Finding Time on a Colored Sheet of Paper

Dear FlyLady,

I have been with you for a little over 2 years now and am slowly getting my act and my house together. I love all your tips and suggestions and have purchased and am using many of your products.

A few months or so ago you sent out an essay about how clutter is a thief and listed all the many things it robs us of. I thought I had saved it but have looked in every file on my computer and can’t find it.

I have a dear dear cousin that drowning in clutter. She lost her husband a few years ago and then last fall she lost her brother. She has gone from being a “messy housekeeper” to sleeping in the recliner because can’t get in her bed for the clutter. She got a rat terrier dog last year to help keep down the mice and snakes….in her house. Bless her heart, I love her dearly and it just breaks my heart to see her struggling the way she does.

I know that “flying” is something that a person has to do for themselves and no one will do it until they are really ready. I have no illusions that giving her your essay to read will suddenly help her to “see the light”. It just hurts so bad to watch her and do nothing.

Thank you for all you do,


Here is that essay; I think this is the one you want.

Morning Musing: I DON’T HAVE TIME!

Dear Friends,

What is it about our life that keeps us complaining about our lack of time! All we ever hear coming out of our mouths is “I don’t have time!” The trouble with these words is we all have the same amount of time as everyone else has in a day. It is how we choose to use it that keeps us overwhelmed and whining that we don’t have enough time!

We over schedule everyone in our family and as a result you are the one who is responsible for the transportation or at least making sure everyone is where they need to be. Then factor in your work schedule and all of sudden you start to feel and hear those words creep out of your mouth!

Procrastination is a not a thief of time it is you! You are responsible for the overwhelmed feeling that has become part of you. You have been living off of a steady supply of adrenalin and your body has been paying the price; not to mention your home. It is time that we stopped this vicious cycle and gained control over our schedules.

We are not super human people! We need our rest! When we begin to feel the push of not enough time we compensate by staying up later to make more time! When are we ever going to learn that we cannot manufacture more time! This only robs us of the precious rest we need to get us through our already hectic days but it makes us grumpy to boot. So we are running around on no sleep with the pressure of our jobs, homes and varied appointments pulling at us ever second of the day.

There is a way to get off this frantic merry-go-round! It involves looking closely at your attitude. When you hear the words “I don’t have time” come out of your mouth; I want you to stop right then and there and change those words to I do have two minutes. Set a timer and do what you can right then and there. I know you are saying; BUT I DON’T HAVE TIME! Yes you do and it is time that you found out just how much time you really do have. If you would take all of your “I don’t have time” moments of whining and use them to your advantage then you would be so surprised at what time you really do have.

Have you ever done a simple exercise of taking a week and dividing it into seven days with twenty-four hours in each day? This is an informative way to looking at your schedule. Now don’t say, “I don’t have time!” Take a piece of lined paper and make 7 columns. Use the lines for the hours in the day. Now color in your sleep time in red; make sure you get at least seven to eight hours each day. Next pick a color to block in your work time. Then look at your calendar and block in family time, dinner time, morning routine time and before bed routine time. Now look at all the left over blank spaces. Now you can see just how much time you really do have in living color!

Now you have to figure out what is making you feel like you don’t have time! Is it your home that is pulling at you? Is the clutter robbing you of precious hours? Or is it your computer that is stealing you away from your home and family. It could be the television. You have to decide where those other hours are being spent!

The words “I don’t have time” are just another way to whine about the pickle we have put ourselves in. Start by looking realistically at what you can do right now and don’t allow yourself to get stuck in the “I don’t have time” rut of life. Life is passing you by because you refuse to look at what you do have time for! Establish a simple routine for getting up in the morning and one for going to bed each night. This will help you operate on automatic pilot! You can do this and you will be so surprised each day at how your home will not be yelling at you that you don’t have time.

Those words “I don’t have time” are keeping you from even finding out what your purpose for living really is. You do have time!


Please send me a picture of your sheet of colored in paper. I can’t wait to see them. Be realistic. Send it to with COLORTIME in the subject line.

With school starting; you are going to be doing a lot of waiting in lines and after practice. Do you have an office in a bag to help you utilize those waiting moments to plan your menus, make your grocery list, write thank you notes, or send birthday cards.

Downsize your messy desk to an Office in a Bag!

Don’t procrastinate another day; get your calendar ordered!

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