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The Flylady
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.

I 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!
 

Larry Cohen
phone: 617-713-0568

email: larjack@playfulparenting.com

 
Larry Cohen
1680A Beacon Street | Brookline, MA 02445 | Tel/Fax: 617-713-0568

email: larjack@playfulparenting.com