Saturday, 20 November 2010


Had a busy week, got up earlier every day which did help at work but I often found myself actually managing to complete a morning routine when I'd usually miss something (laundry etc). Getting to work earlier meant I was less stressed (and less stressed driving in!). I didn't gain anything in the evenings because of how much work I had (some evenings I was working until 10pm) and the BBR needs some work. I'd like to add getting laundry ready for the morning into the evening.

Violin wise, I did do some practice at the weekend, which is better than none. I need to step it up now as I have been asked to play in a school assembly.

Feeling very tired this morning, but that is probably because of a new dose of medication. I will keep trying to get myself into a better place. It does help!

Saturday, 13 November 2010

twist and shout

Today I spent a lot of time on flylady chat. I think that this is a good thing as I get motivated. Today it was definitely useful. I was introduced to a game called "twist and shout" you write a numbered list of 5 things (one of which is a pamper mission) and someone calls a number. you then do the thing associated with that number. it takes 10 mins then you rest for 5. I certainly felt like I was getting a lot done. I used my violin practice as a pamper mission and really enjoyed it.

I had issues today when the car wouldn't start and my dad had to come and help. That upset my plans. So I am going to have to do some work tomorrow, as I lost a couple of hours. :( so much for work-life balance.

I wrote down everything I ate today and made healthy(er) choices. Just need to keep it up!

I definitely feel more relaxed, and like looking around me and being pleased with what I see. In the couple of hours I played the game I certainly made a dent. Need to keep this up! Thanks for the encouragement, here's to continually making life more peaceful! :)

Friday, 12 November 2010

wish list

I've just got back from an appointment with the nurse, and was thinking I need to re-evaluate a few things. I was going to write them on a piece of paper, but then thought "why not blog it?".

Although Flylady is going really well (there's work to be done, but I'm reasonably happy with where I am) there are other areas of my life that really need attention, and probably some flylady principals.

The appointment with my nurse was about my weight, now I know that most women are obsessed with weight, but I am not in a good place. I need to lose weight. full. stop. I want to lose weight. full. stop. I don't want to change my eating habits. Oh dear. I've promised the nurse that over the next two weeks I will do a food diary. somehow I need to force myself to do it!

so that is change number 1, there are some other things that I would like to do too...

2. violin practice.... I have lessons but haven't practiced for a year!!! Oh boy, can't believe it's been that long. I need to fit that into my schedule!!

3. a work-life balance! I tend to work a base-line of 50 hours a week, often more. The work has to be done. so sometimes I work weekends too. Not nice. I am wondering what simple changes I can put into place in order for this to get better. I'm thinking that if I could get up slightly earlier and get out slightly earlier (say 30mins) then that would be 30 mins less needed in the evening. Now going back to flylady I wonder if there is any of a BBR that I'm not doing that would help get out earlier? Maybe I'll try getting up 15 mins earlier and see what happens. There are other things that if I can do at work might help, like thinking about things further ahead. In fact some flylady type routines would be useful for work. Not sure how to start though.

4. Do my physio exercises. I have real issues with my health. I have one leg shorter than the other, and the sprained ankle has caused a lot problems. Having intensive physio which will help, but only if I actually do the exercises. I need to try and fit them into my day (and remember which is often a problem!)

Okay those are 4 goals to be getting on with, which I am going to try and do. Any ideas, help, encouragement greatly received.

Saturday, 9 October 2010

How flylady has changed me

It's been a while once again since I updated this, part of that is not having ideas, or time! It's been going through my head lately that I should document on here how flylady has changed me, as really that's where the anti-procrastination idea came about.

Last week I worked a 70 hour week. Normally I work between 50 and 60 hours, so 70 was a bit of a shock. I was away one night too as part of that. Before Flylady when I was working 50 hours I would spend most of Saturday cleaning and I still didn't have a clean house. I would use holidays (I'm a teacher -yes teachers don't finish at 3pm!) to get the house clean and then in term-time it would deteriorate. I always liked people to think that I was a domestic goddess so would only invite them in during the holidays!

I've been following Flylady for quite a few years and over time things have become more even, I keep on top of things much better and have realised that some things don't take very long, especially if done regularly. During my 70 hour week things didn't fall apart. Yes, the laundry didn't always get done, and the basket was overflowing by the end of the week but it hasn't taken me very much to get back on track. I've just gone back to the normal stuff and I'm beginning to catch up. We were even able to have people to stay at the end of the week! Now that's progress even if it's not perfection :)

Thursday, 16 September 2010

3 minutes

I've been laid up for a few days with a painful sprained ankle. The medical advice was to rest and elevate it for 3 days and then slowly begin to do stuff. Today is my first day of doing stuff. Now, I hate being ill off work (but when you can't walk...), particularly because as a teacher I feel responsible for education! So, when the doctors said a week off work I cried inside. But then I listened when I was told that it could take 8 weeks to heal properly and if I don't take a week off I could make it worse.
I've been feeling frustrated by the state of the house as I haven't been able to do anything, but this morning thought... why not just 3 minutes? So I've done little rescues in 3 minute chunks and rested as needed. After that I wondered about baking, remembering Diane's post last week. I thought that I might try shortbread, as that is easy and I had the ingredients.

