How do you use FlyLady?
The thing is, the system as it is doesn't work for me for much more than... oh... a week, at best. It didn't work when I was single and working full-time (partly because I worked with children and had weird shifts), it didn't work when I was living with my now-husband and working full-time (partly because I just didn't have the energy to do anything when I got home from work and couldn't manage more than getting out the door on time in the morning), and it doesn't work now that I work part-time from home, either. Given all of that, I seriously doubt it will work when I have babies, and it definitely won't work once I'm homeschooling them!
I have ADHD, which means that my executive functioning (the ability to make a plan, follow a plan, stay on task, and change tasks when necessary) is basically borked. If I've done a task before, I'm able to do it again; if I have the steps for a new task written out for me, I can follow them; if I am left to my own devices, I am likely to get overwhelmed, overcomplicate things, and/or find new and wonderful ways to procrastinate (e.g., I am really good at organizing things to the point where my kitchen cupboards will be perfectly lined up and organized inside but all of the dishes will be dirty). External structure is much easier to deal with than internal structure. I have no sense of time, so I have no idea how long things actually take me to accomplish. My life can be really frustrating!
I do really well with routines and with chaining tasks. For example, a long time ago I taught myself that when I brush my teeth, I follow that up with washing my face. That works really well - the only problem is making sure I brush my teeth!
Things that don't work for me:
The e-mails. I am really good at procrastinating already; I don't need more e-mails to read or skim and delete!
The missions. Half the time the missions are for things that don't pertain to my home or my circumstances; the other half of the time, I just don't get to them.
The 15 minutes at a time thing. Yes, short bursts are good, but I don't do well with such things. Usually, once I get started on something specific, I stick with it until it's done. I know that the 15 minutes at a time is supposed to keep you from getting overwhelmed, but the timer going off just interrupts me and I may not go back to the task later.
So, what do I actually use from FlyLady?
Routines are wonderful things. Every morning during the week, I get up when my husband starts his shower. I don't get dressed, but I do get the kettle going, pack his lunch, eat breakfast, take my medication, and check my e-mail. I am currently working on making us breakfast every morning, as well. So far, that's my only routine, but I am sure I will add more as time goes on!
Zones make it easier to keep track of my cleaning. I don't follow FlyLady's zones; instead, I've divided the month up into groups of five days and given each group of days a different room. For the most part, they are the same as FlyLady's set-up, but I have the office as its own zone, separate from the bathroom. This was important because our office is a disaster, and the thought of working on it was paralyzing me to the point that I wasn't even cleaning in the bathroom during that zone! It's going to be important because we're moving to a larger place (just bought an acreage with a larger house than the one we currently rent), and there will be two bathrooms and two offices, as well as both a living room and a TV room. When we have kids, there will be more than one bedroom to look after, too (though I will do my best to teach the kids how to keep their own rooms clean).
Particular tasks each day. Right now I only do laundry once a week, since there are only two of us. That day is Monday, which is also the day that I scoop the litter box and clean the guinea pig cage. I try to get all of the garbages in the house emptied into the main kitchen bin on Wednesday so it can go out, and recycling is on Thursday. Friday I plan the next week's meals and make my grocery list, because I prefer to do the majority of my grocery shopping on Saturday afternoon.
Hot Spots! Yup, I have them. They are mostly any horizontal surface ;) but there are a couple of places that get really bad really quickly, like the coffee table, the book case nearest the front door, and the dining table.
Weekly Home Blessing. Well, that's not what I call it, and it's not really what I do, either, but on Fridays I try to do some basic overall cleaning (dusting, mirrors, doors, walls) and I do what I call "specific cleaning," which is my version of deep cleaning in whatever zones I'm in that week. I consider a week to last from Monday through to Sunday, so sometimes three different zones will be hit in a week. This is okay; I just pick whatever really needs doing in the one that's just coming up, I do everything for the one that was completely enveloped in the current week, and I do whatever's left from the one that started the week.
So... what do you guys use? Do you follow FlyLady as she sets it out, or have you tweaked it to work for you and your circumstances? What changes have you made, and why?