16 May How to Delegate Like a Boss at Home
Celebrate mom with an organized home (and our Daily Tidy Checklist)!
Motherhood is incredibly rewarding—and definitely no walk in the park. Moms have a whole closet of hats to whiz through each day: cook, nurse, chauffeur, teacher, bad cop, good cop, breadwinner, psychologist, maid, phew! If a 9 to 5 job sounds like a vacation, today’s post is for you.
Does a CEO perform every task at a successful company? No way! There’s a reason: delegation reduces stress, increases productivity, and creates a cohesive team. As we’re celebrating moms this month, here’s our gift to you: tips on how to delegate like a boss at home and a free downloadable checklist to get you started!
1. Understand delegation’s benefits
Delegation sounds delightful, but as mom you are master of the castle! Trying to explain what you do to someone else will take twice as long as doing it yourself, right? It may feel easier to just do it yourself, but begin to tweak your thinking and consider the long game; a little delegation will go a long way.
By giving each member of the family specific tasks they will have a feeling of ownership and participation, which increases feelings of belonging and purpose. Not to mention it teaches life skills and good ‘ole fashioned responsibility! And let’s not forget the added benefit you’ll get… more time and less stress. We bet you’ll even feel more gratitude and love for your family members! It may take more time upfront, but we promise it will be so worth it in no time at all. Teach your family. Delegate. Commit to being consistent. There are huge rewards!
2. Set yourself up for success – before crisis strikes!
When my brother and I were toddlers, my parents were throwing a dinner party, and my mom was rushing around making all of the preparations: cooking, cleaning, and getting us kids ready for bed, not to mention hustling to slap some makeup on and a dress. My dad approached her tornado of activity and asked how he could help. Relieved, she said “Yes, please. Can you put the kids to bed?”
Not 5 minutes later, my dad returned and shamefully asked, “Where do you keep the pajamas?” My mom looked up, picked her jaw off the floor, and thought, “Delegation fail!” Even being totally willing to help, my dad was unable to, because he did not know the know something as basic as where to find the pjs.
It’s true, times have changed and dads are great teammates, but the raw reality is, the bulk of the household responsibility still lies on the shoulders of mom. My mom had to do everything because she was the only one who knew how to do everything. You can probably see the point here: set yourself up for success and share the responsibilities (hopefully long before the guests arrive).
Here’s how to start. Grab a notepad and keep it with you for a week. Each time you do something for the house or family, write it down. The idea is to capture all your activities. You’re making a list so you can divide and conquer. Once you have it all written out, first congratulate yourself. Damn woman!! You accomplish so much! Now, go down the list and begin to assign tasks to the family. Voila! The birth of delegation.
3. Delegate cooking
Analyze what sucks up most of your time in the kitchen. Chopping? Stirring? Staring blankly into the fridge minutes before dinnertime? Let’s do something about it and simplify your life. So much in the kitchen can be done ahead of time and/or delegated.
- Plan: Meal plan at the beginning of the week. Consider activities for the week. Do you have a late meeting, kids have a rehearsal or activity? Knowing events ahead of time and who will be home to pop dinner in the oven helps you plan meals accurately. Meal planning will save your family from spending their college funds on take out!
- Share: “What are we having for dinner?” UGH! That dreaded question! Coming up with what to have for dinner is often a stressful chore. Share the menu creation by having each member of the family choose and prepare one meal. Kids (and spouses!) will complain less and eat more if they play a contributing role.
- Stock up: As a family, make a handful of freezer meals every few weeks. Things like lasagnas, pulled pork, taco meat, and bean burritos freeze wonderfully. On busy nights, ask your teen to preheat the oven and throw in the frozen enchiladas and a quick salad and baddabing! Dinner done.
- Subscribe: If it makes sense with your budget consider a meal prep service like our friend Dini Klein at Prep and Rally. Once a week she gives you a shopping list, recipes and how to videos. Who couldn’t use that kind of meal prep inspo!
Everyone who lives in the home can contribute to its organization and cleanliness. Kids as young as 18 months (we promise!) easily learn to put their toys away, shoes in the bin, and spoons in the drawer; so teens and adults have no excuse for leaving their plates on the table. Make every person responsible for his or her belongings as well as for a common area of the house. This will include teaching your family where things are, how to clean, and the expectation of cleanliness.
Giving kids and spouses ownership in the house helps them feel more pride and responsibility in it. They will take better care of the home and their possessions when they know mom won’t wave her “magic wand” to make it all better. In fact, instead of swooping in with mom magic, consider stepping in with a garbage sack at the end of the day to put a little fire under your delegees.
