I like things done a certain way, you could call me a ‘control freak.’ However, this has not served me well in my life because it eventually leads to burnout. I learned that delegation is important when I had my breakdown. It showed me that I was doing too much and hurting myself. If you find yourself in a similar situation, read on to discover the importance of delegation on your health. I have also included some practical tips that you can apply to work, at home and your relationships.
Control freak is of course not the clinical term but it does have meaning. Control seeker is a better way to describe this. Both men and women have a need for control however, the extremities of the need for control differ person to person. Control seekers essentially need control because without it, they fear things would spiral out of control and their lives would fall apart.
“Needing a high level of control in situations is often not psychologically healthy because so much in life is beyond our control. If you need total control even though you and everyone else knows that it is impossible to achieve, then you are going to have more anxiety because of the bar you set for yourself.” – Seth Meyers Psy.D.
When you are in a stressful situation or a series of stressful events, you will find that it will keep on mounting. When this happens, you need to take a step back and review what you can control and what could be delegated to someone else.
For those of you who might call themselves a ‘control freak’ also, know that by not putting an importance on delegation, you will end up hurting yourself.
Managing stress is important and there are a number of ways you can do that. However, if you find it difficult to delegate, you will not be able to manage your stress well.
If you find yourself spiralling out of control with the number of things on your to do list, then it is time to delegate. This is understandably not an easy task but once you start, you will soon see why delegation is so important.
When you let go of certain aspects of stress you are empowering yourself. Making the choice to let go, will release you of unnecessary stress. The key word here is unnecessary because a lot of our stress is unnecessary. However, until we choose to see that, we will continue on the downward spiral towards burnout.
Delegation at work can sometimes feel as though you are undermining yourself. You might feel that if you delegate certain tasks that perhaps you ‘should’ be doing, your seniors may penalise you. However, try to adopt the mindset that delegating tasks is helpful to both you and the person you are delegating to. When you do this, you have the power and essentially you are helping someone else. It then makes it easier for you to justify why the tasks were delegated in the first place.
For example, you might be overwhelmed by a project or task so delegating will be important here. You can delegate some of those tasks to others in your team. For them it is a progression and form of responsibility. You will then release some stress and pressure off yourself.
If you are the person responsible for the upkeep of your home, delegation will be extremely important here. It is easy to fall into gender stereotype roles without even realising it. However, if you do have a supportive partner, you need to relinquish control a little and get their help. The best and most easiest way to do this is by delegating certain tasks to each other.
If you have children, rope them in too because these are essential life skills that they will benefit from. When you create this task list, do it together. Make a list of everything that needs to be done around the house and when you would like them done. Together you create your personal task lists with weekly timelines.
I would like to add that if you like a ‘nice house’ etc, there is an element of reframing the way you think about the housework. You cannot expect the house to be ‘perfect’ all of the time. This is unrealistic. You can delegate the housework to a cleaner if you want it done a certain way and at a certain time. However, if you are not in a position to hire a cleaner, you must work on the importance of the house work.
These are chores but the way you perceive them is what matters. For instance, if you feel good when the housework is complete, that is your purpose for doing it. You cannot complain about the housework if you are delegating. Remember that everyone is different and no matter how supportive a partner is, they may not do it the way you like. This is not a bad thing. Here, you need to relinquish the control and accept the person for who they are. Especially if they continue to support you.
If you identify as a control seeker this can creep into your dating habits and become something you may resent. Delegation is important when you are dating someone. As someone who likes to control situations, you may find yourself planning all of the dates. If this ends up making you feel resentful, it is important to practice some ‘give and take’ here.
For example, you might plan the first date so then the next date needs to be planned by the other person. As long as you are communicating well on your dates, this will be an enjoyable challenge for you both.
It is imperative to note that delegation is not weakness. Delegation is important, it is a smart move. Delegation is important and good for your health because it is a conscious, mindful choice you have made.
You are in control of your life, how you manage stress and joy therefore if something requires a tweak, you need to make a decision to make it happen. Understand that delegation is not letting your power go, the power you hold is in the ability to confidently choose to delegate.
Puja McClymont – certified coach, wisdom teacher, speaker and host of the SELF Care 101 podcast.
As a life and leadership coach, I help mission-driven individuals who are seeking direction, to gain clarity, by expanding their inner awareness through the ancient wisdom teachings of Ayurveda and Yoga; so that they can lead more purposeful and fulfilling lives.
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