Archive for the ‘Control Journal’ Category

Top Ten Countdown: Number Two

August 29, 2010

Wow! I can’t believe I’m down to number two in my Top Ten Things I’ve Learned in 365 Days with Flylady! Number two is:

It is vital for me to prioritize creativity in my daily routine.

What does this have to do with Flylady? Well, over the course of a year, I’ve obviously done a lot of thinking, as indicated in my previous posts. Way back last September, I was already identifying that creativity needed to be included in my daily routine. Throughout the year, I kept thinking about balance (see number three in my countdown), about what was important to me, about using the gifts God had given me. As my daily Flylady routines became more established and I was seeing that they could not be the focus of my life if I were to remain happy, healthy and sane, I discovered that creativity was a focus that would fulfill the role of helping me remain happy, healthy and sane because I was working from the gifts God had given me when I was being creative.

What I also discovered was that my time for creativity needed to be every day, prioritized above everything but eating breakfast and meditating on God’s Word. I needed to be creative before I did any laundry, before I mopped a floor, before I cooked anyone any food. Once I established this time as part of my early morning routine, my spirit soared!

So, now, I have several on-going projects that I can work on in peace and quiet before the kids arise. I actually am getting up earlier than ever so I can be sure to have this time as quiet as possible so I am not distracted. This way, I get A LOT done in the 30 minutes I set aside. I actually set my Flylady timer and away I go. I’ve loved the progress I’ve made in my etsy store and my new blog. I love the things I’m making for others and myself. I love the way I am constantly thinking about what I’m going to add to a project or what I’m going to do next.

The best thing is that my creativity does not have to occur at the expense of any of my other responsibilities! I can easily keep up with all of my other Flylady chores and they can take the auto-pilot, back seat that they deserve in my life. This could only happen because Flylady has taught me to make these household chores ROUTINE. I don’t have to think about any of them (well, except that elusive de-cluttering…), I just do my work and go on with my life.

I am very excited about exploring my creative side, about sharing it with others, about giving with the gifts God has given me. And I thank Flylady for helping me discover all of these things about myself within the context of my daily routines. Thanks, Flylady!

Top Ten Countdown: Number Three

August 28, 2010

In my Top Ten Things I’ve Learned in 365 Days with Flylady, number three is:

My Flylady routines are not–SHOULD NOT–be the focus of my life. My Flylady routines provide the tools to get things done so I can focus on what is really important to me.

I learned early, early on in my Flylady journey that I abhor de-cluttering. I mean, I really, really, really dislike it. So, after I had pretty much established every other routine in my day (well, maybe except completing every Zone Mission), and I started to focus on adding daily de-cluttering, I kind of hit a wall. Up until then, I was skipping along, being amazed at how much following Flylady’s advice changed our lives as far as eliminating CHAOS, guilt and frustration.

But when I started having to force myself to de-clutter as well as do all of my other Flylady chores, I felt myself getting upset and angry. Naturally, I began to analyze the situation. And what I found was that I had been focusing on doing my Flylady routines as the main part of my day. Yes, I was homeschooling and parenting, as usual. But as for anything beyond that, I was focusing on Flylady. I was counting my days as “successful” based on if I had completed my Flylady routine. I would walk around the house and mentally check off that I had completed certain Flylady tasks.

My dislike of de-cluttering and my inability to actually force myself to do in on a regular, daily basis brought out the fact that I was giving all of my energy to doing stuff I didn’t LIKE to do, that drained my energy. It was kind of like de-cluttering was the straw that broke this camel’s back. But that was when I realized that I was out of balance.

I’ve talked a lot about balance in this blog. When I am focusing on my Flylady routine, when it is taking all of my mental and physical energy, I am out of balance. When I started realizing that my focus should be on OTHER things that re-energize me and inherently bring me joy, and that Flylady routines were only there to provide a way to get things done so I could focus on the other things, I realized a healthy balance.

I wonder if this phenomena happens to other Flybabies as they go through their Flylady journey….

Top Ten Countdown: Number Five

August 26, 2010

Half-way into my countdown of the Top Ten Things I’ve Learned in 365 Days with Flylady, number five is:

Flylady’s routines can be creatively adjusted to fit anyone’s circumstances.

I’ll say it again, I am a mother of ten children. Eight of these children are still at home. The other two and their husbands and the darling granddaughter are in and out. We homeschool. A lot of people are in this house. A lot. Consequently, I cannot–should not–follow Flylady’s own personal routine to the letter. I have a lot of house to hold a lot of kids and it just takes lots and lots and lots of actual time and physical effort to maintain it all. Yet, I need not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

This year, some of the most important things I’ve learned have involved modification of Flylady’s basic ideas to fit OUR HOUSEHOLD. For example, our Weekly Home Blessing Hour is not an hour. As I’ve mentioned, it takes an hour just to mop one floor of our house. So, we plan accordingly. I’ve also finally learned, through a lot of trial and error this year, that if a Zone Mission is going to get done, it’s usually going to have to be completed before any kids get up. Once the children are awake, I am torn in a million interrupted directions if I attempt to put off their needs in order to complete a Zone Mission. That also goes for de-cluttering (which I cannot seem to find a consistent way to spell). If any serious de-cluttering is going to happen, it has to happen while I am by myself.

