September 24, 2003

I Can Do Anything for 15 Minutes... This philosophy and approach to life has helped me organize and balance my life (when I have the discipline to follow through). I owe this to the FLY Lady who taught met his approach in household management and other aspects of my life. My timer has become my best friend in many ways as it helps motivate and keep me on track even through the worst tasks and keep me limited in the things I love (like blogging and reading) that can steal my time.

Just a few minutes ago I was feeling very depressed about things here in the house, everything seemed a mess and I started to slip into feeling overwhelmed and that it was too big of a task to take on. The kids were fussy and I didn't know where to begin. I got the older two into their beds for naps and quiet time, put the baby in the sling, set my timer and headed into my kitchen (my least favorite to clean and the heart of our house). I committed to only working until the timer was done no matter how bad it looked. Well I finished cleaning it BEFORE the timer went off and had 6 minutes to work in my living room. I got the living room mostly picked up (atleast it has the appearance of cleanliness) and I feel so much better about the house, myself and life in general. Now I am taking 15 minutes to nurse the baby and have my computer time (I am almost always double tasking) and then I will put her back in the sling and spend 15 minutes tackling our clean laundry (I have 5 baskets to fold and put away) which of course will take more than 15 minutes but atleast I can make some progress. Hopefully everyone will be asleep then and I can take 15 minutes of quiet time for myself.

I just thought I would share this because I think it can apply to homeschooling families and is therefore appropriate on a homeschool blog. Often when we homeschool we allow other things to slip and can't figure out how to find balance. Well a timer and life in 15 minute increments can help. I even find that my children love the timer and will help more if I set it and challenge them to beat the timer. They also see a definite end which is much better to them than "we will clean the house now" which can sound like forever (and sometimes could take that long if it was pristine clean - which mine will never be) to a small child.

I have also found when the kids aren't in the mood to do school work than I can suggest we just do 15 minutes worth and that usually ends up getting them in the mood and we spend much more time than that. Anyway the 15 minute approach does wonders for motivating people in this house and you might be amazed at how much you can accomplish in just 15 minutes and how much time you really do spend on the computer. LOL. My homeschooling blog does take up some of my time but I think it is important for my kids and for our family and anyone else who may read it. Besides this post only took me 10 minutes to write and I had to be sitting down nursing anyway. Better head off now though.


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