It is said that “a man may work from dusk to dawn, but a woman’s work is never done.” I can imagine that several women can identify with this statement. I once heard a story that compares how a wife starts her workday to how her husband starts his. In short, the story tells of how the wife wakes up at 5 AM, gets dressed and then completes a plethora of tasks before heading off to work. In contrast, her husband wakes up at 7 AM, gets dressed and simply heads to work.
For some women, this story describes their everyday truth! Yet in reality, the story does not end there. It picks up after the woman returns home after working all day long. She then completes a new list of tasks before bedtime, including cooking dinner and dealing with the kids. If this describes you, then it’s no wonder you’re always so tired! I have one word for you. Delegate! Below are a few tips that can help you do just that.
D – DRAFT a list of all tasks that need to be completed for the week.
E – EXTRACT non-essential tasks from the list. If a task can wait until the weekend, or even next week, then move it to a future “to-do” list.
L – LET IT GO! Decide which tasks on the list can only be done by you. Don’t sell yourself short on this one. Just because you can do it better than anyone else in the household does not mean that you have to do it.
E – EMPOWER other members of your family to complete their assigned tasks to the best of their ability (re-read the previous tip).
G – GATHER the family together for a night of fun. Order takeout or eat left-overs. On this night, everyone gets a break from the evening tasks…especially you!
A – ASSIGN additional tasks on your list to others in your household. Even small children can help with loading the dishwasher, dusting, vacuuming the floor and folding clothes.
T – TEAMWORK means less work for you! Make a weekly dinner menu. Have fun with it, such as meatloaf Monday, taco Tuesday, etc. If you have teenagers, assign one or more nights for them to cook dinner.
E – EXPECT something in return from your husband/significant other. If he wants some alone time or play time with you, then create a “honey-do” list so that he can complete some of the morning and evening tasks (it’s the perfect quid quo pro).
The tips above can be tailored to fit your needs. However, this month, as we celebrate women, be sure to take some time to celebrate you! Know that just because you are a woman does not mean you have to feel obligated to do everything! In addition, as you read or listen to all of the positive and inspiring messages throughout the month of March, remember that they are applicable to you every day! You matter…and you’ve got this!
[Karen Hopkins is a seasoned IT Project Manager (PM) currently living and working in Columbia, SC. She uses her PM skills to teach others how to organize their daily schedules and make the most practical use of their time.]