So I set the timer for 3 minutes
and started measuring out the ingredients. Shortbread is easy as you do a 3:2:1 ratio of flour, butter, sugar (I got this the wrong way round when I first measure but fixed it by doubling the amount of butter and flour!)

That was about the first three minutes. I had a break and then carried on. You have to beat the butter until it is soft.

Then you add the sugar. It was at this point that I realised I'd got butter and sugar the wrong way around! I quickly measured out some more butter and flour, softened the butter and carried on! You stir the sugar in and you get a creamy paste. After this you sieve the flour in and stir and knead. In the middle of this another 3 minutes was up, so I rested and went back to it!

once you get it to the right consistency flatten it into a baking container, I scored mine (not so neat!) into fingers and sprinkled some more sugar on the top. Then it goes in the oven at gas mark 3 for 40 minutes.

Take it out of the oven once it is golden and leave it to rest for a couple of minutes, then turn it out onto a cooling rack.

Leave to cool and perfect with a cup of lady grey tea.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Anti-procrastination week

Flylady has declared this week Anti-procrastination week, so I figured, as that is the point of the blog I should make sure I write in it! (I know it is no excuse but I have tried to update it on my phone, but it lost the update when I published it :( )

One of the things I want to look at is why we procrastinate. Flylady says that we procrastinate because of our perfectionism. If we can't do it right we don't do it at all. To some extent she is right, and I definitely used to put things off for that reason (for example when I procrastinated cleaning the bathroom), but I do feel that I understand that reason now and so there must be other reasons for my procrastination. For example, I put things off because I get sucked in to the computer, I think that I have a habit of just looking at nothing! I find it very hard to pull away from the computer.

I recently read some notes by Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church about why we procrastinate. He listed 5 reasons:

1. Indecision. He says that "Indecision causes you to postpone buying a car, choosing a college, getting married, buying new clothes, changing a job."

2. Perfectionism agreeing with Flylady

3. Fear. We're frightened of booking an appointment for the dentist, so we put it off.

4. Anger. Rick Warren says that: Procrastination is a way to get back at people we don't like. We delay. Kids are great at procrastination. You ask them to clean up their room. They do it but they take so long doing it. One of the reasons may be that they're resisting your control. Procrastination is passive resistance. I don't want to do it because I don't like you telling me to do what I have to do. Anger causes us to put things off.

5. Laziness. We do things if they are easy, but if they are hard we put them off.

I guess that we could add being sidetracked to that list. I don't know whether I would class the time I spend at my computer as laziness or sidetrackedness!

Have a great Anti-procrastination day, during Anti-procrastination week tomorrow! I'm looking forward to that!

Sunday, 1 August 2010

What has flylady done to me?

Today I have felt very tired due to a late night that included beer and wine! However, I am ending the day having felt like I have relaxed and not done much. BUT my kitchen is tidy, my sink is shiny, My laundry is done (including turning around the bedding for the spare bed -it is all made up ready for next week's guests!), my bathroom is clean, the house is good and I have done a little bit of decluttering. How on earth have I managed to do all this and sit out and enjoy my garden?! I even went to the DIY centre with my husband to get some bits for the garden which he has now fitted. But I feel like I have had a relaxing day. I feel very confused!

Tomorrow I have to get some school work done. I know that this is the point that the old me would procrastinate, so somehow I have to not do so and just get on with it. So I am telling you now that I need to do it, in the hope that the accountability that this blog holds me to will mean that I will continue to change my ways!!

Saturday, 31 July 2010

momentum building...

My in-laws have come to stay and it wasn't stressful!!! The bathroom was already clean (I don't feel like I've cleaned it for weeks, swish and swipe makes such a difference!), the spare room was ready (although I spent 10 minutes just making it better!), I did a weekly home blessing so the place sparkled and I felt like I had time so went out for coffee with a friend! Wow! What a difference. I don't think that I ever thought that I would achieve this.

Today the four of us spent the day working on the garden. Since we moved in we haven't done much so it had become an overgrown mess. We stripped back some of the beds, saving the few plants that I love. The men then did two trips to the tip (once we'd filled our wheelie bin!) and my M-I-L and I went to the garden centre to buy some herbs and some lavender. We also put down some slate for pots to go on. It looks so much better and I now feel that I might have the confidence to go and do 15 minutes regularly to keep it looking good and to start work on the areas that we haven't done. I need to add it to my routines.

We finished about 4pm and I then had a bath and got ready an hour early for our meal out to celebrate my husband's birthday. So now I am ready to go but can relax and not rush. That is a culture change for me! It feels so much better. I am usually the sort of person to think "I'll just do this, then that" then I end up being rushed and late!

Also my study is slowly taking shape. We had some furniture arrive for the lounge, so I was able to move some books down, giving me a bit more space. I also put a few reading books in the spare room, freeing up more space. As ever there is still a lot to do but if I can't spend a lot of time in here I just walk in and deal with one item. I have also started dealing with some clutter in the kitchen. These are all things that were in drawers in the last house, but we don't have the space here and are just piled up. A lot of really is junk and not needed.

