You. Are. Busy. The laundry room stench is infusing the rest of the house. Your kitchen could qualify for a science project. You have three deadlines for work looming and a dentist appointment scheduled for tomorrow. Throw in soccer practice, a dance recital and a school conference and you have all of the ingredients for a circus, minus the clowns... well, maybe not.
Where do you start? You start by delegating to the family. I know, I know, the last time you gave little Suzy the vacuum she swerved around all of the toys on the floor instead of picking them up and she sucked up the kitchen rug, right? Here are 5 simple steps for better delegating, which equals more time (and less eye twitching) for you!
You wouldn't throw an employee loose on a project without at least some training, would you? If your family doesn't know what you expect, how can they meet your expectations? Show the kids and your hubby what you want! Write it down for and allow them time to "get it."
2. Make it easier
If you want your kids or husband to do laundry, get them the all-in-one products or pre-measure the detergent for them. Tape directions to the washer and dryer. Ask yourself "how can I make 'X' task 3 steps or less?" The fewer steps your family member has to take, the more likely he or she is to do what you ask. I'd give up halfway through in a 27 step dish-washing process too!
3. Manage your expectations
Just because a chore isn't done your way, doesn't mean it isn't right or acceptable. Wouldn't you love your hubby to bathe the kids while you take a 20 minute walk? Even if he doesn't do it exactly the way you do it, it's okay. Don't sweat it! Try to praise rather than criticize. Complaining about everything your family does will end up making them feel discouraged and eventually they will just give up.
Let your kids and husband know what needs to be done. They honestly may not see it like you do. How many times has your husband literally sat down next to a pile of clean laundry on the couch without folding it? You can use a dry erase board, sticker chart, email or whatever works for your family to get your messages across. Delegation may look something like this:
- "Chris, it would make me so happy if you could fold the laundry when you get home today," or
- "April, Please wash the dishes and clean your room in the morning - You are the greatest!"
Tell your family what you want and when you want it done. As an added bonus, tell your household how much their help would mean to you.
"Thank you" or "how amazing are you?!" will go so much further than "you didn't do that right" or "you messed that up." Praise encourages improvement. Even if the job isn't done perfect or exactly the way you would do it, don't go around re-doing your loved-ones' work. Teach your children the value of hard work and appreciate their effort regardless!