Admire What You Have Done

Dear FlyLady,

I wanted to share a little about how flying has made a difference in my life, and I especially wanted to encourage this FlyBaby who wrote about the difficulty in keeping up with her house as a musician. I can relate! I work as a professional pianist and piano teacher, plus my husband is an opera singer.

Our lives are never the same week to week, and it’s difficult to keep track of everything that’s going on. I grew up with a DM who was born organized, cleaned house every Monday, and kept up with other things through the week in an effortless manner. I tried having 1 day to clean house, and it just wasn’t working! Since I found your website, I’ve been able to keep up with more, but also to have a calmer attitude as I face a life with unusual scheduling.

Since it’s just DH and me, I don’t do daily swish’n’swipes or laundry – we don’t make enough of a mess for that to be necessary. Instead, I do 1 task each day of the week.

Monday: business e-mails, bookkeeping, check calendar for larger weekly commitments. Do I need to be practicing something for a performance? Do any of my students owe me money?

Tuesday: clean out the refrigerator (Wednesday the trash gets picked up),
and clean bathrooms

Wednesday: sweep the floors, mop if needed.

Thursday: start laundry (sheets, blanket the cats sleep on)

Friday: finish the laundry (usually 2-3 loads, and this is a day that I try to keep free of students)

Saturday: finish any ironing I’ve been procrastinating

Sunday: off

Usually I just take advantage of the time that I’m at home. Since each day of each week is different for me, and different from week-to-week, I work at my house whenever I’m home. Each hour that I’m at home goes something like this:

15 minutes of time for me! (taken first in case I get absorbed in a task. Spend this however I want)
15 minutes on the chore of the day
15 minutes on something that needs to be done (practicing?)
15 minutes picking up the house and putting things away.

I rotate through this list of tasks until I get back to the top. If I finish the chore of the day, I do a room rescue instead. I devote time to picking up because I tend to just dump stuff as soon as I get in the door. I’ve learned that I always need to start in the same room, and it will eventually stay pretty picked up. Someday I will catch up to the rest of my house. In the meantime, I’ve been able to keep up with my house, despite some times this spring that I had a full load of students, shows to perform in 3 nights a week, and company coming over the weekend with a performance the day that they left. It was a little bit crazy, and I was really tired, but we all made it!

I don’t stress about shining my sink every day, but when I’m in the kitchen, I work on it. It has helped for me to wash dishes while I’m waiting for things – waiting for tea to steep, or the microwave to beep. Plus, at the end of each meal I try to wash all of my dishes, plus a few of whatever’s sitting around in the kitchen. I also told DH that I was trying to keep on top of the dishes, and he has been helping when he’s between gigs. It’s so wonderful when I notice that he did something!

Most of all I want to thank FlyLady for teaching me a secret that I think my mom knew all along – it is important at the end of a task to admire what you have done. Looking at a clean sink/bathroom/living room and loving how it looks is so motivating! It makes me excited to keep up with it, and helps me to focus on housework as a joy in bringing order, rather than work that must be suffered through.

Thank you for helping me to find calm in my life and be able to focus on the things I really want to do.

All the best,
FlyBaby S

FlyLady here: Yes, I do want you to admire what you have done. Focus on what you have accomplished. 

You can BabyStep your way to bringing order to your home and life.

Your calendar, timer, and Control Journal are tools to help you.

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