I recently read a fascinating article in Real Simple magazine regarding Women & Time. Probably the most fascinating aspect is a phenomenon called Gatekeeping. In short, Gatekeeping is when we have avenues in which we could delegate tasks but choose not to do so as then we would relinquish control.
Control is a big word and one few take lightly. When it comes to our homes, we (speaking to women here) are the master of our domain. I can’t tell you how many husbands or sons will purchase gift certificates for me to help their wives or mothers get more organized, only to never hear from them. If the woman takes the initiative, the husbands are typically onboard 100% until we discuss their “man cave”. My point is, we want to be in control of our space, yet we also want more time to do things we enjoy.
So how do we achieve that? I would recommend seriously considering your priorities. When it comes to your home, is a clean toilet more important to you than pressed curtains? Is putting away dishes properly more important than a few extra minutes of play time when bathing small children? Make a list of all of your tasks then go back through them and prioritize them with 1 being the most important and the last number (coinciding with the number of items on the list) being least important to you.
Take that last, least important item, and delegate it to someone else and see what happens. Just as an example, lets hypothesize that making beds is lowest on your list. If your home is like mine, no one else can make a bed just quite right. The pillows aren’t lined up right or the sheets hang out from under the duvet. Take the time to truly show the recipient of this task how it should be done and let them do it. Giving constructive criticism at first then backing off. Even if they aren’t done exactly to your specifications, it is easier to go back and fix it than do the whole thing.
Once that last item is ok, move onto another one, before long you will, hopefully, be a master delegator. Don’t think your family can do it? Guess again. Don’t underestimate them before giving them the opportunity after adequate training. “Adequate” being the most important aspect. If my family of 3 boys can do it, so can yours!
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