To finish, my M-I-L gave me a tea towel yesterday with the following quote:

"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful" William Morris

Thursday, 29 July 2010

getting started!

The week has been going well. The house is mostly tidy and it's staying clean. The most difficult part was starting decluttering my study. It felt really overwhelming and I didn't know where to start. After putting it off and doing lots of cleaning elsewhere in the house I eventually did 5 minutes. I just picked up a few things that could be binned. The following day I did a few things more and I am now able to see a bit of a difference. There is still a lot to do but it is beginning to feel like it might happen. Somehow though I need to get a lot out as the room is much smaller than in the previous house and I want it to be a much tidier room.

Just doing a little bit at a time is a change of culture for me. I am the sort of person who would declutter all day and be exhausted. So I am finding it difficult but it is nicer than being exhausted and still not finishing it. I just hope that I will get there soon!

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Monday, 26 July 2010

having fun!

I really enjoyed pottering on saturday morning. I managed to get a few rooms looking better. I then went out to help set up at church for the holiday club.

Sunday wasn't a great day. my husband had a migraine. but I did what I needed to and relaxed.

This week I have a routine set up to get things done and also have fun. Each morning I am going to set up the sound system for the holiday club. I am then coming home to do home blessings (housework for those for not familiar with flylady) before going back to put it away. This should leave me with the afternoons to do what I like. Yesterday I got lots done in the morning and then in shopping for my husband's birthday presents (which he loved -i went to his favourite deli and wine merchants to get nice things). This afternoon I have a friend who I haven't seen for a year coming round for coffee. She only lives a 10 minute walk away. I feel bad that we haven't caught up!

Today I am sat enjoying my clean lounge and will work on my study later. It does feel nice having things tidy and clean around me. And by getting things done it feels good and leaves me time to have fun!

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Saturday, 24 July 2010


this is the first blog post I have written on my phone so please excuse any mistakes!
I am sat curled up with the cat, enjoying the first saturday of the holidays. unfortunately this is the first weekend in ages where I can not work and my husband has had to go in to work. :|
Yesterday I went into work for some training, which was useful and then I spent a couple of hours tidying up my classroom. I have found it overwhelming but I took one corner and just worked there. I was pleased with the result, although there is still a lot to do.
Today my plan is not to do too much but I do want to do normal routines and maybe some gardening and my weekly home blessing. I haven't listened for ages to flylady's radio show so I think I need to get the wireless headphones out! I am really looking forward to a day of pottering! Happy saturday!

edit: I just remembered some other things that I was pleased that I managed yesterday. For a couple of weeks I have been meaning to fill the car up with petrol on Fridays. Yesterday was the first time that I remembered and did it! It felt odd filling it up when it wasn't empty! I also cleaned out my purse/handbag. It really needed it. I don't usually manage these tasks, and I am determined that I will get into the habits on Fridays!

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Thursday, 22 July 2010

So school has finished for the summer holidays. Unfortunately that doesn't mean that my work is done. At work my classroom and office are in a mess. I have lots of paperwork that need doing, and there is filing to be done. On top of that I have lots of aspirations for the holidays at home.

You see I am in the habit of saying to myself "I'll do that when I'm on school holidays". Both at work and home, and then when I get to the holidays I know that I am a bad manager of my time. Plus I need to relax (this year more than most!).So I'm hoping that by sharing it with you I will get a handle on it!

At home I am hoping to really keep up with the flylady routines, including working through the zones as they come up. I'm hoping that by doing that I will start the new term with a clean house. I am also planning to get all of that done in the mornings, leaving my afternoons to having coffee with friends etc. I know that there will be some days where I will have plans for the whole day, but that won't be everyday.
I also have two projects that I want to complete. The first is a tidy-up and declutter of my study. Since we moved in I have had too much stuff in it, and there are mounds of paperwork which need sorting. It is really bugging me, so I want to make it nice. Here are some before pictures, so that you will see the difference:

The other project is that I want to finish sanding down our staircase. I started before we moved in, but it was so hard work that I didn't finish it. It is a nice open tread wooden staircase, but I want to sand it down and treat it.
I know that it is babysteps that will help me get there. I don't want to burn out anymore than I am already. But I do need want to feel that I have accomplished something over the time off.

We are not having a holiday this year, but DH is taking a week off so that we can do things together. I don't want that to become doing things around the house! So I want to complete all this in the other weeks (including all the school work!). I am hoping to keep my blog updated so that both you and I can see the progress!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010


Hmmm..... It has been a month since I last updated this. Big apologies, I have many excuses, but I won't bore you with them.

I will however, tell you about some of the wonderful things that have happened in that time, including me dealing with some of my perfectionist tendencies.

I didn't think that I was a perfectionist, but when I came to the end of the flylady 31 days babysteps, I decided to look back at what I hadn't managed to do, and think about why. That way I could build on the good habits I've formed from babysteps and continue to improve. The big things that I don't do are:

5 min room rescue
2 min hotspot clearup (although I am much more aware of my hotspots now!)
Kelly's mission (or any zone work -often I don't know which zone we are in!)
swish and swipe

Most of these things are just a case of getting the other routines in place so that I end up with the time to add a room rescue etc. But one really bugged me, because a year ago I really tried to get it, and just haven't managed to get it. That was swish and swipe.

