes each. I'm currently in transition and taking a coffee break. I found that while I was doing the first room, B's, I was working much more efficiently, knowing that my time was limited. I also didn't deviate from the task. Usually when I'm picking up one room, I'll find myself suddenly in the garage or laundry room, having been distracted by something. So I stayed in the room, depositing things into a basket that needed to go elsewhere, things that were to throw away, things to donate. I've taken care of those things here during the transition and will put the things to donate in my van at the end of my day. It's working really well so far. For weekly tasks, she says 10 minutes each. I just am giving myself more time because I'm doing the seasonal shift of clothes and toys, getting things thrown out, etc.

I put on some really upbeat music, a mix on our computer title "work out music". Now playing, "Let's Get It Started" by Black Eyed Peas.

So what's working for me today is a timer. Who knew? Such a simple thing is really making a difference in my efficiency. Give it a try!

13 comments:

Mimi said...

I love that you're in this organizing mode -- we're on the same wavelength lately. I like the timer idea; I think I might use that while packing.

Jenifer said...

Well, it works for the kids so it makes good sense I would say. Rather than repeat myself a million times or nag, I set a timer for clean-up time or coming to the table and voila it happens with a lot less stress for everyone.

You and I doing the same thing..I am digging out spring jackets and rain boots and wondering if I am tempting fate my washing the snowsuits one last time.

Alpha DogMa said...

The best thing I ever did for housework was buy an ipod. Music is a good motivator for me. And it helps me tune out the kids and focus on my tasks.

I'm just getting ready to do spring cleaning. Though spring is relative: still a meter of snow on the front lawn.

nikkis30by30 said...

My task for the day..... the "day" being my timer.... going through the mound of clothes in the basement that have been outgrown. Uugghhhhhhhhhh

LoriAnn said...

I've been "flying" for awhile now and although the crazy amount of emails I get from them were annoying at first, I find that all the systems work really well for me - even though I work outside the home. I find pockets of 15 minutes here and there...when Kyle's in the tub, when I'm talking on the phone, and just clean. Dust a little, sweep a little, declutter and straighten a drawer.

Good luck with the spring cleaning!

Beck said...

You've inspired me to rejoin fly lady - thanks!

Omaha Mama said...

There's an option to get all of the emails in one daily newsletter, so that's what I do. Works for me!

Mama said...

Oh Om. I looked at flylady and saw the comment about telling about our mistakes so others don't have to make them, too. I must warn everyone NOT to use the leaf blower to blow the dirt out from under the refrigerator. It makes a BIG mess EVERYWHERE!

I was so proud of the timer hint I used it at school. Suddenly I sensed someone watching me. Three teachers were standing in my doorway, "We heard that beeping and wondered what it was." I was so embarrassed to say, "I have to use a timer to keep me on track." I didn't do that again unless I was alone on a week-end. CUZ- some people just don't get it!

Midwest Beach Girl said...

Love it, love it. My new cleaning method will revolve around my timer.

Bea said...

I'm the same kind of flybaby as you are: it's great when I'm at home full-time and craving structure; it goes by the wayside when I'm working. I always keep my sink shiny, though!

thirtysomething said...

Cool! Great resource for those of us managing job and family...

And isn't this just the best time of year to clean all the junk out..sun is shining, all motivating and happy, windows are open allowing fresh air to drift in, and the music is playing. Now I am in the mood to clean!
Have a good Day!

Twinny said...

The basket/ timer method has always been my favorite way of cleaning. It keeps you centered. I hook my window cleaner bottle over the side and toss my swiffer in and I'm ready to move around the house! I like to throw a couple of small boxes in as sub dividers for different rooms in the house. When I'm done I just pull out the boxes and take them to their assigned rooms!

mum2brady said...

LOL - I'm a fly-lady dropout :) I should probably start up again - it really is a great system :) The timer might be helpful too - I'm going to try it! Thanks for the tip!