I Don’t Want to Obsess

Dear FlyLady,

I am on day 21 of adding the beginner babysteps to my routine. So far I am really enjoying the process and am already seeing a difference in my home and also my mood. I worry that once I finish the 31 days that I will try to add in extra routines and extra things on my to do list that I really do not need to do.

Often I find myself obsessively looking for new 30 day plans to try and I add a ton of things to my to do list and then get overwhelmed that I cannot do it all. I like the routines that I developed with FlyLady and want to keep it simple and avoid going back to where I would add too much to my to do list where on the weekends when my friends or family would ask me to hang out I told them I couldn’t because I had too much too do! Any advice on how to keep it simple and avoid adding things to my to do list obsessively?

FlyBaby from Wisconsin

Dear FlyLady,

This is all about your perfectionism. I know this because I have done it to myself. We don’t have to do more when we just stay consistent with our simple routines. Recognizing that  you are obsessing is a great way to stop it before you go off the deep end! I am very proud of you!

I want to talk a little about our whole system. We have a tendency to want to see the big picture before we even start. Then when you don’t see you home getting clean in a day, you go against my recommendations and do too much and end up crashing and burning. I know you have tried several other systems.

Any system is only as good as the effort you put into it. Getting your home in order is not going to happen if you don’t get rid of your “all or nothing” attitude. I know that you have started out Gung Ho many times only to find yourself back in the bookstore or surfing the web for yet another  system or cleaning tip. We are not about cleaning tips or how to organize your clutter. We get you moving!

The truth is most systems will work, if you will do it and not allow yourself to become overwhelmed. Also I don’t want you to become confused by trying another system at the Same time as what we are teaching. You cannot follow two masters. I don’t care which system you use, just pick one and stick to it.  It is important to give your undivided attention to one system.  I want you to take babysteps.

As for needing to know every single detail and when to take your next babystep; this is not for me to decide. I want you to build strong  foundations of your simple morning and before bed routines and at the same time declutter 15 minutes a day. This is all I ask of you. As you grow, you will know when it is time to do a weekly home blessing hour, to develop your basis weekly plan or do a mission.

If I were to cram it down your throat and tell you by week three you should be doing this or that, then none of you would enjoy this process. I want you to take baby steps at your own pace.  Many of you need to crawl for a while before you are ready to even stand. I know this. I crawled for a very long time.

It took me nine months to develop my full-blown routines. If you can accomplish this in less time with solid foundations, then my hat is off to you. But I will never put pressure on someone to adapt to my timetable!

It is the perfectionist in you that wants us to give you the “exact” steps to take.  There are some things that you are going to have to adapt for yourself.  Be kind to you and don’t put yet another guilt trip on yourself for not doing this fast enough or complain that we don’t give you enough details.  This is all very simple. You have crashed and burned the old way many times. Don’t fall back into this CHAOTIC trap. BabySteps will get you there just as fast.

Your home did not get dirty in a day and it is not going to be cleaned overnight, no matter how badly you want it.

I want you to FLY!


P.S. If you need someone to guide you though our system; check out FlyLady Premium. My nephew, Alex has built a team of experienced FlyLadies  who can help you not pile on.

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