Discipline,  Organization,  Perils of a Mom Writer

Delegating Responsibility To Find More Time To Write (Part 1)

by Katharine Grubb

When my two older daughters were very small, they asked me to play with them. I agreed. We were playing”house” after all, and I knew this game. Or at least I thought I did.

“I’m the Mommy,” my 4-year-old daughter said.”Miranda is the Daddy.” She pointed to her 3-year-old sister.

“Who will I be?” I asked.

“You can be the maid.”

Did they demonstrate they understood the concept of delegating responsibility or were they just typecasting me?

Okay, so my family, at least my small children, are used to seeing me do much of work in our house. Your family has probably been used to you working too.

Are you working alone? Are you taking the sole responsibility?

If you are managing a family and your personal goals or career, then you must recruit your family’s help. This article will demonstrate how you can organize the people around you. By delegating responsibility, you can be more organized and have more ten-minute increments to write (or do whatever you like.)

it or not, one of your adult roles is that of a manager. You are the manager of your life and you are the manager, for better or worse, of the dependents in your home. The first boss my children will ever have is me. I want their first experience of being managed to be a positive one. Managing looks a lot like parenting, but the main goal of managing is training others to be responsible. Delegating is one form of managing.

Throughout the month of February, Mondays will be devoted to a specific concept relating to delegating responsibilities of your household so you can get more writing done.

Today I want to discuss the importance of definition. Each task and responsibility of your household has to have an agreed-upon understanding of what constitutes a complete job.

In Write A Novel In Ten Minutes A Day, I call these definitions non-negotiables. These are the baseline requirements that your household must have to run effectively. These requirements are determined only by you and the other adults in your household. If you take the time to create definitions for what your requirements are, then it is easy to communicate what must be done.”Pick up all the clothes off the floor” is specific and easier to understand than “clean your room.” If you are issuing commands or requests to children, you need good definitions so that they understand.

Definitions also help us see what goes wrong. If you have clearly spelled out what it means to”clear the table,” and yet you see wadded napkins on the floor, empty milk glasses and crumbs everywhere, you will know whether or not your standard is met.

Definitions move our household obligations from a vague feeling of disarray to clear, measurable outcomes. Even if you are the only one in the house doing the work required, you will get a richer feeling of satisfaction if you set a standard for your chores and meet that standard consistently.

Definitions should be clear, measurable, and agreed on by all. Take the time to discuss definitions with the members of your house. The time you take in this task seems like it may crowd into your writing time or your other obligations, but by clarifying what you expect and communicating your expectations to others, you are actually saving time in the long run.

Spend time this weekend thinking about the definitions that you have (or don’t have) and that you could implement in your household so that the tasks get done faster (and you get more writing time in!) 

Note: this post is an excerpt from When The Timer Dings: Organizing Your Life To Make the Most of 10 Minute Increments

Check-in with us next week, when we address communication! 

Katharine Grubb is an author, poet, homeschooling mother, camping enthusiast, bread-baker, and believer in working in small increments of time. She leads 10 Minute Novelists, an international Facebook group of time-crunched writers. She lives with her family in Massachusetts.