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Flylady’s commandments from Forward Moving Mommy

Flylady’s 11 Commandments from Fordward Moving Mommy

Nikki just shared this colourful Flylady Commandments graphic on the Flylady Facebook page, and the designer, Fordward Moving Mommy, popped up in the thread. It’s a fantastic summary of the somewhat sprawling Flylady system.

I shared this graphic in a blog post ago, but I had  accidentally credited to a blog that had reposted it.  I’m updating here to credit Holly properly and also mention that she has a free printable version available.


Mmm, frog

Eat that frog

I’m kind of fond of frogs. My maiden name was a little bit froggish (well it had a “croak” in it!) and I used to love the Mercer Mayer books about that mischievous wee froggy and his shenanigans with his boy.

Anyway, there is a lot of advice shared about eating frogs in the productivity-sphere of the internet. It all comes back to a quote from Mark Twain, who said:

“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”

A hundred-something years later, Bryan Tracey wrote a book called “Eat that frog” which says you should identify the most difficult (strangely crunchy, raw and wriggling) task on your to-do list and do it first thing in the morning instead of having it wreck your day by twitching around the place while you studiously

When I started writing this I realised it fits in exactly with the post I wrote about getting cracking with your suckiest tasks in 15 minute chunks – only with the added exhortation to do them first thing in the morning. Then you can settle down to browse tumblr other productive uses of your time with an easy conscience.

As usual with Sensible Productivity Advice, other sensible people have written excellent articles about it, so here we go:

Extra for Experts:

Rock that timer – 15 minutes of sucky tasks

I wrote yesterday about rocking your timer, but this morning I read Steady Mom’s post about Suffering for 15 minutes and it was groundbreaking to me.

A lot of advice seems to assume that once you decide to set your timer to do something that you’re going to spring up full of vigor and wipe the small-boy-pee from your toilet floor while singing Happy Happy Joy Joy and doing a vigorous, improvised toilet-cleaning boogie.

But Gretchen Rubin (of The Happiness Project) was honest enough to say that sometimes if you’re dreading a task you just have to bite the bullet and suffer to get ‘er done.

As Gretchen said in the comments of her post:

Somehow telling myself I was going to “suffer” helped put me in the right
frame of mind. It never ended up being as unpleasant as I expected.

What are you dreading working on? I’m inspired by her video talking about digital photos – it’s the time of year that I realise I haven’t edited last years photos, let alone this years.  I guess that will be my 15 minutes tonight!

Rock that timer: Using your timer to get started and keep going

Take five minutes. Just five. Set a timer. If you’re on the couch or in bed, look to see the closest surface to you. It’s probably the coffee table or your nightstand. For those five minutes, just focus on that one surface. Clear it off, throw stuff away, maybe even dust it. So when your five minutes is done and you’re back in bed, you have one clear surface to look at. You have an accomplishment to focus on. You did something. You don’t have to do everything. – Unf*** Your Habitat: The Depression/Messy House Cycle

Setting a timer to get started is a very motivating way to work.  If the world is falling down around you (or feels like it) and you have what seems like three week’s worth of work to do in one afternoon, it can seem much easier to just hide in a comfy chair or the safe place inside the computer.  That’s how it is to me anyway.  Or sometimes you just honestly can’t be bothered.

Either way, try setting a timer for a small chunk of time, and promising yourself to concentrate on one area or one task for that amount of time.  Merlin Mann calls this “Running a dash

You might choose 2 minutes, or 5 minutes, or 11, or 15.

Once you get started (the laptop is put away, you’re on your feet, you’re doing things) it’s easier to keep going, just until the timer goes off. Then you can stop, and you’re ahead of where you were.

If you have a series of tasks to do, once you’re on a roll, you might want to alternate timed “working” blocks with timed “relaxing” blocks. You can do this anyway you like, of course.

Pick a time that feels good to you and suits the time you have available. Work for that time. Stop for a cup of tea when the timer goes off. It’s as easy (and as difficult) as that.

Some Useful Links (Men’s Edition)

Jesper asked us a question yesterday on the HomeRoutines facebook page.

Why are all the articles linked to in pink, and with “romantic” typefonts, and the most frequently used word on this page “mom”? Can’t guys be home cleaning/organizing freaks as well? 🙂

Oh, how it pains me to be asked that, because I purposely didn’t make the app itself all pink and flowery because, seriously, everybody needs to do dishes and laundry. It’s not just for the ladies (even if the “likers” on the HomeRoutines page are 96.2% female as of today)  But there does seem to be a preponderance of “Mommy Bloggers” talking on the subject of the domestic arts and their own personal struggles with maintaining some sense of order and dignity in their household.

However, there are some male voices on the subject, so here are some writers that don’t have the words “Mom” “Lady” or “Housewife” in their blog names.

