How to Actually Delegate Tasks
If you’re anything like me, you’re likely the person in your home who is in charge of #allofthethings. You know what’s on the schedule, who has a science project due, what errands need to be run, who has practice when, and so on.
In fact, I (somewhat jokingly) like to refer to myself as the COO of our household.
Not to say that my family doesn’t pitch in and help when asked. They absolutely do! But I’m the person who knows what’s going on. I’m the master of the tasks and the owner of the list of those tasks.
And it’s this idea of list ownership that I really want us to explore today.
It’s one thing to transfer a task to someone else, but it’s a very different thing to transfer task ownership to someone.
Transferring ownership of the task requires relinquishing control, and this is something that many women, myself included, struggle to do.
It also means that tasks may not be done in the exact way you would do them.
Let’s examine two different scenarios:
In scenario one, you sit down with your family and go through the list of everything that needs to be done. As you read through the list, you assign specific family members specific tasks. You may even write their names next to their tasks.
But in this scenario, those tasks are still on the list you’re in charge of. So when it comes time to follow up that a task has been done, the responsibility associated with that task swings back to you.
It seems like you are delegating, but in the end, the stress and management still comes back to you because you aren’t actually letting go of owning that task and taking it off of your list.
So, instead of owning the list and checking in as though you’re the task manager, I want to encourage you to embrace full-on delegation.
In this second scenario, when you assign responsibility to an individual for a specific task, that task no longer lives on your list.
Instead, that task goes on their list, and you’re not in charge of checking in on whether or not it’s been done. It also means that you are letting go of how that task is done. And I know this is much easier said than done!
An example of this is how my husband and I share the grocery shopping and meal planning.
When it’s my husband’s week to shop and meal plan, that ball is fully in his court. He makes the list, and he does the shopping.
Does this mean that on those weeks there’s often food in the house that I wouldn’t have chosen or might prefer not be there? Yes. But does it also mean that I have extra time freedom not having to think about dinner prep, etc? Yes. And I love that!
When choosing which tasks to delegate and transfer ownership of, you have to consider what’s most important for you to keep, and you also have to practice releasing control over the tasks that aren’t your highest priority.
For instance, if you really like your clothes washed and folded a certain way, maybe your laundry remains one of your tasks. But you could have the task of washing everyone else’s clothes shift to your partner or your teens.
Will the other laundry be done exactly how you’d like it? Probably not, but that’s okay.
The busier you get with your life and your business, the more tasks you are going to have, and when you learn to really delegate, you will give yourself much-needed room to breathe and the ability to focus on the important things.
It’s time to lighten your mental load, and if you need me, you know I’m here to help!