For those not familiar with Flylady, the swish and swipe is a quick wipe down of the bathroom everyday so that you don't have to do big cleans, and it is always company ready. I used to keep a cloth in the bathroom, wipe it down everyday -but because I wiped the toilet seat I would want to take the cloth down to the laundry and get another, but I would often forget to bring another cloth up. I also found it difficult to do it everyday. I couldn't see any dirt, so what is the point? I'd tried to master swish and swipe a few times, but ended up always giving up. It is such a fab idea, but I couldn't do it.

Anyway, after my month of babysteps I started to think about what is holding me back. The lightbulb came on, it was the cloths! In my ideal world I do all my cleaning with these cloths and wash them. It works for most things. I don't like the idea of wipes because of landfill. BUT I decided that if I am going to make this a habit wipes would be the best idea. I bought some anti-bacterial wipes, I have been using them now for 2 weeks and I have had a clean bathroom for 2 weeks. It really makes me smile everyday to see it shining, and when I had someone to stay I didn't have to clean the bathroom first.

Maybe, once this is a real habit I will be able to switch to cloths, but I'm not going to get hung up on it. I'm saving water, by not having to use it to clean, and wash the cloths. I'm just going to concentrate on establishing the habit.

What is your perfection holding you back from? My next aim is to get hotspot clearing a real habit.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Anti-Procrastination day -update the blog!

It's Wednesday -hence anti-procrastination day. As I have been meaning to update my blog, I have made it an anti-procrastination task!

The whole purpose of this blog was to get me doing things that I put off. That has certainly become a reality. I am definitely doing more things straight away. There is room for improvement, but I have noticed with some things that I actually begin to dislike the feeling of procrastinating!!!

I have also been documenting my journey of restarting flylady's babsteps. There have been some interesting ones in the last week. Probably the most difficult one was deleting flylady's e-mails (I had about 500 unread!). I did it! And now I feel I could do it again, it was liberating!

I also put an inspirational quotes page in my control journal. I did feel like putting it off, as it didn't seem important. But I did it. I thought I would share my quotes with you:

No-one can make you feel inferior -you have to accept it

Success is the failure to admit defeat

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me

Do one thing everyday that scares you

One babystep at a time, peace is mine!

Please share your favourite quotes in in the comments for this post. I love hearing new ones

I have to say that I have stagnated with the babysteps. I am finding adding new things hard. I haven't started doing Kelly's missions because I am trying to get into a routine of hotspot clearing and room rescues/decluttering. Those habits are hard to fit in. So what I have decided is to stop moving on, until I have conquered where I have got to and they are habits. Then I can move on a bit. I could make excuses about the hours that I work, etc. But I want to conquer them in the end so making excuses is not helpful. Having seen that when things become automatic it is easier, I will just try to get them to be automatic!

Thank you for following me on this journey, I hope that by sharing my thoughts and experiences it will help others with flylady.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

15 minutes at a time... or is that 13 minutes

Today is day 10 of restarting flylady. Her beginner babysteps say that today is about learning that you can do anything for 15 minutes. Now although I do use a timer and set it for 15 minutes, and I am amazed at what can be done (see Dr. Kim's blog for what amazing things can be done!) I have another tactic. My favourite radio soap the Archers is 13 minutes long. I love just pottering during the Archers. Today I sorted some laundry, put some more on, emptied the dishwasher, did some washing up and tidied up a bit.

I am pleased with how the babysteps are going. My 5 minute room rescue this morning involved starting on my desk. Although I haven't finished it, it did make me smile when I walked back in. I think I am learning that by slowly chipping away I will get things sorted, and it will be in smaller chunks than I realised.

tomorrow's babystep is to add an inspirational page to my control journal. I am looking forward to that, as I have never done it before.

Thank you for following me along on this journey, I am finding it really inspiring seeing other people go through it too.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Anti procrastination day

Another anti-procrastination day. Last night I started writing a list of anti-procrastination tasks (things I keep putting off) so that I have a goal for getting things done. I wrote it in my newly formed control journal. My control journal is a small hardback notebook which came free with a magazine. It is pretty, although has the name of the magazine on it. I have written in it my routines as they are forming. I have more notebooks like that, and I like the fact that it is small. I can also rip it out and start again as habits change.

Anyway, I decided that today's AP task would be to order some furniture that I have been meaning to order for weeks, but keep forgetting. I had a discount that would run out soon. So that is now done :) There are more AP tasks and I think that I will try and do one at least every couple of days.

As to the babysteps, I am trying to keep doing them. Some days are better than others. I wear shoes more often in the house, I have set up a control journal, I do 2 mins hotspots (different hotspots each day), now I need to do a 5 min room rescue as part of my morning routine. I think that I am going to start using a timer, otherwise I will do less than 5 mins and think, "oh well that will do" or "I don't have time". I do find it difficult that I work, but I think that I need to make time!

Now I am off to do my before bed routine (need to lay those clothes out!) and get to bed as I am tired!

