Thursday, October 15, 2009

Time Management

The other day, Erica, at On The Write Path asked "So, how do you go about finding balance in your life? How do you balance family, work, writing, church, etc.?"

I know I've struggled with this. Seems I'm either all or none. Either I'm playing with inks and paints and neglecting family, home and other obligations, or going through a cleaning frenzy and not creating art. It was exhausting, until over the summer, I saw a friend mention FlyLady on her Facebook page. I got curious and asked about it, and am so glad I did.

Specifically, FlyLady pertains to keeping and maintaining an orderly home. She breaks cleaning house into zones. Each day, besides a basic to do list (like doing dishes), FlyLady sends a 15 minute task, called a mission. Missions might be to wipe down the cabinet fronts in the kitchen or to declutter your dresser in the master bedroom. Jobs take a total of 15 minutes (if that) to complete. You make a To Do List which she puts in a binder called a Control Journal. You build your control journal in babysteps. The house didn't become a wreck in one day. It won't get cleaned in one day either. But slow and steady wins the race.

So far, it's worked great as I fine tune my control journal for a To Do List that works for me. Before FlyLady, I would need at least 3 days notice to have company over. Now following the FlyLady system, the house is company ready in about 15 minutes. There are still areas that shout CHAOS (Can't have anyone over syndrome.) like the basement/studio, but I'm working on that using FlyLady's technique of give away, throw away or put away done in a 15 minute segment.

My best time of the day to do creative work is mid-morning. I find if I begin the cleaning which FlyLady calls Home Blessing (takes the drudge out of it), I can have my routines done by 9am. Which now leaves me the rest of the day to be creative or lazy, if I want. Before FlyLady, I was busy. Busy running around in circles. Stuff was getting done, but it never looked like I accomplished anything. Now the house is in order, and I have the time I need to do what I really love to do.

Flywashing must have worked because recently, it occurred to me that the list and setting a time limit for a task could spill over into other areas. I can create a to do list for projects, plan when to harvest on Farmville or blog. (-; If I need a day to deal with family obligations, I can go without worrying the house is a wreck. I can pick up where I left off the next day.

Rather than feeling tied to my to do list, I feel I can keep all my plates spinning and still have time for me. Time management. What a concept!

What about you? How do you balance your life? Do you follow a To Do List?

1 comment:

  1. My time management... being single. The house is normally company ready, as it seldom gets SO dirty I'm ashamed. Sure, everyone has rough streaks, but I'm pretty on top of things.

    I decluttered years ago; it is the essential key!