I have a problem. This problem gets in my way. It is two (of many) character flaws I have. Perfectionism and Procrastination.
These two P’s get the better of me nearly all the time. When I look at my dirty house I see EVERYTHING that needs to be done. Then I think about the items I have to do besides clean house and my emotional spiral begins to go spinning out of control. The pressure builds, mood swings run hot and cold. My three year old self begins to come out of me and temper tantrums ensue.
Under these conditions, I ask you, what gets done? The answer is nothing but a whole lot of whining and grumping.
We all lead busy lives. Work, children, spouses, the home, cooking, grocery shopping, outdoor pursuits. How does one go about finding a balance? How does a person get control of all of the pressing needs and demands in our daily lives?
I’ve mentioned in this blog many times about Flylady and the 15 minutes. I am going to show you the results of working 15 minutes a day in an area and then quitting.
Like many of you, Saturday was cleaning day. It would take the entire day and most of the night to get my house cleaned. Vacuumed, dusted, decluttered, purged, washed, and mopped. I dreaded the arrival of Saturday because I seemed to work harder in that one day than I did any other day of the week.
Perfectionism kept me tied to the work and dictated when the job was finished. After I had the house totally cleaned my family would be themselves and make messes behind them. Yikes, the bad tempered stuff that came out of me would make the movie The Exorsist tame in comparison. The yelling about spending all day long cleaning only to have some insensitive lout come along behind me and make a mess for me to clean up. Not a good thing 😦
Flylady has helped me to work on my perfectionism and to let things go. Through her website I have learned that Perfectionism has no place in a person’s life. Housework is what it is. Work. It is also, in Flylady’s terms, a “Blessing to the family”. Not just the family but to myself. Through Flylady and her website I have learned how to be more loving toward myself and to stop the constant abuse I had heaped upon my head.
First thing I want to emphasize is “TRIGGERS”. This is not dealt with in the Flylady website but it is dealt with by Anthony Robbins in his life changing books and cd’s. I am always searching for ways to improve myself and I look for solutions in any place that I can find them. Some work, others don’t. Flylady and Anthony Robbins have both helped me in my pursuit of balance.
A “Trigger” is a memory that haunts you. Someone that verbally abused you or something you did that you regret. The mind is a fantastic bit of business. The brain holds every little bit of information it collects throughout a person’s life and brings things out at times. Good things, but mostly bad things.
Anything can set a trigger off. A smell, a sound, a child, a song, anything. Upon seeing or hearing something your brain does a search to find a link to a past experience that relates to what you hear or see. I used to get a memory and berate myself all over again for what I had done long ago. When I find myself doing this I say out loud. “It was a trigger and not reality right now”. This has stopped a lot of the trash talk that I do to myself.
Okay, I’ve gone too far here but I felt it was important to put that bit in because what is to follow are all triggers for me. I get flashes of the saddened faces of my children, see their pain, hear my nasty words, and feel the anger and frustration I felt those many years ago. Regrets I have many.
Now to Flylady and how she helps me do my housework in 15 minutes.
This week – November 13th to 19th, 2011 – is in a bathroom. If you have two, as I do, I work around this and do what I can.
My cleaners of choice are Clorox Soft Scrub and Clorox Cling Toilet Bowl Cleaner. There are less harsh cleansers to use that are better for the environment but I’m not home all year long and I feel the chemicals in these cleaners are better suited for my needs. There are “Green” options that are better for the environment you can use….such as vinegar and baking soda or ammonia.
Flylady mentions in her website that “Soap is soap” and she uses shampoo diluted with water in her toilet bowl brush crock to clean her toilets. If you do a daily cleaning of your toilet then this is just as good as any harsher chemical.
I will use the shampoo as winter unfolds and I have my routine down after the house has been fully cleaned.
Until that time arrives I will be using the harsher chemicals. I have a dirty and dusty floor that needs tending to this week so I am opting for the big guns initially.
I have my trusty timer set for 15 minutes. I have not started the timer just yet.
I run a sink full of hot water. Hot enough that I can stand it. A little bleach in the water and now I’m ready to start the timer.
First I clean the hair from my brushes, put clutter away in the drawers they belong in, and purge the bottles of hairspray that are nearly empty. Everything else gets a good wiping down with the cloth soaking in the bleach water and rung well.
A glance at my timer and I found I’ve used most of my time in the purging and cleaning of the clutter.
I have gotten the counter cleaned using the Clorox Soft Scrub but have less than 2 minutes to clean the sink and scrub the mirror. Yikes!!
I still need to scrub the sink and the faucet.
Only moment to spare and I have this part finished.
The timer has gone off and I have not completed my task for today. It is alright. I will take a couple more minutes to finish this one area in the bathroom and be done. I have to put the cleaned items back on the counter.
Have I finished cleaning the bathroom? No, I have not. The nasty circulation vent needs to be vacuumed and wiped. The floor needs to be swept and mopped. The outside of the toilet needs to have a thorough cleaning. The bathtub and surrounding mirrors need to be cleaned. The shower needs to be cleaned. The cabinet needs to have the doors wiped. The walls need to be vacuumed and wiped.
I have cleaned and wiped the light switch plates though. Tomorrow is soon enough to work some more on this bathroom. Tomorrow there will be another 15 minutes spent in getting the work done.
I have craft projects to do, paperwork to sort, meals to be planned, errands to run, and Joe to take care of. I have begun the task of cleaning my house and I am less stressed about what needs to be done.
I plan on doing a daily diary of my housecleaning the Flylady way so you can see that this actually works and works well. Provided, of course, you pick up behind yourself daily and put things in their place instead of leaving the clutter to grow 🙂