Sunday, 6 June 2010


Today's babystep was to spend two minutes cleaning up a hotspot. Unlike Dr Kim I didn't take photos. I picked our kitchen table, which we don't use as a table, it is a dumping ground. I spent 2 minutes, and although not clear now, we found the unopened post, and looks better. I am going to concentrate on that and the dining room table, as my hotspots this week. 2 mins a day to keep tidy.

We all have areas like this around the house, and it doesn't take long, but as Dr Kim commented on her blog, even though we know it doesn't take us long, we put it off. Why we do this baffles me?

Thank you for following me on this journey. tomorrow's babystep is to lay clothes out (and do everything that I have already been doing!!).

Saturday, 5 June 2010

So, I am heading towards 4 weeks of anti-procrastination and so I am switching focus slightly onto following flylady's babysteps. I am on day 5 which means writing down the negative voices that I hear and switching them to positive things. So what better place to write them down but here, for the whole world to see!
I have been composing this throughout the day and writing them down as I think of them. If anyone would like to add anything positive please feel free to write comments:

  • Why do you always put off doing your schoolwork? Well done for getting your work done on Saturday, knowing that you won't have time on Sunday. But you haven't done it all. Well done for doing what is needed. Life is not all about work.
  • Tut, tut, you haven't got the WHB done and you won't have time on Sunday. Well done for keeping your sink shiny, being dressed to shoes and following the babysteps. It is progress not perfection.
  • You don't deserve a nice house, you can't keep it tidy. Look at the mess on your desk. Your office will never look nice. Remember how messy and unclean your house used to be? You have come so far. Enjoy the areas that are clean and tidy and you will make progress

Wow, actually writing them down does make a difference. I am beginning to realise that when I first started flylady I didn't go through the babysteps properly. So, now that I am in the place, with motivation and support, to do this this could be a big changing point!

At the end of each day I look at tomorrow's babystep, which will be clearing a hotspot. I'm excited about that, as I know I can do it. I already have all my bills in one place, but I will pick to tidy-up the table in the kitchen.

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Shoes, shoes, shoes

What a day, I got dressed as soon as I could in the morning (I'm afraid I did go to the computer first) but didn't put any shoes on (more about that later). I got on with various things (washing, ironing etc) and then decided that the cat needed to go to the vet. At least I was dressed and able to take him. It was quite an emotional time at the vets (I am very soppy and he hates the vets, I hate doing that to him) and I did end up crying a bit. I felt a bit silly, but sometimes those tears flow (I am also not sleeping that well at the moment so am tired) and there is nothing that I can do to stop it. It upsets me that he has now gone into hiding and is not a happy cat, I know he'll recover but I want him back to normal now!

I also had a massage booked at a physiotherapy clinic, I thought about canceling it, but then thought that it would be better to go. It was really helpful and as I lay there I realised that one side was more tense than the other. I had in my mind all of your comments from yesterday about shoes and realised that the side that was most tense/tight was my longer side (I have one leg shorter than the other) which was probably contracting to balance me out when I don't wear my lifted shoes at home. Now it isn't simple to sort this. I am only allowed 3 pairs of shoes lifted a year on the NHS and I have to take them to the hospital. I also need a lot of new shoes as they have decided that I need them at a greater height. However, I do have some shoes which I can clean up which have a smaller lift and would be better than nothing as indoor shoes. So that is my AP task for tomorrow. Then I will keep an eye out for some shoes that are suitable to be lifted (not an easy task! -it is so complicated buying shoes suitable!). So as much as I don't want to and am fighting it, I probably should wear shoes indoors.

Tomorrows babystep is to write everything down. That's another thing I put off. I have never got on with a control journal.. but that's for tomorrows post.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Another AP day and day 2 of Flylady restart

So, I'm going to start with the fact that it is day 2 of flylady. That means get dressed to shoes. I have two 'issues' here which I am going to have to conquer. The first one is that flylady tells you that you should get dressed immediately. I usually go and feed the cat, get some coffee and then have a shower (maybe up to half an hour after I got up). I often go on the computer whilst I drink my coffee. Should I change this routine and go straight to the bathroom? I don't know. I also don't want to upset DH's routine. Maybe I'm one of those people who always have excuses! Secondly, when I lived in Japan I left my shoes in the genkan (entrance way) to the house and got used to it. I cannot stand walking inside with shoes on. Now I've heard Flylady talk to people about it, and I've tried having a pair of indoor shoes, but I just can't get used to it. Plus I think shoes will wear out quicker my new carpet. I know that sounds pathetic, but I'm afraid I just haven't found a viable solution! (I'm also now a bit scared about confessing this!)

Today I didn't get dressed immediately, so I think that that needs to be my target for tomorrow. (Day 3 is shining sink and getting dressed to shoes). I am going to concentrate on the getting dressed immediately and just put off a bit thinking about shoes. On a plus my sink is still clean and shiny. DH even commented on how clean I had got it!

As far as the AP day goes, I didn't have much time today but I did put away my household manuals in their file (that was on the side for a couple of days), clean the sofa and paint my toenails (I always put that off -I don't tend to look after me). Not putting stuff off is definitely getting easier. I just hope that I am able to transfer these skills into my flylady babysteps.

