"Fly Baby" Adventures

What can you get done in 15 minutes? Quite a bit!

I’ve been dividing up my time into 15 minutes bursts.  Yup, I’m still taking my “baby steps.”  Thanks FlyLady!

Today was the first day I didn’t feel like whining, as I got “dressed to shoes.”  I always thought I could get dressed and ready pretty quick, but having everything laid out the night before makes it super easy.  No thinking required.

I had a load of laundry ready to go, first thing this morning.  I did my Zone 2, detail cleaning: counters all wiped down, including behind the microwave, etc.  When I started out this week, I couldn’t even FIND my counters.  We don’t have a big kitchen, but we have a ton of counter space.  Unfortunately, it was piled up with EVERYTHING.  Dishes, junk mail, broken gadgets, boxes of cereal…you name it!  We were only using a tiny section of counter to prepare our meals on.  But, I’ve been setting a 15-minute alarm, and decluttering for the last four days.  Nothing major.  I swear; it didn’t take that many sessions each day and I had a REAL MESS on my hands.  Anyways, I have my counters back!  My sink has been staying clean, though I forgot to wipe it down before I took this pic.  I’ve been spritzing it down each night before I get ready for bed.

Reminder card is sitting on my windowsill. Glass on the window needs to be wiped down, but that wasn’t today’s baby step. This isn’t a quick fix. This is a slow and steady sort of process.

I work a lot of hours outside of my home.  I’ve always had excuses why I couldn’t have a clean home or get my house in order, but by working in baby steps, setting a 15-minute alarm, even I can do this.

I’ve been taking this 15 minute rule, and using it in other areas of my life, including my writing.  I’ve been crazy BUSY!  I’m trying to get ready for the holidays.  We have a manager out on leave at work, broken foot, so I’ve been chipping in, helping to cover the gaps in the schedule.  We have some sort of cold/flu bug making the rounds at my job as well, and there’s been a couple of call-offs that I’m covering.  Work!  Work!  Work!  I should be a stressed out disaster by now!  In the past, I probably would have been.  Too many things hit me in too many days.  I should be in tears!!!  But, I’ve been breaking tasks down, 15 minutes at a time.  At this point, that’s really all I can handle.  I write down the tasks I need to accomplish, and concentrate on what I can get done in 15 minutes.  I can’t believe how much this helps.  Even with my writing, I’m trying to fit NaNo into all of this.  I set a timer, and concentrate on what I can write in 15 minutes.  If I’m still feeling good, getting a nice flow, I set the timer again.  I only write for 45 minutes, tops.  That’s 3 sessions; after that, I take a 15 minute break.  Stand up.  Walk around.  Get myself a cup of coffee or tea, depending on the time of day.  Any writing I do is better than making excuses.  I probably would have given up on NaNo otherwise.  You’d be surprised how many words can be written in just ONE 15 minute session!  Even if I only squeeze in one session, that’s still better than doing NO writing at all.

I’ve also been taking time for ME each day.  Again, even if it’s only 15 minutes of doing something that’s gong to nurture me and my spirit, that’s HUGE!  It’s so easy to neglect yourself when you’re feeling stressed.  It’s incredibly hard for me to say, “no.”

It’s not easy for me to share my issues with clutter.  There’s a great deal of shame involved.  But, I want to continue post to my adventures in taking my “baby steps.”  If any of my wonderful blogging buddies are in the same boat, know that you are not alone.

Take care and have a wonderful day!


6 thoughts on “What can you get done in 15 minutes? Quite a bit!”

  1. I love the FlyLady way! You’ve inspired me to get back on that 15 minute thing. I used to think because I worked, I couldn’t do anything in the mornings. But it’s just a matter of getting up 15 minutes earlier. And laying out clothes, towels and washcloths, jewelry, makeup, etc. the night before. I think I’m going to print out her holiday guide again and work from that, too. Thanks for getting me “re-inspired”. 🙂


    1. YAY!!!!!!!! I’m doing the happy dance for you, Lauralynn! I wasn’t sure if I could do this either, but it’s nice to be fully ready to go to work before you actually have to leave the house. My morning routine is sooo much smoother now that I’m getting dressed and ready on “auto pilot.”

      Her holiday guide is sooo cool! This might be the first time in forever, that I’m not soooo stressed out that I can’t enjoy celebrating the season. We’re not bad about shopping ahead of time, but I can never find the tape, etc. I put up my Christmas tree…whenever I get a spare minute. And before Christmas is even here, I just wish it was over, completely missing the point of the season. It’s not fun for me and I would like the holidays to be fun.


    1. Thanks Claire! Before I became a mom, we used to “hide” the clutter in a spare bedroom, and every closet was ready to puke with “stuff” every time you opened the door…but, when you first walked in the front door, everything generally looked OK. Fast forward to today, we’re living in a bigger place, but we have less closets, and no place to stash our extra belongings. It’s a disaster! We’re NOT to the point where we need to be on one of those hoarding shows, you know the ones, the shows where they find a dead cat buried under the old Christmas decorations. We’re not THAT BAD, but it’s not as if I feel comfortable having people stop over, without any notice, either. And when people do say they’re on their way, we ARE the kind of people who are running around with laundry baskets, shoving as much clutter as we can into the master bedroom.

      It’s very stressful, always feeling guilty because I’m not at home as much as I’d like to be, and when I AM home, not being available for my kiddo and hubby because we’re soooo far behind on laundry, etc. And sadly, it’s not even as if I spend all my spare time cleaning, either. I just end up doing the bare minimum and feel a TON of guilt about what I “think” I “should” be doing. Hubby is a huge help, but we’re both stuck in guilt rut. NOT good.

      A HUGE part of our problem is Hubby and I are both perfectionists, but instead of having everything “perfect,” we’re both of the mind set, “Don’t do it unless you’re going to do it right.” Sooo…we don’t even start, and things pile up. I’m learning that even a job done half-a$$, is MUCH better than throwing up your hands and giving up. My house is NEVER going to look like something out of a magazine, but I would like to not be embarrassed by it.

      That’s a HUGE part of the “baby steps” I’m working on, giving up on perfectionism. Earlier this week, my detail project was to wipe down the shelves inside my fridge. “Old Juli” wanted to do a REALLY good job, but the instructions specifically said NOT to obsess over this. I was supposed to just throw away anything old or expired, slide everything to one side of the shelf, wipe, then slide everything to the other side, and wipe. If there are fingerprints still on there, it doesn’t matter! I’ll be hitting this zone again on the next round. The fridge is NEVER going to look perfect, but it looks a heck of a lot better than it did before, and I can’t remember the last time I wiped down the shelves, PERIOD. This was something that would NEVER have gotten on my cleaning “to do” list, not unless something spilled in there and it was “obviously” filthy.

      I’m NEVER going to have Martha Stewart’s house using the FlyLady method. I know this. She only has you vacuuming the main areas of the house once a week, and your only supposed to do that for 10 minutes, setting a timer so you don’t become obsessive and do more vacuuming than that. That’s it. Hey, even I can manage 10 minutes for vacuuming! 🙂 Anything more detailed than that, gets taken care of when you’re doing your “zones.” Martha would probably be cringing over a lot of stuff in this method, but she has a staff of minions working for her, and I don’t. LOL


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