I’m going to assume you know who the FlyLady is. If not, check out this link. I found her Yahoo Group many years ago when it was just getting off the ground and have followed some of her suggestions and routines off and on ever since. Even though I tend to be naturally neat and organized, I still find a lot of her advice to be helpful. When I follow it, that is.
Years ago when the kids were still home and we were homeschooling I actually took the time to put together a household notebook, or what FlyLady refers to as a “control journal”. It looks really impressive but I can’t honestly say I ever put it to any significant use. Once in awhile I drag it out and fantasize about using it on a regular basis. I recall times when I did follow morning, afternoon and evening routines and benefited from an orderly approach. Eventually it ends up back on the shelf doing me absolutely no good at all.
Recently I’ve been feeling the urge to get my daily life back into a routine of sorts. I don’t mean a rigid, minute-by-minute schedule, but a routine. Several years ago, like many homeschoolers at that time, I succumbed to the lure of a system called, “Managers of Their Homes” by Steve and Teri Maxwell and purchased their book. Like many resources it did contain a bit of helpful advice but I just couldn’t envision living my life in 30 minute blocks of time. Now, in fairness to the Maxwells I should mention that they have LOTS of children. The Duggars use this planning system for their huge family, too. I can see how it might be necessary to be more scheduled if you are dealing with many children. But I only had two teenagers at the time and now I’m just keeping house for the two of us. I really have no desire to live my life according to the clock and I always want to stay flexible enough that if something important (or even just fun) comes up I won’t find myself saying, “Oh, I’d like to help feed the hungry but that’s the time I’ve scheduled to clean my light fixtures.”
Still, I do feel like I’m spinning my wheels part of the time. I know I waste too much time piddling around on Facebook or following rabbit trails on Google. I’m an information junkie and the computer is my pusher.
Now, to be honest, the average visitor to my home at most times would think everything looked just fine. I’m good about keeping things picked up, dishes are done after meals, laundry is caught up, bed is made each morning, etc. I do a good job keeping household supplies and food well-stocked. I cook good meals. If I were working outside the home or had young children I’d consider myself to be doing a good job as a homemaker. But I’m home all day. I do serve on two volunteer boards, and chair one of them, as well as various other volunteer and church activities. But again, I’m not working outside the home so I should be able to keep house at a higher level, plus find time for several of those projects I’d like to be doing.
I want to make time to blog regularly, practice the piano, knit, organize our photos, garden, learn a couple of new skills (making soap and candles, for starters), study French, exercise, and most of all, work on my book. Those things just aren’t happening, or at least not as often as I’d like. So that’s why I’m reviewing my old household planning notebook and evaluating how I spend my time.
If any of this resonates with you, take a look at this video showing one woman’s version of a home planning notebook:
And here’s another one. She’s a little too “perky” for me but she is definitely enthusiastic about her notebook.
Here’s the link for FlyLady’s step-by-step instructions for making a “Control Journal”:
I actually did all that when I made mine years ago but it needs a major overhaul. Routines that worked when I was homeschooling two kids are no longer applicable to my life now. The main thing I want to focus on right now is a morning routine. I’d like to get exercise and housework done earlier in the day. I also need to set aside some early morning time for working on my vegetable garden and flower beds before it gets unbearably hot. Most important, I need to figure out the best time for working on my book and then absolutely stick to that. I’ll never finish it if all I do is think about it but never actually write anything.
So that’s whats been on my mind in recent days. I’d love to get some feedback on this (here or on Facebook). Have you used a household notebook? Do you have daily routines for housework and such? How do you organize your time? I’m curious so let’s talk about it.