Why it's ok to NOT do everything yourself



Picture the scene: a busy woman, doing everything, being all things to all people, smiling, giving so much value, every single day.


On the outside she looks like a superwoman, she can do it all, people like her, she's successful. Who wouldn't want to be around her to soak up her magic?


The inside view though, is somewhat different. She's exhausted, that smile is plastered on her face, she's resenting being so busy, she's wishing someone would look out for her just once so she can take a break. She's also convinced she's failing. There's just too many plates to keep spinning.



There's benefits to doing it all myself - I keep control!


The benefits of keeping everything going yourself is that you retain control. If you're the only one progressing things, doing things then its down to you, right? And that keeps you in control. Also, you know you can trust yourself. Someone else might not do it in the way you want it to be done.


Yes, these are reasons to keep spinning all those plates... that is if control is important to you.


But what are you missing out on by doing all the things? You're missing some fun and enjoyment, downtime for your brain and the ability to focus on the things you can really add value to.


You're also de-skilling the people around you, whether that colleagues, family or friends which means you'll always be called upon to keep doing it well into the future.


And that feeling of failure will keep showing up, because you're not allowing yourself to do things to the absolute best of your ability.



So how can I turn it around?


Start by writing down your list of things to do.


You can focus on these questions to help you decide whether continuing with the task is important enough to you, for you to be the only person who can do it.


  1. Are you any good at it? Is this task tailored to your expertise? Or is someone else better?

  2. Does completing the task bring you energy, or sap your energy?

  3. How much time does it take up? Could you use that time to do something you enjoy?

  4. Do you have the resources you need to properly do the task? Or are you 'making do'?

  5. How much is it costing you to keep doing it (time, money, effort, mood, relationships)?


When you've answered your questions, strike off those tasks that don't fit your expertise, bring you joy or that you want to do, and decide who can do them instead.


By creating space in your day by handing tasks to others (online shopping versus physically going to the shop, delegating a task to upskill a colleague, hiring an expert who can do it so much quicker than you, asking family members to do the laundry, hiring a cleaner) you are creating time for you to focus on what you are good at.


Spending more time each day focusing on what you're good at and what you enjoy doing will give your mood a boost and you won't feel overwhelmed all the time. You also know that these tasks are being completed by someone who does it better, so you can trust them to do it well and release some of that control and fear of failure.


It's ok to NOT do everything yourself.