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I was at a convention last year and had the pleasure of meeting
Marla Cilley, who goes by the nickname Flylady on her website,
flylady.net. She has a devoted following of "flybabies" who have
used her techniques (and her cascade of daily emails) to help
them recover from chaos and clutter and not having enough time.
There are a few things that I especially like about her
approach. One is that she has figured out how to contradict the
specific distresses or thinking patterns that block many people
when it comes to housework, time management, and getting
organized. For example, since many people have the feeling that
they don't know where to start, she simply tells you: Start by
cleaning your sink until you can see your lovely face in it.
Since many people feel unmotivated when they have all day ahead
of them and too many things to do, she says: Get dressed "to the
shoes," as if you were going out to a job--this puts you in the
can-do mode. And she also has great gimmicks, like the
27-item-fling boogie, which I just used very successfully
myself. You race around the house with a trash bag and pick out
27 things to throw away, without looking back. Then you go
through again with a box collecting 27 things to give away.
Finally, I love her advice to set a kitchen timer for 15 minutes
when you are approaching a task that seems too difficult or not
worth starting because you are so far behind. You can survive
fifteen minutes, yet it's enough time to make a dent.
often recommend this same timer technique with parenting--we
often feel tired and overwhelmed as parents right when our
children crave our enthusiastic attention. If we know the timer
will beep in 15 minutes, we can muster up the enthusiasm to play
those games that normally make us want to curl up and fall
asleep--or run screaming from the house. And if our homes are
less cluttered and we're more organized, we have more time and
energy for getting down on the floor and playing with our
children, so thanks Flylady!