Kurt Vonnegut’s housework contract with his pregnant wife, January 26, 1947

I, Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., that is, do hereby swear that I will be faithful to the commitments hereunder listed:

I. With the agreement that my wife will not nag, heckle, or otherwise disturb me on the subject, I promise to scrub the bathroom and kitchen floors once a week, on a day and hour of my own choosing.

Furthermore, while I am undertaking these tasks I will refrain from indulging in such remarks as “Shit,” “Goddamn sonofabitch,” and similar vulgarities, as such language is nerve-wracking to have around the house when nothing more drastic is taking place than the facing of Necessity.

Leo Babauta, The Habit of Starting at Zen Habits

The biggest reason people fail at creating and sticking to new habits is that they don’t keep doing it.

That seems obvious: if you don’t keep doing a habit, it won’t really become a habit. So what’s the solution to this obvious problem? Find a way to keep doing it.

When you look at it this way, the key to forming a habit is not how much you do of the habit each day (exercise for 30 minutes, write 1,000 words, etc.), but whether you do it at all. So the key is just getting started.

Let me emphasize that: the key to forming a habit is starting each day.

Zen Habits is one of my favourite websites. You might also like to read his older articles:

Plus, pretty much his entire archive.

UnFilth Your Habitat

UnFYH is great. (The site doesn’t use the word “filth” by the way, rather another word beginning with F. It’s just their euphemism to allow their app to be in the app store) It is a categorically non pink, romatic, mom-ish blog, but it does happen to have a female author. Nevertheless, anybody, bloke or otherwise, who gets cringy at too many shabby chic, distressed-chalkboard, homemade muffins, kale chips and vintage apron posts when they just want to work out how to even start to clean their [filthy] bedroom – Unfilth Your Habitat is a great place. With copious swearing. And celebratory animated gifs. On Tumblr.  The community built around it on Tumblr is inspirational as well, with lots of tagged pictures and posts with befores and afters.

OK, now I have a problem

I thought I remembered two other guys.  One of them turned out to be just a screen name (he called himself “Hearth Master” on a bulletin board, and I thought that was pretty sweet) and the other was a guy who I swear wrote about keeping his house clean and referred to “Crap avoidance strategies” for avoiding the creation of piles of mess, but I can’t find him on the internet and the keywords I remember are a little problematic.

(I remembered: it was at a site called “Dad is In The House” and he talked about “Doom Avoidance”

There will be plenty of time for wax-resist and lace dyed eggs when you are done staring down doom.  It doesn’t matter if you can make a pretty egg if you toddlers’ poo balls are still ground into the carpet–stay strong and keep focused, with laser-like precision. Take care of your dirty secrets, and then worry about Martha and the lifestyle gurus. I’m all over making cool and useful and even pretty things. But you must avoid doom first!

– it’s not online any more but it’s in the magical internet archive.


Who else is good and not too pink-rickrack/vintage-apron/feather-duster? I will update the post 🙂

Find your Most Important Tasks. Do them.

I don’t know about you, but I usually have about a million things that I feel like I should be doing.  The end result is often… not actually doing them. - The moment when you realize how many things you have to do and decide to take a nap.

I try and keep the regular, recurring tasks under control by corralling them into routines and zone tasks, but there are always one-off jobs and projects to keep under control.

You can follow all sorts of powerful techniques to identify what to do next; what is urgent vs what is important, and what is urgent AND important, and so on. But there is only so much list-writing and task-juggling you can do before it turns into just another form of procrastination.

How about this:

  1. Choose your three Most Important Tasks tasks to do today.
  2. Write them in your to do list.
  3. Try and do those three.

Even if you get just one of them done, you’ll be further ahead than if you didn’t do any of those extra jobs.   I managed to get all my Most Important Tasks done today.  (Showing off!)

My Most Important Tasks  for today:

1) Take the girls to buy new shoes, because Belle’s sneakers AND her boots had fallen to bits and having her walk into school like a bare-footed waif child isn’t a great look in the middle of winter.

2)Update my order for the  fruit and vege box to be delivered tomorrow to have veges and fruit because we managed to eat most of our veges this week.

3)Follow up the cheque that I thought was to pay the fees for Brownies, but it turns out was something to do with the renovations.  Whoops. Pay the outstanding fees for Brownies.

Bug fix for iPad version 2.0.4

An update for the iPad version of HomeRoutines was released to the store yesterday, fixing a crashing bug. Unfortunately, we managed to introduce a new bug while fixing the old one.

Due to this bug, if you open HomeRoutines for iPad in portrait orientation, the Home button won’t be visible.  Fortunately, if you rotate your iPad to landscape, the Home button will reappear, and will stay there after you rotate back to portrait.

We have also submitted an urgent update  to Apple to fix this, and it should be available within a couple of days.