As women we are often praised for being good multitaskers. Remember the old song “I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in the pan, and never, ever let you forget you’re a man?” Did this woman also remember to help with the homework and run to soccer or ballet? I don’t know about you, but I certainly wouldn’t be singing after all that!
Unfortunately, we as women buy into the idea multitasking somehow makes us better. We compare schedules like men compare war wounds. He says, “I got this one in Nam” and we say, “I have to go to the grocery store and then pick up Susie from her playdate so we can get the supplies to take over to the fundraising committee and then…bla, bla bla.” The more you can jam into that sentence, the more street cred you think you get.
Here’s the sad truth, being busy doesn’t make you better, it just makes you tired. Furthermore, being torn in a million directions seriously impedes your chances of being successful. There have been many studies debunking the theory multitaskers get more done. In fact, in a 2001 a study by researches at the University of Michigan showed participants reduced their productivity by up to 40% because of the mental blocks caused by switching tasks, 40%, that’s incredible!
How on earth are we going to run successful businesses if we cannot stay focused? Something’s gotta give or perhaps a better way to say it is you’ve gotta give something away. You cannot and absolutely should not try to do everything yourself. If you are going to be successful, you have to get comfortable letting go of some of your responsibilities. You may be thrilled at the idea of passing off some of load to someone else, but I know it can also bring up uncomfortable feelings.
We can feel guilty, nervous or even sad about giving up some of the work or roles we have played up to this point. Does this phrase sound familiar to you? “Who am I to/not to….?” I know that refrain has danced through my head many times. “Who am I to hire someone else to do my laundry?” “Who am I to hire an assistant to help with the admin stuff?” However, if you do not get help, your business will never be as strong as it could be and you will never be able to rise to the level of success which is within your potential.
If letting go is hard for you, here are some tips to help you release the reigns so you can start to achieve your bigger goals:
1. Recognize you are giving someone else the chance to have employment. You may feel guilty about asking someone else to do a task you no longer want to do. However, whether it’s doing the dishes or doing data entry, you are helping someone else by giving them J-O-B.
2. Re-frame your role as care-giver. As women we are very tied to our roles as the ones who take care. We take care of the house, the kids, the schedules etc. Most of us take pleasure and pride in caring for our families. However, taking care does not have to mean actually doing the chores. It can mean making sure the chores get done by someone other than you! It can mean providing an income so your family can enjoy a better life-style.
3. Take inventory. In order to get the right help, you first have to know what your needs are. Take inventory of your current tasks and responsibilities. Which of these tasks is something you need to do in order to move closer to your goals and which of these tasks is something someone else could do so you can focus your time on the former?
4. Make getting help part of your job. I’m not going to lie, it takes time and effort to get the right support team in place. You need to treat it like you would any other important project. Put time in your schedule to work on it and create deadlines so you stay on track. Otherwise, you may be tempted to let it slide in favor of other “more important” things.
Although sometimes it feels like it, asking for help is not a sin. What is a sin, is not having a chance to manifest your beautiful gifts and talents because you are too busy being busy.
My challenge to you is to pick at least one task this week to outsource whether it’s to outside help, your spouse or your kids.
What is the number one task you wish you could let go of?
Post your answers below in the comments or find me on Facebook.
If you would like to use this article on your website or ezine, feel free! Just be sure to include the following:Heather Poduska is a Reach certified personal brand strategist, image consultant and business coach who helps women entrepreneurs create client attractive brands, polished brand images and brand communication strategies to increase their visibility and impact in the marketplace and grow their businesses. To learn even more about Heather and the Clear Voice Branding System click the link. www.clearvoicebranding.com