Taking on too many tasks at home, work or school can cause a great deal of stress, leaving you feeling overwhelmed, helpless and/or hopeless. These feelings can further increase your stress levels, which in turn can lead to relationship issues, reduced work productivity and a general feeling that ‘everything is just too much’. The most beneficial stress reducing techniques therefore include learning to delegate effectively, so here are some tips on how to delegate better.
Learning to Delegate Effectively
To reduce stress by delegating, it is necessary for you to do so effectively – which can be achieved by following these simple steps:
Let Go – The first step towards effective delegation is to let go of the idea that you are the only person who can get a job done.
It is important to understand here that this is by no means about over-inflated self-esteem or narcissistic tendencies, but the normal human desire to manage matters without relying on others because, as a rule, we can trust ourselves to get things done.
In other words, you must learn to see that there are plenty of competent, trustworthy people around you who can help you by taking on some of your chores.
Choose the Right Individual for the Task at Hand – Before handing over responsibilities, figure out what you need, as opposed to what you think other people can do for you.
If, for instance, asking your partner to pick up your toddler from the nursery is likely to leave you worrying whether they’ll remember to do so for the rest of the day, it is probably best for you to do it yourself.
Asking your partner to put out the bins for collection instead, on the other hand, will relieve your burden without causing a major problem should they forget.
Similarly, asking a team member to find documents you need for an important business meeting would probably be more sensible than asking them to attend the meeting for you.
In other words, the trick is to let go of tasks that are time insensitive and have minimal consequences when left undone while retaining control over high priority responsibilities.
Be Specific & Clear – People who know precisely what you expect of them invariably do better. It is imperative to avoid ambiguity and to be specific, clear & to the point about what you want someone else to do.
Instead of asking your partner to ‘help around the house’, for example, ask them to help you with specific tasks (i.e. “Can you help Sophie with her homework, give Jimmy a bath, get tomorrow’s packed lunches for the children ready?”)
This naturally also translates to work, where people are as unable to read your mind as they are at home. Giving colleagues specific jobs you know they can perform well, for instance, will be far more effective than simply asking them to ‘help you around the office’.
Follow Up – Following up and making sure a task is completed when delegating responsibilities is important to place value on the task at hand and helps to ensure it is done. This does, however, not mean you should hound or badger them about it – a friendly “Did you manage to get that job I asked you to do done?” is usually quite enough.
Stress & Your Digestive System
In addition to making you feel hopeless and overwhelmed, the stress of trying to do everything yourself can also affect your digestive system. You may, for example, experience symptoms including acid reflux/heartburn, bloating or nausea; constipation, diarrhoea or stomach pain.
Suitable for the treatment of upper gastrointestinal disorders, silicolgel can help you take control of these symptoms until you can reduce your stress levels by delegating more effectively. Available from stockists all over the UK.