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Day 22 -keeping new habits going

Sorry for the lack of update, things have been really hectic over the last week, so I'll give you all a quick run down of some of the things that have happened in the last 6 days:

Thursday: caught up on a lot of marking. However, I stayed up a bit too late to do so. -Need to avoid that.

Friday: rushed home from work to do my WHB before my cousin came to stay. -Was nice to start the weekend with the house feeling good.

Long weekend -I just kept trying to keep up with everything and not leaving it, so making sure the kitchen was cleaned up before I went to bed etc. We were very busy, but managed it. Sometimes it was hard to not put it off. We finished the weekend by putting up all of our pictures, so that is something else that we have been trying to do but not getting round to, which is now done. It makes the house feel nice.
Today -went to work. Have felt a bit all day, and so don't feel like I'm getting everything done. Tonight my plan is to do the ironing and get an early night!

I have also decided to join on another challenge which will fit in nicely with this one. I will join Kiddos and others with starting flylady again from day 1, to make sure that I am doing everything. Now that I am learning to not procrastinate this is perfect timing. So currently I have bleach in my white sink to clean it up and will go and give it a good scrub, so that I know on day 1 I have my shiny sink!

edit: here is my shiny sink:

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Day 16 -My 3rd AP day of the challenge

So I reached day 16. I am back to feeling good about things. I realised that since getting the cat back I am getting up with the alarm. That gives me an extra 20 minutes in the morning! I think that that is because I want to get up to see him!

This morning I had so much ready from last night that it went like clockwork and I got so much done. Washing on the line before work, lounge floor cleaned, coffee ready for tomorrow. I managed to get out slightly earlier too. I even had lunch which I had made last night (I usually buy it at work).

I had a very busy day today, but left work slightly early to go and order a blind for our spare room. Then I have done work this evening at home. The marking that I have put off for weeks is done (although there is more where that came from!).

So I did that AP task for today, my routines are done and I'm off to go to bed at a decent hour. Tomorrow I have 2 hours of non-teaching time in the morning, I know that I will procrastinate in that time, but I am going to see how much I can get done (and not just making cups of tea!). Goodnight!

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Day 15 -more changes

Today has been a really effective day, I am really beginning to get somewhere. I had the coffee machine reset for tomorrow before I even left for work. I think I knew everything already through following flylady, I just didn't have the gumption (is that a word?) to just get on and do it. I have a load of washing sorted for tomorrow and as far as housework is going it feels good.

I did manage to get a load of school work done today, and tomorrow I am going to do as my AP task, marking some papers which I have been putting off for ages.

So I think it is time to keep up with the AP at home, but to also shift the focus to work... Let's see what the next few weeks bring.

Monday, 24 May 2010

2 weeks in and the little things count

Well today is two weeks in to this challenge, and it really has been life-changing. Sorry that I haven't updated the blog in the last week but I've been trying to get back in to routines with the cat and just play with him lots too!

Well, the weekend was great. I did my WHB and other things and on Sunday DH and I got that blind up in my study (it has been sat on the landing for 3 weeks!) and we put up some mirrors that have also been waiting for weeks. That makes such a difference!

Whilst I was doing my WHB on Saturday I noticed something, I was beginning to do little extras. The kitchen bin lid was dirty, so I wiped it whilst I emptied the bins, there was a toothpaste splatter on the side of the mirror unit so I cleaned it whilst doing the mirrors, something needed putting away upstairs so when I went to dust upstairs I put it away... Now as I walk around the house I notice how tidier and cleaner it is.

I also had the joy of getting all the washing done again! And I finished Sunday off by getting the spare room made up for my cousin who is coming to stay on Friday. Every time I walk past that room and see it empty and the bed made I smile :)

I still feel like I am not where I want to be with my school work, but as Flylady says it is "progress not perfection"

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Day 11 habits forming

Well, I've hit day 11. It has been another busy day but I was looking around the house and realised that I am beginning to pick up after me. So I'm wondering how long it will take me to do the usual housework at the weekend? I'm hoping that I can just do a Weekly Home Blessing hour and deal with laundry (which there shouldn't be too much of, I seem to have a much emptier laundry basket!). This should leave me with time to sort my study. Since we moved in a month ago this room is annoying me. It needs decluttering and tidying. Currently we have no blind up because we don't have the space to get it up. So the blind is on the landing.

I am also reflecting on my work. I never seem to get it done. Don't know why. I'd like to get more caught up with that.

But rather than reflecting on the negative I must remember that the coffee is set for tomorrow, my side of the bed is tidy (that is a miracle -it has been tidy for 4 days!), my sink is shiny and I have been enjoying time with the cat. So really, although I am not having the wow feeling of last week, habits are forming and it is good!

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Day 10 -Second AP day

I'm trying to decide if today has been a disaster, or am I just getting used to doing things immediately? It has been a funny couple of days. Our cat who has been missing for 5 weeks was returned yesterday. It was a manic evening, but all went smoothly and he seems to be settling. I was glad that I had done things such as setting the coffee timer in the morning. It made the evening run smoother.

