One of the ways to enjoy your life is by simplifying it.
Delegating is a one important way to experience a life of simplicity and ease.
Delegating effectively requires that you be a patient teacher until the student has learned,after which you must have the foresight to let go.A mother eagle spends time nurturing her young,but instinctively knows that her most important role is to push her offspring out of the nest,trusting that they will be able to fly. Amazingly,they do!
Okay so your white socks end up blue and your best wool sweater now fits the cat. Be patient,it will get better.
Start by giving up control of the easy tasks and learn to bite your tongue. Delegating frees up your time. The bonus is that the children(or the people in your office) will feel valued, knowing that you trust them to get the job done.
In what ways can you achieve effective delegation? Read them up here:
Initiate A Family Council
Family council meetings are great forums for communication and delegation,as well as for handing any prickly issues that come along. For years,we had Family council once a week at supper time,usually on the weekend. It is an opportunity for everyone to take note of their responsibilities for the upcoming week,and to be accountable for completing assigned tasks.
Here are few guidelines to help:
- Set the same time aside each week so a routine is established. This could be right after church on sunday,or following cartoons on Saturday morning.
- The length of the meeting is dictated by the ages of the children. Meeting should last twenty to thirty minutes, but younger kids have short attention spans,so set your watch accordingly. Children need to be old enough to communicate, and to do easy chores.
- Select a chairperson and someone to take notes,especially about who is doing what and when.Using a weekly calendar is helpful for scheduling . You may want to rotate the roles each week.
- Start on a positive note by asking each person to describe the best thing that happened during the past week. This creates good energy- the rule is that,everyone must participate. Children love to take center stage,so you may want to limit this to a couple of things each,otherwise,you might be there all day.
- Next up is sharing the chores: tidying,cutting the grass,mowing the lawn,vacuuming,walking the dog etc. Be sensitive to what your children can realistically accomplish. A rule of thumb is to assign two tasks each. Teenagers can handle more.
- Discuss items not completed from the previous week,and the appropriate consequences.
- If there is a disagreement, or issues arise,listen to both sides.When making decisions,be firm but fair. You may want to take a vote on some situations.
- Avoid dragging out negative topics for too long. Move on to other relevant events such as upcoming holidays, school trips,or special needs. To create positive energy,always end Family council with some good news or recognition.
- You can also set up a Family day each week where you all participate in something together.
2. Begin To Outsource
If you want more time to do the things you really enjoy,outsourcing is the way to go. Yes,it takes money, but for many working mothers,outsourcing is not only a potential marriage saver,it’s a life saver too.
To free up time while minimizing costs,be creative. Hire the teenager next door to cut your lawn or weed the garden. Ask family and friends to help with babysitting.
For years,my maternal grandmother looked after my cousins from cradle till pre-teen years.
Is there a retired handyman in your neighborhood who would love to do odd jobs-painting,electrical,fence repair- around the house? It was great when my nephew learned to drive. He was happy to do errands just for the opportunity to borrow the car. One of my friends dislikes going to the mall to shop for clothes,so she avoids the hassle by ordering from online catalogs. She does this on her own time and saves hours in the process.
It is time to break your busy routines, and lower your stress levels.
It is all about finding balance,conserving energy,and creating time to rejuvenate,whether that means listening to your favorite music,having a massage,or gardening.
3. Reexamine Your Standards And Expectations
This is a touchy subject for some people,especially perfectionists. I’m not suggesting you lower your standards,just reframe them in the context of living as a real man or woman in today’s real world. Let go of the attitude that, “I’m the only one who can do it right.” What drives some women crazy is not the messy house,dirty car,job,or even a hectic schedule-often it is their own impossible expectations.
People create so many rules about the way things must be done at work and at home that not only are they unhappy,but everyone else around them is, too. Be aware that Ms Perfect is a pain to live with when she’s resentful, irritable, difficult to please and exhausted. Not a pretty picture,and certainly not one that portrays a happy balance. I mean,is it okay that the cookies for the meeting are store-bought instead of homemade? Is it okay that your house isn’t spotless seven days a week?
In my opinion, today’s society places far too much emphasis on having the perfect house with nearly impossible standards of cleanliness. Unless you have the time to fatally focus on cleaning, lighten up! This is another super-high standard that will only add more unnecessary pressure,especially if you are a mother with young children.
No,your floors do not need the super-gloss shine everyday,nor do your towels require folding just so. Get real- give yourself and everyone around you a break. Maybe,your reality right now is a life of kids,dogs,and messy people. Some days,that will change.
Whether you have a young family or not,ask yourself, “How much fun am I to live with? Are you compromising your balance,your relationships,and your own hapiness by insisting on impossible-to-meet standards? When all is said,and done,you will discover that it’s your relationships that matter most. Ensure you nourish those more than anything else. When children look back on their lives,they rarely say they are glad the floors sparkled. Instead,they are happy because mom let go,and allowed them to use the couch pillows to build forts on the floor.
4. Reevaluate Your Juggling Act
Do you ever feel like a juggler, trying to keep all the balls up in the air? Most women do an amazing job of juggling work,kids,home, health,fitness, bill paying,extended family, and so on. The list seems like it’s a mile long for some people,and still they manage everything. But sometimes,life adds an unexpected ball to the mix. The car breaks down on the way to pick up the kids from swimming, you have parent-teacher interviews in an hour and you still need to prepare and pack for tomorrow’s trip. Your supervisor at the office ask you to work saturday on yet another project that has an impossible deadline. Yes,the unexpected can cause your stress to surge out of control.
The bad thing about negative stress is that the buck stops with your body. Your healthy habits,such as exercise programs and nutritious meals are usually the first to suffer when you are struggling to cope with a heavy workload.
When you are always over-commiting,juggling more and more balls,your body finally says, “Enough,I can’t handle this anymore.”
Brian Dyson says, “Imagine life as a game in which you are Juggling five balls….work,family,health,friends,and spirit.Work is a rubber ball. If you drop it,it will bounce back. But the other four balls are made of glass. If you drop one of these,they will never be the same.” When that happens, the balls all come crashing down and you end up with stress,which is only one step away from disease.
As always,awareness is the first step. One of the most valuable skills you can develop is the ability to ask yourself really good questions. Often,simple questions provide the greatest insight. Ask yourself:
- What specifically am I stressed about?
- What is the root cause of the stress?
- What can I do right away to alleviate the situation?
- Who or what can help me?
- How can I prevent this from happening again?
- What resources can I use to learn more?
Another great way to de-stress and improve balance is to adopt the traditional day of rest.
It is easy to get caught up in the hectic activity of daily living and lose sight of what you truly value. Unless you schedule this day off,it won’t happen. I suggest,getting out of the house- it’s too easy to get distracted by your to-do list,by feeling guilty about not working on it. Get away if you can. Do not let your mind burden you with worry,guilt or thoughts of work. Learn how to slow down and have fun. Give yourself permission to take this day. It’s a gift. You deserve it.All the other stuff can wait. Perhaps it’s not really that important anayway.