Are You Focusing on What You Do Best?

Dirty kitchen

Has your kitchen ever looked like this on a typical work-at-home day? I know mine has. Sometimes when I sit down to work in the morning (or in some cases, late at night), I find that I an get so absorbed in editing, or writing, or working on a consultation project or social media copy… that I forget about other things — like cleaning up after breakfast before the “it’s-time-to-make-lunch-Martine” alarm sounds off on my phone.

Can you relate?

Yeah, I see those nods. I see those raised hands, and I hear those “Amens!”

Often, things like chores, errands, kids, and work pile up on us as moms. Why? Well, it’s a tendency among work-at-homemakers to multi-task, that’s why. Sometimes in our “quest” to feel in control and on top of our homes and our families and our work, we start juggling more than we can manage. It’s not a pretty thing at all. In fact, the juggling act makes us more tired, often ineffective, and less productive than we thought we could be!

The truth: We can’t have it all, all at the same time.

Let me make one thing very clear, before we go any further:  Being a WAHM doesn’t mean you get to have it all.

I know that many of us planned to make the WAHM leap, maybe because of a conviction, perhaps a mission we wanted to fulfill. Often, it is family that brings us back into the abode, or that maternal desire to “be there for our children.” It’s all well and good, of course. Still, sometimes we often take more “WAHMing” than we can handle. We take on jobs (yes, plural), plot out too many items on our to-do lists, and then feel frustrated that we weren’t productive about our day.

The honest truth is: If you want to be happy as a work at home mom, you need to look into how you can be more effective at meeting your objectives — your mission — as a WAHM. Focusing on fulfilling your mission makes you happy, therefore making you more motivated, which in turn makes you more efficient, more effective.

The “happiness = better work” formula

It’s a known fact that when we’re happy, we are productive. I know, because I’m like this: I can’t stand working on something that does not make me happy! When I am happy about the work I’m doing, I excel at that work, and I inevitably make a positive impact, whether on my client or on my professional life in general. On the other hand, if I am working on something that stresses me out or makes me unhappy (like, anything to do with Math, to be honest), I get stressed. I have a difficult time focusing, thus, I take longer to finish a project, which means I don’t deliver excellent results.

It makes sense:

 

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Happiness = Better work.

A simple principle, one that often drowns under a sea of unwashed dishes and eternally long checklists for work.

If you want to do your best at work, you need to do two things:

1. Focus on what you do best; then

2. Delegate the things that you know someone else could do better.

If we want to be effective in our roles as homemakers, moms and keep on working, then we need to get this straight. We need to accept that we need help on certain tasks and processes, so that we can focus on the tasks and processes that we are personally great at. Because it’s true: You can’t be a jane of all trades. If you try, you’ll never be able to excel at that one thing you totally rock in doing.

Be happy. Follow these steps.

What are your top 3 strongest abilities, when it comes to work? I know for a fact that my greatest strengths are writing, directing (such as being an editor-in-chief), and mentoring women on how to gain confidence as writers or blog owners. Looking at that skill set, I can count just three things. That means anything else that falls under these strengths are things I am not as effective in doing. How about you? What are your top three (or maybe fewer) strong abilities? Focus on those.

Delegate the tasks or jobs that are not your strong points. This can actually take ages. I know it’s taken me a while to delegate things, especially when it comes to work. I’m still a work in progress, but at least I’ve gotten some help! I’ve delegated certain tasks that I’m not as effective in doing, tasks that are more excellently performed by other people.

Once I realized this, I began hiring part-time assistants. I started delegating things I wasn’t so great at (like research, copy editing, data analyzing, etc.), so that I could focus on my top strengths: writing, directing, and mentoring. Now, each time I come across a task, I ask myself: Is this work something that I need to do myself, or will it be better accomplished by someone whose strengths are better suited to this work? 

Ask yourself the same question: What’s your answer? Your answer can determine whether or not you will be more effective as a WAHM. Can you hire an ironing lady to take care of those unkempt piles of clean laundry? Could you hire an assistant to help you with your work-related tasks? Remember: There are certain tasks and jobs that you could have someone else do, so that you can focus on your actual strengths and deliver results. The important thing is to determine where you need specific help and how to delegate that type of work.

Trust me, it works!

Are you focusing on the things you’re really good at, in terms of work? If not, do you need a delegation strategy? What can you do to be more effective both at work and in your home/family duties, so that you do not compromises on either? Let’s share in the comments.

 

Comments

  1. Hi Marts! :) Thanks so much for this post :) Keep ‘em coming! :)

  2. What a timely post! We recently hired a “stay-out” cleaning lady and life has been much easier for me since then… :)

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