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Thread: Setting a Decluttering Goal in Units of Time Using Flylady's Timer Method - July 2017

  1. #1
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    Setting a Decluttering Goal in Units of Time Using Flylady's Timer Method - July 2017

    Hi All,

    I'm a teacher who is on a reduced schedule for about two months mid-December through mid-February and mid-June through mid-July. I also have a REALLY cluttered home. In the past, I've had some success with setting myself a goal of doing a certain number of hours of decluttering during my periods of reduced work. I set one overall goal (last winter, it was 40 hours), then chip away at it in smaller increments of time. Some days I aim for an hour; others for four hours (with breaks!). I basically use flylady's timer method described here, but with longer periods of time than 15 minutes:

    http://www.flylady.net/d/getting-sta...ng-15-minutes/

    It's also helped me a lot to keep track of progress towards my goal here, so here I am setting a new one: to complete 40 hours of decluttering in my house and 20 hours in my office at school by Monday, August 28 when my regular work schedule resumes.

    I started today in my house. One hour completed!

  2. #2
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I was thinking about this topic earlier today--funny you started this thread. I have about 2-3 weeks of downtime between work projects. My son is going to visit us the weekend of the 15/16th, and he's bringing the girlfriend he's really serious about. This will be her first visit here.

    So I'm DETERMINED not to waste any time--I'm determined to catch up on all those household projects that have lain dormant. Decluttering the basement, re-painting the wood trim in the bedroom, fixing the pump in our backyard mini-pond, cleaning out kitchen cabinets. etc. I know that some people are "all in" people who will attack a task with a vengeance and will work all day on it, but I'm more of a "chip away" person who does better shifting gears periodically, but making small progress along the way.

    For work, I actually use a timer for tasks I hate--like report writing. It's an app on my phone, and I usually set it for 45 minutes and ignore email, compulsions to surf the web, etc. It really works. So it's got to also be a good way to push through household chores. Maybe I'll try tomorrow. I've designated tomorrow as my painting day.

    Congrats on your hour done!
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

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    thanks for bringing us back to this, ejchase! I think part of my problem is that I'm chipping away at too many things - the house (standard clutter, business inventory, paperwork), the barn (leftovers from 4-H projects, tractors and mowers that need work, piles of raccoon poop in the loft, piles of misc. construction materials), the yard (thickets of overgrown shrubs, flowerbeds that need weeded/mulched, trees to trim, a few dead ones to remove...) and the field is an overgrown mess, since the fences need mended we can't rent it out, and since the tractor is down, we can't run the bush-hog. It's overwhelming to think about! But needs must! We spent several hours on the yard/patio that isn't overgrown, that looks pretty good, and should be easier to keep up with. I have a hole on the dining room table, and the kitchen is in pretty good shape, so my 3 days off have actually felt productive! And I'm off tomorrow, too, so I'm hopeful! Catherine, I like the timer idea for work - wish I could do that! But if I ignore emails, people come calling, which is an even bigger time suck... so I have to at least see WHO is emailing. Have fun painting tomorrow!

  4. #4
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I'm in favor of tiny increments--it's the only way anything would get done. I have the attention span of a fruit fly and the work ethic of Maynard G Krebs. I force myself to do yard work for five minutes. I usually last longer than that, but not by much. (The front 40 is freshly weed-whacked.) I also set myself a daily minimum of tasks and vigorously pat myself on the back when I surpass it. At some point, I will have staff.

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    I am a weather wimp. If it is nice out I can lose track of time and spend hours doing yardwork, but if it's hot or cold or rainy I cower indoors, where I am not necessarily productive, though I do manage a minimum of 24 minutes a day of housework.

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    You all made me laugh and feel better...I make lists and lists, cross off as I accomplish something and believe me they are broken down into wee little bits...weed each flower bed separately, sometimes only half a bed. Cleaning is dust, mop, vacuum, wet mop and it takes a few days. Some days- low humidity and sunshine-I can do lots, others I stay inside and do little.

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    Good to hear others are chipping away at big projects too.

    Catherine, I, too use this method at work. Whenever there's something I've been procrastinating on or that I'm especially anxious about, I just say to myself, "I'll just work on it for one hour." And then I set a timer. It's amazing how knowing that I'm giving a finite amount of time to it gets me over the "hump" of facing it.

    Happy Fourth, Everyone!

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    I find that big chunks of time work better for me. I get a lot done and can really see the difference. That is reinforcing me to continue. I don't buy much stuff anymore. If you haven't read the M. Kondo book it really has a lot of good ideas. I did not adopt all of them. I am not a minimalist but have found that with less stuff to dust I can clean much faster too.

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    Teacher Terry, I understand what you're saying about big chunks of time /really seeing a change, and sometimes, if I have a day off, that works for me. Today, for example, DD and I spent three hours going through boxes. We put away several boxes worth, recycled and trashed the equivalent of two office-paper cartons and a large tub, have a small pile for GW, and two large tote bags of books to donate to the library. On weekday evenings, though, a box can be too daunting, but 15 minutes, that I can do. So it all depends. For me, as long as I'm chipping away however I can manage it, I feel less stressed and more hopeful.

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    About those small blocks of time - as another person who is used to a school schedule - sometimes if I set aside a specific time during my break for a specific type of task (like, normally I would have recess duty from 12:15-1:00, but since I am free of recess duty I will weed flowerbeds) I focus better.

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