The Value of Delegating
If you’re anything like me, you like checking things off of your “to do” list. And you really like it when people notice your hard work and planning, and compliment you on how organized / prepared / well-decorated you are.
Which is why it can be difficult for me to admit when I just can’t get it all done on my own. That’s the sad truth of it – I like being superwoman. But that’s just one side of me. I also have a side that gets overwhelmed and frazzled. Her name is Superstressballwoman – and trust me, you don’t want to meet her in a dark alley.
Over the years, I’ve learned how to predict when Superstressballwoman is going to make an appearance. Yes, there are lots of great organizing tips on how to keep yourself from getting to that point (we will devote an upcoming blog to time management, which is probably one of the best ways to prevent Stressballization). But today, in the spirit of the holidays, I would like to focus on my favorite tip for reducing stress – asking for help.
Its almost comical how difficult it is for us overachievers out there to simply ask for help. We try to juggle everything on our own, and we end up with things that just don’t get done – or worse, doing them at the last minute with curlers in our hair, something burning in the oven and the phone ringing at the same time.
For those of us who have small children, it is easy to miss the fact that perhaps they are now old enough to help out – picking up their own toys or making decorations. Or to remember that parents and friends really do enjoy bringing that pie or dish. The truth is, we don’t have to do it all alone. I’ll bet you can think of at least three people who would be more than happy to help you out with whatever upcoming task you are putting off.
For example, my family is coming to our house for Thanksgiving this year. Working full time does not give me a lot of extra time to cook or prepare much in advance – plus with family flying in from out of town, the house is going to be hopping. In order to keep Superstressballwoman chained in the basement where she belongs, I have asked (kindly!) for the following help:
- Three separate people are baking and bringing pies for Thanksgiving dinner
- My amazing sister-in law is making placecards for the table (she is unequivocally crafty and also beautiful)
- My mother is in charge of bringing extra silverware and napkins / table linens.
- My father is acting as sous-chef (though his real title should be chef, since he is a much better cook than I am)
- My fabulous husband is picking up the turkey
And me? I’m going to be busy, but happy busy. Because I will just be me – not superwoman, not Superstressball woman. Just me.
So. I challenge each of you to think of FIVE tasks that you can delegate to people who love you and want to support you. No one will think worse of you for asking – in fact, they will most likely feel complimented that you trust them enough to take care of it for you. And isn’t that what the spirit of the holidays is all about?
Oh, and in case you decide to get even more help with your Thanksgiving meal, we’ve created a handy free printable planner (click here to download the PDF) so that you know who is coming and what they are bringing.
Now that’s what I call a professionally organized, stress-free holiday!