Most mums, especially work at home mums, spend much of their lives trying to “fit it all in”.
Our To-Do list is endless and there always seems to be a long list of tasks to complete, which incredibly, never seems to get any smaller.
It can be hard knowing which tasks to tackle first. And so rather than tackling the jobs that are the best use of our time that day, we end up doing the ones that are easiest in the moment, but that don’t necessarily move us towards a long term goal.
I remember when my youngest son Jack was nearing five months and was embarking on the world of real food outside of breast milk. With my first child I was a stay at home mum, and I felt rather industrious standing there peeling, chopping, cooking, sieving, pureeing, cubing, freezing and bagging his food. There is much pleasure to be derived from cooking your own organic purees to nurture and nourish your precious bundle.
When my second son Kai came along, needless to say, I was feeling rather less industrious. but I still made the effort to cook his food, although with a little less joy.
By the time Maya made an appearance, the wonderful world of Ella’s Kitchen had been born and she was lucky to receive a home cooked meal left over from dinner the night before.
Enter Jack child number four, and I found myself torn; I wanted to puree all his food, but was really finding it tough to fit in running my business with the demands of my young family.
One day, as I was running around frantically steaming and pureeing before I left for a meeting, I looked around my kitchen and suddenly noticed two of my staff playing with the kids. It was like a light bulb went off in my head. Why was I spending my precious money making time peeling and chopping vegetables, when I have people who work for me who I’m sure are perfectly capable and most of all willing, to do it?
Why had I worked my ass off to create a business from home that could afford to employ staff, if I wasn’t going to use them to my full advantage?
I realised that I had been putting off asking them to do it for me because I am a total and utter CONTROL FREAK.
What if they did it wrong? What if it wasn’t smooth enough? What if they added too much water and it wasn’t perfect? (You catch my drift).
It really got me thinking of all the areas of my life where I refuse to give up control and how fear is one of my biggest limitations to making my home business as successful as it can be.
Because I am such a “doer” I find it very hard to delegate (translation – give up the control!). Yet, learning to delegate is the one thing that will free up some time in your life, and enable to you gain more of a work/life balance.
Delegation doesn’t necessarily have to be to someone you employ – it could be as simple as tasking one of your kids to take the bins out on a daily basis, asking your husband to cook one night per week or enlisting the help of a friend to spend one to two hours per week commenting on blog posts in your name, to build links to your site and also more traffic.
If you are serious about creating a profitable business (at home or otherwise), spend sometime to find the areas where are you controlling things that you could let go of. And like anything in life, once you start to do this it becomes easier and easier.
Here are my top five tips for delegation:
Rank all your business and home tasks in order of importance.
Decide which ones only you can do and which you could delegate
Make a list of potential people who you could delegate to
Ask the person, explain what you need and gain their consent
Devise an easy “checking in” system so that you will know the job has been done.
Kim Constable is CEO and Founder of The WAHM Network and The Rainbow Garden. Through The WAHM Network she aims to empower, inspire and educate mums to create a business from home and a life they love, that upholds their value of family. She is mum to four young kids, a published author, inspirational speaker and a passionate yogi.