In our fast-paced, overachieving world, it often feels like we have to do it all to prove our worth. We’ve been conditioned to believe that our self-worth is tied to our productivity. Today, I am challenging you to take on doing less through the transformative power of delegation. You might find you can regain control of your time, reduce stress, and ultimately achieve more when you start taking on less.
The Illusion of Busyness as a Badge of Honor
If you want to have a life that you actually enjoy, if you want to have a career you love, you have to learn how to do less. We are all doing way too much. For so many of us, we get obsessed with the idea of work-life balance, productivity hacks, and figuring out how to balance it all. We even dwell on carving out pockets of time to give ourselves to different areas of our lives. The reality is, these pursuits ignore the fact that we simply cannot maintain functioning at this level for decades and decades. Especially while expecting to have a life that is conducive with peace, happiness, calmness, and not stress.
But what if we challenge this notion? What if busyness and striving for work-life balance isn’t a mark of a successful, worthwhile life but rather a road to burnout and exhaustion? The first step is to recognize that these beliefs are deeply perpetuated by the need to constantly prove our self-worth through our activities.
Rejecting Hustle Culture
Learning how to reject these narratives of hustle culture and busyness as a badge of honor is the first step towards having a life you get to enjoy. Take notice of the messages that you were probably raised with. We’ve all been raised in societies that were based on the Puritan Work Ethic. Hard work was equated to godliness. Slothfulness is one of the deadly sins. When you add on the hustle culture of Capitalism, you’ll see how many messages you’ve been fed since you were a baby about the need to work hard.
Slogans like “I’ll sleep when I die” or “Work hard, play hard” are baked into the ethos of our culture. Acknowledging these messages and how they come up in your beliefs today is important for taking account of how often your actions are motivated by these beliefs.
When we’re learning to create a life that includes peace and joy, the first line of defense is learning how to actually do less. That means completely cutting out the things that you don’t really want to do but just feel obligated to.
Start by asking yourself, “Why am I doing this if I don’t want to (or even have to)? What will I get to believe about myself if I do this thing?” Spoiler alert: you’re usually after that belief. For example, “If I decorate my house for the holidays and bake all the cookies from scratch I get to believe I’m a good mom that’s creating good memories for my kids”. When we stop and realize that we don’t have to prove anything, we can release the need to take on more responsibility.
How to Actually Delegate
The second line of defense to living a life you love is delegating. Ask yourself, “Why do I have to be the one to do this?” Scrutinize your daily tasks and identify those that don’t align with your true desires or your strengths. Start by asking yourself, why you’re doing these tasks and what beliefs they reinforce about your self-worth.
Struggling with “I can do it better”
It’s crucial to recognize that you don’t have to do everything. There are two reasons I see people struggle with delegating. The first is the thought, “I can do it better.” They struggle with releasing control and tasks not being done to their own standard. If you find yourself caught up in this belief, consider “What does their support free me from? What does it free me up to do?”
The tasks you delegate need not be done perfectly or better than anyone else; they just need to get done. If you can shift your perspective, you can reclaim valuable time and energy for more meaningful pursuits.
Accounting for Affordability
The second reason people don’t delegate is the thought, “I can’t afford it.” You may be surprised to find that it’s more affordable than you think. Maybe you want to delegate housework, for example. Maybe you find you can’t afford biweekly housekeeping but you can cover hiring help once a month. Does this still free you up for more time with your family or take care of the cleaning you can’t help but put off?
This doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing approach. Evaluate the tasks you’d like to delegate and research the costs associated with outsourcing them. Start small by outsourcing a single task or a few hours of help each week or month. By reevaluating your spending priorities and making space for delegation in your budget, you can invest in your peace of mind and well-being.
Opening Up to Opportunities
By choosing to delegate, you’re acknowledging that you can create a happier, more fulfilling life by doing less. Ultimately, your self-worth isn’t determined by your workload but by the contentment and joy you experience. I hope this newfound freedom opens you up to opportunities for creativity and personal growth. If you need help rejecting the myth of doing it all and releasing control to start delegating, join me in the Quitter Club where we can workshop this together.