House cleaning services may be more affordable than you think and can help take care of those pesky floor boards and behind the toilet scrubbing that no one wants to tackle. Call a service in your area and get a quote! Even a once a month deep clean could be a big help.
Above all, remember that keeping a tidy house begins with having an organized system for your possessions. A simplified, organized home makes it so much easier to keep clean! Check out our website or send us an email if you want some tips and inspiration for how to maximize your space. We promise it will make chores and delegation all the easier.
5. Delegate errands
As a mom, you likely feel that you spend as much time in your car as you do at home! It’s time to simplify. Some errands can be easily delegated; others can be made more effective with a little planning (and perhaps a carpool!). Nearly all major grocery stores now offer free (or inexpensive) pick-up services for online ordering. What a fabulous time saver. Delegate a store employee to walk the endless store aisles for you! Some even offer home delivery service.
When running errands, make a list, map it out, and time your errands so they can be done in one trip. Drop off your dry cleaning between soccer games; have your bag of returns ready in the car for when you drive by Target; keep a running list on your phone of odds and ends you need to pick up at the store. Perhaps make a rule for yourself to take only one grocery store trip per week. If you really need that last minute item, ask your spouse to pick it up on the drive home from work.
Your car does not have to be your second home. If you’re starting to feel like an Uber driver, try organizing a carpool; 45 minutes in the car in the morning is better than 30 min in the morning and 30 min in the afternoon. Network with other moms in the neighborhood and at the school. Likely some have a similar schedule, live close, and are more than happy to jump into a carpool or pick something up at the school for you while they’re there anyway. Be sure to return the favor, and you will earn yourself a new friend as well as more time not behind the wheel.
6. Consider a personal assistant
We know you can do it all, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it all. Hired help sounds extravagant, but you’d be amazed by what a very part-time assistant can accomplish for you. What tasks are the biggest drain on your time and energy? Can you hire someone to do those things for you while you take care of what only you can do?
Take similar steps here as you do delegating around the house. Make a list of everything you do for a few days and then put stars next to those things that you can hand off to someone else. When you’re busy it can be easy to feel like the to-do list never ends, but you’ll be amazed at your increased motivation when you’re able to clear off a few of those things that sap your time and energy.
Personal assistants can handle errands, travel arrangements, scheduling, money management, and more! Even paying a nanny a few hours a week may be just what you need in order to get other work done. Do a cost/benefit analysis and see what makes sense for your family. Check out Upwork or Nextdoor to find delegation options in your area.
7. Go on a to-do list diet
Assess the to-do list you made in Tip 1. Do you really need to do all those things? Are you making things harder for yourself than you need to? We bet there are things on your to-do list that someone else can handle. Take out your to-do list and cross off anything that isn’t completely necessary or something you really enjoy doing. Do your daughter’s cupcakes need Pinterest-worthy, DIY flower toppers? Probably not. Cross it off.
Next, draw a star next to the top items that only you can do. Make sure you do those things first. Remember, your success as a mom has nothing to do with how long your to-do list is or how many items you have crossed off by the end of the day. Any items that don’t warrant a star can be delegated to someone else—whether a family member or hired help.
Decluttering life is more than organizing your shoe closet; make sure you are prioritizing your time for what is most important to you and your family. Focusing on what really matters will shine a big spotlight on the importance of delegation in your life. Be strategic and choosy with your tasks. Remember, it is OK to say no so you can say yes to what is more important.
8. Step away and let delegation work
This last tip may be the hardest one for you supermoms! You feel responsible for everything in your home and family and take pride in doing it on your own—you do so much and are amazing. Brace yourself for the truth…to really get the delegation ball rolling, you’ve got to let go. Yes, that means relinquishing control. It can be painful and you may feel growing pains. But just think of the benefits!
Delegate and step away! Let them handle it. We all know you could have done it better, faster, or cleaner, but leave it alone. If it’s not done exactly as you would have done it, let it go. It’s perfect because it’s done. Perfectionism crushes productivity, relationships, and happiness. You are not a worse mom because you didn’t do it all on your own; you are a better mom who prioritizes her time, teaches her kids responsibility, and believes that a family is a team.
Are you ready for more time, less stress, responsible kids, and an appreciative spouse? Effective delegation takes effort and practice, but we promise you will see the rewards in no time. Celebrate you this month and get everyone else on board. Skip the spa, ditch the flowers, (but maybe keep some chocolate) because this year, we’re delegating as well as any CEO! Good luck mom!