Learning to Delegate is hard to do!

The results of a survey of 600 career women in Australia was recently released that showed that 85% of the women surveyed prefer to do laundry themselves rather than delegating it to family members who would "do it wrong".

Laundry the report said was seen as a task that "invoked a sense of accomplishment when complete".

The women surveyed and defined as 'progressive' live in cities on the east coast of Australia, are between 30 - 45 years of age, have a tertiary education, a household income of more than $90,000 per annum and they work an average of 50 hours per week.

Whether the respondents actually like doing the laundry (It's interesting to note at this point that the report was actually commissioned by a manufacturer of laundry powder) cooking, parenting and shopping that were the most favoured tasks nominated - there does seem to be an issue about delegating.

The survey found that 84% of the women believe that there is more expected of them than was expected of their mothers in terms of career, lifestyle and household tasks, and most women believe that they undertake the majority of the laundry (85%), shopping (88%) and parenting (91%) duties.

Yet when it comes to tasks women would prefer to relinquish 49% would delegate cleaning, yet the preference to delegate laundry was only 4%, shopping 2% and parenting - 1%.

It seems that there is a gap between carrying the majority of the workload and the willingness to delegate.

Generally I have observed that when there are tasks that women can do, that is, they have the capability to do it - they are reluctant to do it - regardless of their capacity to do it. We seem to think if we have the skills to do something we should do it regardless of whether we have enough time.

And we tend to think that no one else can do it quite as well as we can.

It's hard to learn to delegate. Will it be done as well as you will do it? Will you take you just as long to organise someone else to do it than if you did it yourself? Are you being lazy? These are the questions that haunt us all.

The reality is that you can't do everything. If you work 50 hours a week, sleep for 56, travel to and from work for 10 - that's not leaving a whole lot of hours for living the rest of your life. Whether you spend them in the laundry or hanging out with friends is your choice or whatever. Just make sure it's your choice - it's what you want to do not what you think you should do.

It's the same principle at work - you can't do everything yourself and we need to learn to delegate there too.

Housework might not be a dirty word for women in Australia and giving yourself permission to not do it can be difficult.

But Career Chicks are conducting negotiations and making important decisions and trade-offs every day. The risks associated with washing lingerie and jeans in the same load seem pretty acceptable to me.

I'm just sayin'

Thanks for the chat

- Karen

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