Like a Boss: How to Delegate
You can't do it all. To bring back balance you need to relinquish control of some of aspects of your life.
This isn't permission to be a lazy slore but some tasks can be done just as well (perhaps even better) by someone that's not you.
When my son was born it was so important to me that he not attend daycare. I spent the day at home with him and then raced to work in the evening. I barely saw my husband. I was always tired and only had energy to accomplish life's most basic functions. I resented the baby when he cried.
My husband is a saint and never said anything about how distant and hollow I had become. He never complained about the chores he had to pick up or the social events he missed. In spite of his unwavering support I felt like I had failed my family and knew they deserved more from me.
How was my son benefitting from spending his days with his tired crabby mother? The little immune protection he was getting and the financial benefits of not putting him in daycare were minuscule compared to the strain it put on our family. We functioned like this for the first year of our tiny babe's life.
I was operating on empty at all times. I didn't know how I could possibly take on more but I needed to increase my FTE in order to pay for daycare. I switched to a different department in the hospital and started working day/night rotation instead of straight evenings. We signed the babe up for full-time daycare, I started meeting with a therapist weekly and I hopped on some anti-depressants.
Spoiler Alert: life got better.
A lot better.
Trusting someone else to watch our son was really hard. But he's flourished in his little school. Our family dynamic has rebalanced and my relationships with myself and others have recovered.
With a little #delegation I'm able to be the mother, wife, individual I want to be again.
In our culture we celebrate productivity and busyness. But it's benefitting no one. The emotional and physical burnout is real.
Delegation is not an act of shirking responsibility, it's a highly necessary act of self care.
So how to do it...
- Acknowledge you cannot and do not need to do it all.
- Think of tasks that can be delegated. i.e. ones you do not love and can be done by someone else.
- Do not apologize that you are asking for help.
- Ask for help, giving clear instructions and expectations.
- Recognize it won't be done exactly as you would do it. Accept this.
- Don't hover and don't immediately take back a job if it doesn't get done "right". Give the other person a chance to learn and correct.
- Say thank you. Enjoy your new found time.
What can you afford to delegate? What can you not afford to hold onto?