But I am now struggling to concentrate on things. I am a bit sidetracked today and don't feel that I have been so successful. That probably isn't true, as the house still looks good but I do feel that I need to give myself a kick!

So there is my update, I am going to go and get on with things now and hope that tomorrow I will accomplish more...

Monday, 17 May 2010

Day 8 -becoming a habit

Today has been another amazing day. I feel like I am getting so much more done, both at work and home. I have something lovely to share with you, on Saturday I got all the washing done, and then my DH put some socks in it :( but because I have actually been doing my routines I am actually back to the bottom :)

I know it won't last long, but at least if I can keep up with my routines it won't be too full :)

I am finding it amazing that I am keeping up with my routines, I feel so much more relaxed. Tonight I am going out for a pudding night (you eat dinner at home then go to someone's house for pudding), I am all ready I have cleaned up from dinner, my sink is shiny, the coffee is made for tomorrow. It is actually becoming automatic now to do some of these things. Before I started this I knew that I should do them, and sometimes would but mostly not. I can't wait for the weekend, to see what difference doing my routines during the week makes. I also like walking around my clean house :) for the first time when I see something I need to put away I do it there and then, so it is staying tidier and I feel better about it.

I must thank Diane, because if I hadn't started this I wouldn't feel this good about me. And thank you for reading and following. People's comments have been such an encouragement.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Day 7 -thinking ahead

So, today I had a busy day. I knew it would be, and normally I would plan thinking ahead, but never actually do it (do you do that, you think that you might pack your bag way before, but then never do!). It's amazing what things I imagine doing but don't!

So today I was determined that no procrastination would happen. The coffee was set up for tomorrow after breakfast, I packed my bags for the afternoon, in the morning. My work bag was packed this morning for tomorrow. This made the day run very smoothly. In fact, my contact lenses are out, I'm in my pjs already so that when I have written this I can go to bed.

To me this seems like a miracle, this is the life that I imagine leading, (all the things Flylady says to do) but I never actually get around to doing! Wow!

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Day 6 -washing day

I thought I'd quickly update my blog before having well-deserved, guilt free, pizza and wine.

Today has been an interesting day as far as AP goes. I have been extremely busy! I had no plans today so decided to catch up on housework and some school work. It's also given me a chance to analyse some of my procrastination tendencies.

Firstly, although I try to follow flylady's idea of a load of washing a day, but sometimes I just forget. So I thought I'd do lots today. I have done 8 loads of washing and almost 3 hours of ironing! Now the ironing isn't actually a huge success because I was using it as procrastination for my school work. I have come to realise that during the week I think "I'll do that at the weekend" but come the weekend I don't want to do it. I need to re-jig my thinking somewhere... I will continue to ponder and see where my journey lands me! Once I realised that I made sure that I at least planned Monday's lessons, so that is not hanging over me. I do wonder whether I can get enough done in the week not to have to do it at the weekend.

Something else I try and do is my 'Weekly home blessing hour'. Flylady's weekly 7 tasks which she schedules for Monday, but I work so try and do it on Saturday. However, I always don't do all of the tasks, I often change the bedding on a Sunday so DH can help. Knowing that tomorrow I am out a lot I decided not to procrastinate and just do it despite DH being out. It took me longer than 10 minutes but I did it. And I got it all washed, ironed and away. (I did have an issue with the airing cupboard door not opening but I used my clubcard and broke in! Nothing was stopping me from finishing the job!).

Wednesday's phone call to the dentists has spurred me to make other phone calls now. Yesterday I phoned the bank to change my address, and today I phoned the breakdown company. Yay!

So, I feel it has been a reasonably good day. I am going to have to deal with my procrastination of school work, but I think that is going to have to be something I think about. I am surprised at how much I have done today, so I hope I can keep it up! Now, that pizza and wine is calling.

Friday, 14 May 2010

Day 5 the domino effect

I am sat drinking a cup of Lady Grey tea and eating cake. Bliss! I don't feel rushed, despite going out in 20 minutes. This is the overspill of my new habit. Everything is done!

Diane agreed with my comment about the domino effect on Wednesday. This is something that I am seeing more and more. I am 5 days into my 'habit forming' and feel like a different person I hope that I can keep it up. Today I have seen my focus on anti-procrastination fall into my work-life.

I have a terrible habit of taking cups of tea/coffee to my classroom and office and then not dealing with them. So after school today I gathered up all 8 of them and with some boiling water (there was definitely a science project going on!) dealt with them. I have been meaning to do this for ages. -I'd got to the point where I was hiding them and only using one mug and washing it up before making a cuppa. (this is turning into a confessional!)

I also finished marking some exam papers which have been waiting for a month! That feels good.

After work I got a lot done before dinner and cleared up immediately afterwards. This is fantastic! So the weekend starts here, unfortunately tomorrow I need to get some work done but I'm hoping that with this new habit I will be more productive than normal and get to look after myself more. What a lovely outcome!

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Well, I don't have much to write today about the habit of A-P, as I have had a busy day at work, finishing with a long parents evening. I don't really feel that I have done much different. So I thought that I would have a quick reflection about why I am doing this.

