When I read Stop Organizing, Start Producing: Leverage the 12 Factors that Make or Break the Busy Professional by Casey Moore, I identified delegation as one of my weak links in The Productivity Chain®. As first child in my family I learned early on to do things myself and not to count on anyone else to get things done. Yes, I developed into one independent woman!
In my marriage I took the road so often traveled by women and over-functioned. I took care of many of the tasks that need to be done to run a home. It seemed so much easier to do that than ask Bob, my husband, for help and then getting varying results: things not being done at all; things not being done in a timely manner; things not being done the way I like them done. Does this sound familiar?
Casey’s book was a wake up call to me. She suggests that all the factors that affect productivity are connected. In other words, a weakness in one factor affects other factors and overall productivity. Using Casey’s model I was able to identify the cost of not delegating. My health suffers. I get exhausted and then get depressed. When I feel exhausted and depressed everything else is difficult: my relationship with myself, Bob, family, friends and clients; marketing my business; working with clients; enjoying life; handling my furry children. That’s a hefty price to pay for not delegating!
Awareness is the first step toward change. Becoming aware of the cost of being so independent has motivated me to start asking for more help. I still have a long way to go with delegation, but more and more often I find myself stopping to think about whether I am the only one who must do a task or whether it is something Bob or someone else can do.
And, guess what? Bob is stepping up to the plate. He actually seems to enjoy being more involved in household tasks. We are now working more as a team instead of Bob just playing a minor role in the Debbie Bowie show. My health is improving and I am feeling relief not to be carrying such a heavy load of responsibilities.
How comfortable are you at delegation–asking for help from co-workers, children, husbands, wives? Are you able to regularly ask others for help to lighten your load? If not, what is it costing you? Are you sure you want to pay that price?