I’m kind of hard-line when I hear people complain that Flylady just won’t work for them. I contend that if Flylady can work for me, it can work for anyone. Just take Flylady’s principles, ask God for His inspiration and get to work creatively.

Top Ten Countdown: Number Eight

August 23, 2010

Number Eight in my Top Ten Things I’ve Learned in 365 Days with Flylady is:

Routines are important and comforting during stressful times.

We’ve certainly had plenty of opportunity to learn this lesson over the past 12 months. From Joey having a concussion to Levi totaling his car to marathon family stomach viruses to monthly female hormones to unfairly losing our primary source of income to hosting a wedding to changing churches to opening a new business, we’ve walked through it all this year. Some of these stresses are small, some are big. The wedding and actually opening the business were positive experiences, but most of the other stressful events were far from positive from our limited human viewpoint.

There were days on end during some of these periods of stress that were almost unendurable for me mentally. My mind was constantly racing. Yet, the thing that stood out about all of these times was that, despite huge mental distractions, I could go about my daily routines because they were ROUTINE. I could just put one foot in front of the other and maintain our household even when I couldn’t think about what I was doing.

By maintain our household routines, I was able to establish a minimally disruptive atmosphere for our children, especially our young children who really are not yet able to understand exactly what is going on in the adult world but can perceive when things aren’t quite right. Our home stayed tidy and peaceful. Our clothes were clean and everyone was fed in a timely fashion.

Thanks, Flylady, for helping me establish routines that minimize the negative impact of stressful times.

Do It Now

August 18, 2010

Today, I was busy running errands all day, so I was physically pretty tired. Then, I washed the baby’s hair, which takes a bit of time since she’s not really a baby and has tons of three-year-old curly, curly hair. After that, I had some time before our bedtime goal and I had a choice: I could sit and watch a movie with the kids OR fold and put away the socks that had been waiting to be folded and put away. My tired body said, Sit down. But my Flylady brain said, Do it now.

So, I folded socks.

Having a Flylady Control Journal is the Key

August 16, 2010

I read someone’s Flylady testimonial the other day that has really stuck with me. I don’t have the time right now to go look for it and link it, but, basically, she said that the real issue isn’t that everything is clean, the real issue is having a plan for a routine to keep everything clean. I have thought about this a lot lately. I tend, as we perfectionist SHEs do, to want everything to be clean at once or I start feeling kind of weirdly stressed and jittery. Even though I’ve been doing Flylady for quite some time, now, and don’t actually ever fall back into the “all or nothing” trap, I still feel like wanting everything to be clean at once.

But, this person is right on when she says that it’s not that important that any particular part of the house is clean at any one time, it’s having a plan, a routine, a control journal that helps keep the house clean. When I look at something that needs to be done (for example, the appliances needing some attention), instead of getting side-tracked from the task at hand, I can just remind myself that there will be a time set aside to attend to the appliances. So, what I’ve been trying to do today is, when I feel myself looking at something that needs attention (like, the secretary filing containers needing to be de-cluttered), I can just plan a time for getting that done.

This all probably seems so simple to people who aren’t SHEs….

On Being Side-Tracked

August 13, 2010

If, before I understood about Flylady and being Side-tracked Home Executives, anyone would have asked me if I thought of myself as easily distracted, I would have responded, “NO!” After all, we SHEs can hyper-focus, so it seems like we are NOT easily distracted. But, as I have tried, over the past year, to determine the best time of day for different responsibilities in my Control Journal, I have come to the realization that I really have to have most of my chores done before the kids wake up. Why? Because once the kids are up, I am in non-stop distraction mode. I cannot make a single move without being distracted.

But, at least now I realize my tendency toward being distracted, especially when it comes to doing something I don’t especially want to do–like housework. That way, when a day like today happens in which there was absolutely no way I could possibly get all of the necessary chores done before the kids woke up, at least I could keep telling myself, Remember what chore you are doing and STAY FOCUSED, no matter how many small distractions keep interrupting you. Consequently, I got everything done that I set out to do this morning (and, believe me, it looked like a mountain of work at about 6am) and even recruited my small distractions into helping me with some of the chores.

The Beauty of Flylady

August 11, 2010

Tonight, Joey informed me that we were probably having overnight guests on Friday. A little voice in the back of my mind screamed, PANIC! A stronger voice in the front of my mind said, What is there to do? Everything is already Flylady clean. And a real, live voice coming out of Joey’s handsome face said, “It’s no problem. You’re a Flylady.”

Habit of the Month: Laundry

August 10, 2010

I am so glad that daily laundry duties are a firmly ensconced part of my daily routine. I love looking at the Flylady reminders and thinking that I already have that one “down.” No Mt. Washmore here!

Monday Routine

August 2, 2010

I was very glad this morning that I have a laundry routine. Joey and I were blessed to have a very long Date Night: all weekend. We attended my class reunion and had an absolute blast! It was a challenge to go from a rather “carefree” weekend (thanks to the older kids!!) right back into Real Life. But the transition was made easier by the fact that I did NOT have a mountain of laundry to tackle.

Thanks, Flylady.