Habit forming (in a good way) is something that I have found really useful from Flylady. Two years ago I started making the bed everyday and now I can't leave without doing it. I still love the feeling of walking into a room with a made bed! Not many of the flylady habits have stuck, in that way. Procrastination (and sidetrackedness -but that's for another day's blog post) is something that I always feels lets me down, there are so many things I would do, if only I would get around to them. I figure that if I focus on my procrastination and try and reverse it for a month then I should get into better habits. So I plan on writing this blog for a month, and hopefully I will notice a difference in what I do (or don't do!).

I hope that you will stay with me on this journey, as it is great to know that there are people out there cheering me on... I hope that I can be an encouragement to you too!

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

day 3 Anti-Procrastination day

Anyone who is a follower of flylady will know that Wednesday is anti-procrastination day. The day when you so something that you have been putting off. This is a very important day for me, with my new habit, so I set myself what I thought was the most difficult task which I have been putting off for months: phoning the dentist. This might sound strange but I hate making phone calls, particularly to book appointments and so I put them off. My problem with the dentist was that I was worried that they would have de-registered me as they sent a letter in January telling me it was time for my check-up. Ooops.

So I came home from work at lunchtime today (I had a routine hospital appointment this afternoon) and tried to phone the dentist. ... failure.... they were shut for lunch. Normally I would stop at this moment and give up, but this time I worked out that I could phone just before I needed to go out. I phoned, waited on hold, and eventually got through. I spoke to a lovely lady who told me that all was okay as I had had emergency treatment in October. She booked an appointment for me... and hey presto! My anti-procrastination task was done. What a feeling of elation (and that feeling of why had I not done this before?).

This was like a domino falling over... on the way back from the hospital I picked up a blind I had been meaning to get for a week. I popped into a local vets to talk about my lost cat, and did some housework when I got home. I've got a clean kitchen, laundry done and I caught up on some school work. So now, after my first anti-procrastination day in weeks (possibly months!) I am going to have a bath and get an early night... maybe tomorrow I will not procrastinate with getting up.

day 2 -still work to do

Well, it's the end of day 2 and I am listening to the news, as amazing things unfold in politics. It has been a busy day and I wonder whether I have managed not to procrastinate. I was hoping that writing this would give me the accountability to think about doing things now. Maybe, it will be the reflection which will do so.

We went out for dinner this evening (with other Elise owners), and when we got back I made a hot choc and set the coffee timer. I didn't get distracted first. Does anyone else do that, walk in the door, check messages, check e-mail... and soon 30 minutes has unfolded. So that's a go me moment.

Tomorrow is anti-procrastination day according to flylady. This day always fills me with dread! I always think that I am going to get lots done and then realise I was too busy and all the things that I procrastinate over still didn't get done. So I am going to do something even more scary -I am going to write here that I am going to phone the dentists. I was supposed to make an appointment in January and didn't.... Not sure when in the day I will do it, but I will make time. eeekk!

So having set myself up for hopefully success rather than failure, I am now going to head to bed (it's 9:45), and see whether I can get up in the morning. The thing is, if I don't my DH brings me coffee in bed. Now maybe that's why I don't get up.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Day 2 -start the day as you mean to go on

My biggest challenge is first thing in the morning. The alarm goes off and it takes me about 30 minutes to get out of bed. Well, this morning it took 15. Better, but I always want to be one of those people who get up on the alarm. Is that really so difficult? I lie there thinking I'll get up in a minute, and then I disappoint myself by taking so long.

I've wondered whether I go to bed too late, but I get 8 hours sleep. Maybe I need more... but I struggle to get to bed much earlier. Tonight I am going out for dinner so that won't happen.

It's been an issue since I was a child, I've tried alarm clocks across the room (I just climb back in to bed), Mum used to use a cold flannel, take away my duvet etc. But now I'm an adult and I need to deal with this myself.

I think that getting out of bed is going to be quite a challenge, and one that I'd like to eventually crack. This is going to be quite a journey, so if you have any suggestions I'd be happy to hear them!

Day 1

Well, this is a blog set up out of procrastination. For ages I have watched the likes of Diane writing blogs and talking about their scaredy-cat challenges and figured that one day I would do that. Yes, I am a huge procrastinator. I don't like to admit to it, but there is so much that I don't get around to. Then yesterday Di posted on twitter about others to join her on the challenges. My comment was 'I always think that I should join you, but I'm a bit of a procrastinator!" to which her reply was: 'Tee hee, Liz, maybe THAT should be your challenge --- 'do it now'?! :)' So here I am. I'm setting up a blog and I am going to document a challenge of anti-procrastination.

So today, I went about my usual stuff, but thinking about not procrastinating. -I left for work earlier. Got loads done at work, at the end of a meeting I typed up the minutes and sent them out immediately! I've got papers marked,... I can't quite believe it.

Tonight after dinner I washed up, shined my sink (see flylady), set the coffee machine up for tomorrow and sorted out the laundry.

It's now 9:25pm and I should head for bed.. mustn't procrastinate anymore. My aim is that I begin a habit of anti-procrastination, so I hope you enjoy following me in this journey.