Happy Halloween! Bottom line: I need to devise some tactics to get Flylady’s morning routine in keeping with my schedule.
Flylady’s Morning Routine (so far)
Let’s do a little time audit, shall we?
- 20 minutes to bathe and get dressed to shoes and to fix my hair and face.
- 0 minutes to look at sticky note.
- 1 minute to read a Flylady e-mail.
- 2 minutes to put out a Hot Spot
- 5 minutes to perform a Room Rescue
- 15 minutes to declutter
Well, this is about 45 minutes’ worth of activity. At least recognizing a negative self-narrative can be integrated with the rest.
Right now I typically wake up at a fuzzy 6:30 (sometimes as late as 7:00) to get my son to school. Including breakfast, this is a reasonable amount of time to do the Flylady stuff. The rub is that this morning time is the time of day when my son and I connect most deeply. I still have patience, he wakes up bubbly and conversational and full of jokes, and I think of it as a very important time to bond with him.
This morning, as I rushed to do the Flylady morning routine, I was hurried and stressed and so focused on Flylady that I kept snapping at my son. Not to mention that today is Halloween, and there was the added complication of putting on his Halloween costume. Which was adorable. He’s The Flash. I love it.
At one point my son asked me if I was mad at him and why I was running a race. Now that’s something that’ll stop you in your proverbial tracks to note that something has gone awry.
Also, I note that I have not gotten to the 15-minute declutter.
Devising a Strategy
Now, none of this seem insurmountable. It seems like I can do several pieces of the morning routine and stay connected with my son. For example, fixing my hair and face and getting dressed to shoes and showered and stuff – that’s not an issue. And looking at the sticky note, reading an e-mail, and making sure that the sink is still shining – no problem. Perhaps even putting out a Hot Spot.
But it seems to me like the Room Rescue and the Decluttering need to happen in a different window of time. Now, I get back from dropping off my son at 9:00, and then I have a daily appointment to Skype with an accountability buddy to write my novel, followed by a trip to the library to work on the blog and the other website I run.
The question is, when do I declutter and perform a room rescue?
Right now, the answer seems to be: during the half-hour window between 6:30, when I ostensibly wake up, and 7:00, when I wake up my son.
I mean, I try not to hit snooze anyway.
Or, I could try to get these things done in the few minutes I have between running home after the school drop-off and the time the 9:00 appointment starts.
Or I could do those things after the appointment ends and before I head to the library to work.
So, I suppose I could allow each of these strategies, attempt them in chronological order, with the second and third waiting in reserve as contingency plans.
That seems reasonable.
I’ll try that.
The part where I assess this for people with bipolar disorder
Here is today’s selfie to prove that I got dressed and put on makeup.
You see that fence? An angry, angry dog lurks beyond that fence. I call him my frenemy dog. This is a downgrade. I used to call him “Friend Dog.”
He is not exactly that. That growling, barking, roaring jerk of a cutie pants with the cute nose that sticks between the planks of the fence.
That fence is in terrible disrepair.
I have no objection to its appearance, but I fear the day the dog crawls out from between the boards and grabs my legs and bites me right in an artery and I bleed out on the way to my son’s elementary school.
If you’re guessing that I have anxiety in addition to bipolar disorder, you are correct.
Flylady and Anxiety
This is a mixed bag. It took some previous training in dealing with anxiety not to freak out when I realized I couldn’t complete all of the Flylady routine in one fell swoop before I took my son to school. I had to pause, assess, realize that the method I was performing at the moment wasn’t serving me, and decide to tweak it so it would.
Anxiety can easily override that kind of thinking, especially if you don’t have the toolkit or the medication to deal with it.
On the one hand, having performed the routine in advance make surprise interruptions less stressful. And knowing what to do, and when to do it, is helpful. But if you can’t do it perfectly, you may end up with numb lips and white noise in your mind, and a tendency to rush and snap and start to shake.
So it’s useful to approach Flylady with an embracing of imperfection and a creative bent and the willingness to change things up as necessary to suit your own life.
That is my Flylady caveat so far.
Flylady Seemed Manageable Until Today
Before that fifteen-minute declutter got thrown into the mix, doing the Flylady Routine was uniformly positive. It made me feel competent, organized, and in control.
Today I spiraled out of that.
There’s that old overwhelmed feeling, creeping on in on spiky, ouchie, stabby feet.
So here’s the part where I realize that I have two mental illnesses.
Fifteen minutes of decluttering may be too much for me.
Clearly, the best thing to do is to cut the difficulty way down. Decluttering is good. Being overwhelmed is not.
So I will amend this to a five-minute declutter.
Oh wow. That seems much more manageable.
Five minutes of decluttering a day will make a huge difference.
And, if I need to, I will cut it back further to two minutes of decluttering a day.
It is Important to Adapt Your Methods to Your Mental Illness
Thrashing around and feeling like a failure is not a good option. It’s better to note your points of difficulty and give yourself the scaffolding, support, and modifications you need to succeed at a given task.
Modifying the fifteen-minute declutter to a five or two-minute declutter is a great example.
A fifteen-minute declutter might work for neurotypical people. It doesn’t work for me.
Unless I’m hypomanic. But if I’m hypomanic, I need to turn my attention to dealing with that instead of focusing on decluttering.
*yet more sighing*.
So, I’ve Completed My Strategy Formation
I will rise at 6:30 to give myself time to do Flylady’s Morning Routine. If I don’t finish it before I drop my kid off at school, I will try to finish it between drop-off and my 9:00 appointment. If I don’t finish it then, I will finish it before I go to the library to work.
Well, I feel better.
Here’s Your Homework
Try a five-minute declutter today. How does it work for you? What results do you get? How does it feel? Comment below and share your experience with me. And if you enjoyed this post, please share it with a friend. Oh, and check out the Flylady Helper App.