Thursday, June 16

five minute increments...

I've learnt that as a stay at home mother, time is of the essence.  Actually time would be essentially important to all mothers full stop.  Agree?  yes I thought you would.

You see, when little people come along, it's a learning curve on how to get things down that used to just, well, get done but without that little shadow following you around, calling out for help or screaming because their sibling has just careered through their magnificent lego tower.


Enter the Five Minute Increment (FMI) rule and I'm in a much happier place.  I no longer aspire to complete a task from go to woe.  If I start, say folding the washing, I can leave it at the drop of a hat, and return when the chance arises.  Same with tidying.  Oh you wont find me spending uninterrupted time cleaning.  It's done in spurts throughout the day.  remember FMI....

If I'm walking up the hallway to one of the kids room, I'll do a quick look to see if anything needs to be returned and take it with me, and same on the way back (gee sounds like my house is huge - it's not!) but you see.  Time - Essense - no point wasting it.

I'm like this with other areas like blogging, and crafting....  if I can sneak in either I will.  I've always got a crafty project on the go at arms length, and thank goodness for WIFI which enables me to  read through some fav blogs here and there during the day, but perhaps comment latter on.....

When the kids are showering, I'll clean the bathroom whilst I'm watching them.  I'll plan out dinner in stages throughout the day so it's not all prepared at once in the evening.   When they are outside playing, I can push swings, comment on trampoline skills, hang out washing and feed the cat -  all happy.

In my house, I try to show the kids that chores (read boring) need to be done.  So they need to know that  ironing gets done, we pack up and take care of our belongings.  I also find that by implementing the FMI rule, tasks aren't overwhelming and when one of my babes looks at me with those "melting eyes" holding a much loved (falling apart) copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar*, I take that as an opportunity to sit down and nourish my family.

How do you juggle it all?  Do you do things in short bursts or do you like to finish a task once you start.
Do you have any tips to share about managing your time?  Please do if you will!

*which is the fav at the moment - the book is literally falling apart and like many of you, i dont even need the book now - it's etched in my memory - probably for like ever! 



  1. How funny - I was talking about this with my sister last night! I'm also trying to grab little bits of time to get a bit done - like putting away as many dishes as I can during the 2 mins that my porridge is in the microwave. I also told my sister about the "Myrtle and Eunice ten minute tidy" (
    which we might even do if I remember to get a nice timer!!

  2. I am exactly the same! I like a tidy house although I am really relaxed with craft and toy activity going on too. I use every spare minute to multitask. It used to stress me that I couldn't complete a major clean in one hit but not anymore. I find that my house is generally always tidy and clean. I also give myself a little extra task every day so this week for example I have tidied the pantry on one day, cleaned the ceiling fans on another, tidied all my own clothes drawers on another. Only 15min tasks but I feel like I keep on top of things.
    We are onto our third copy of the Hungry Caterpillar, after three children who all adore it. I even bought a copy in French as a gift for them when I visited Paris.

  3. Loving this concept! It's all about priorities and expectations isn't it?

    Although you might think after checking out my schedule that it's fixed, most of the time there's time for play or mucking around. During my 'work' time I put on the focus booster which goes off every 25 minutes and gives me a 5 minute break. Then is when I do a quick clean up, check on the sleeping child, have a glass of water, hang out the washing, put another load on... you get the idea.

    But I might think about doing my dinner in stages throughout the day and more time with the kids. After all, isn't that the most important bit?

    Love this post! Thanks for sharing!

  4. very well said, I find I get so frustrated when I try to complete a task all at once and get called away when a little person needs me. I'm totally coping with each day using the FMI rule.

  5. AH,the frustration at constant interuptions:) Or, the little person walking behind undoing everything I've just done:) My rule at the moment is to "always leave a room better than you found it", even if that only means picking up one thing and taking it to its rightful home.

  6. This is GOLD!! I have been using this the last few days and have been getting MORE done and all is lovely and serene here (well, apart from the usual two and a half year old assertions!). Bravo for such a winning my girl should write a book...maybe we could write one together (a huge dream of mine to be published) Well, that's decided! We'll just have to move to that country house now!! :) xxx


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