Are you doing more than what you might consider your fair share of the work at home?
Do you long for some free time to work on fewer of the smaller chores you have around the house, and more time to focus on your priorities and more significant goals?
The truth is, we could all use more time. But instead of hoping, wishing, and praying for more time in our day, we must learn to prioritize the time we already have.
And part of how de can accomplish this, my friends, is through delegation.
This week on Episode 149 of Productivity Paradox, I’m sitting down with Susan to talk about how to stop wishing for more time and start making time to work toward those big dreams.
For those of you who have not tuned in, Susan is an incredibly busy mother of four. When she’s not caring for her household, she is either at her full-time job or assisting her mother, who has fallen ill and lives at home with Susan and her family.
To say that Susan has a lot on her plate would be a vast understatement!
But, no matter which hat Susan is wearing on any given day, she still has dreams and big goals for herself, waiting in the wings to come to fruition.
So today, I want to take a more in-depth look at delegation, and how we can make it work for us as a means of freeing up the necessary time for ourselves to work on our goals. Because it works!
Let’s jump in!
This is easier said than done for some, I know. But it’s important to mention, just the same.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed and without enough time for yourself, then outsourcing might be a great option to consider.
Let’s say that you have a lot of laundry build-up over the week. Rather than carrying the full weight of that on your shoulders, is there an easier way to see that everything gets washed, folded, and put away?
Is there a laundry service nearby where you could drop a few loads during the week, perhaps on your way to the office?
Not only will your laundry get washed, but it will also come back to you folded, which will allow you to delegate the put-away part to another member of your home.
Or is it within your budget to hire someone to come to your house once or twice per week to help you tackle the load? (Remember: the money you spend each day at Starbucks adds up. Perhaps you can funnel that money into outsourcing a few items on your task list!)
Let’s say outsourcing isn’t in the cards, but delegating some things to your children or another member of your household (a roommate, significant other, or a live-in parent) is!
The next tip here is to delegate using the SMART goals framework. (I’ve got a FREE delegation download to help!)
What are some of those low to mid-level responsibilities that you could assign to someone else to handle each week?
Maybe it’s loading and unloading the dishwasher. Perhaps it’s sweeping, vacuuming, or mopping the main living spaces of the house. Or, maybe it’s handing the reins of your kids’ bedroom upkeep entirely to them . . .
Make a list of all of those low to mid-ticket items you have on your plate, and start thinking of ways that you can get all hands on deck to lessen your share of the workload.
Once you’ve outlined the different tasks you can delegate to others, it’s time to start assigning those tasks to the appropriate parties.
Younger kids, for example, might be assigned the task of keeping their room tidy. Things like putting away toys, straightening the bed in the morning, and getting through their morning routine by themselves could also be delegatable items for them.
Older kids, on the other hand, could take on a little more.
Helping to collect dirty laundry, starting a load in the washer, and folding clean laundry from the dryer could go to them. Tidying main living spaces, and even helping to make lunches or prep dinner could also fall on to them.
With a little bit of guidance (at first), you might be surprised by how much you’re able to delegate to other members of your home!
Part of the reason that we often have so much trouble with delegating is that we think that if we want something done well, we have to do it ourselves.
But that’s just not true.
Once we make our expectations known, delegating becomes less of a struggle and more of a system to streamline the time that we have each day in a manner that works for us.
Taking it one step back to assigning chores to your kids at home, part of how we can make our expectations known is by communicating them to our kids from the get-go.
If, for example, you assign room upkeep to your kids (no matter the age), a great way to communicate your expectations is by creating a cleaning chart or checklist.
Make up a checklist that your kids can use as they go through the motions of completing the chores you’ve assigned to them.
The clearer you are, the less room there is for error, no matter the task.
You’ve handed out the chore charts and cleaning checklists, now what?
Once the tasks are assigned and your expectations are known, it’s time to check in with the progress being made.
Praise a job done well, when it occurs, and don’t be afraid to make adjustments to what and who you’re delegating to when necessary.
Maybe one of your kids prefers to vacuum, rather than fold the laundry. That’s okay!
The key is to play to the strengths of those around you by assigning tasks appropriately.
If your smaller children are missing an essential item on the list, take some time to revisit your expectations with them.
Once you feel they have a good grasp on what you need from them each week, the easier delegating at home will be as they grow and can take more off of your plate. Trust me!
What are some chores you’ve delegated to your kids, your spouse, or someone else at home? Share what’s worked well for you (and what hasn’t) in the comments below . . .