Here's what I often hear from working moms:
“I love my career. That said, it demands a ton of hours. At home, I manage kids’ schedules, laundry, plus most nights I field the question, “What should we do for dinner?”.
"I’m overwhelmed. Basically, I need another me. How can I stop being stretched too thin?”
Do you have an overdeveloped sense of responsibility, doing everything yourself so it’ll be done right, or to “save” money? (If you’re a woman, you’re 110% percent more likely to answer yes than are the guys in your life.) Have you ever calculated how much this is costing you? I’m guessing not.
Time to do the math.
First, figure out the real price tag for hiring someone to lighten your load.
Let’s say you clear $100,000 a year operating a small consulting firm; that breaks down to $48 per hour. Now let’s say you spend six hours a week running errands that anyone with a car and a sense of direction could do. Plus six hours a week doing household chores. That comes out to $576 (12 hours x $48/hour). You could hire a competent person to do the same work for $18 per hour ($216). So you’re losing $360 a week by doing the work yourself.
Right about now you may be thinking, “That’s easy to say for someone who makes $100,000; I can’t afford it, though.” Okay. Let’s do the math with $75K. That breaks down to $36 per hour. Now let’s say you spend six hours a week running errands that anyone with a car and a sense of direction could do. Plus six hours doing household chores. That comes out to $432 (12 hours x $36/hour). So you’re still come out ahead.
Every hour you needlessly burn up by failing to delegate is time you could be investing in your career, taking on exciting new project opportunities, positioning yourself for advancement, networking with colleagues, potential clients, and movers and shakers, and freeing up more time for yourself and for quality time with your family—and it’s one of the key ways women self-sabotage.
I’ve worked with hundreds of women who have trouble rationalizing outsourcing—and it doesn’t matter how much they earn. If you crunch the numbers, however, you’ll have objective figures that prove it makes sense to free up your time for what really counts.
Ask around and find yourself a good cleaning person, a part-time or full-time executive assistant, a computer whiz, and other support people that can complete tasks for a fraction of the time or money it would take you to do it yourself.
Stop wasting time thinking “I need another me” and spend the money for a “mini-me”. You’ll end up a lot richer—at home, and at work.
Dr. Debra Condren is the author of, amBITCHous (Broadway Books), a woman’s guide to earning her worth and achieving her dreams—with integrity. Ask Debra any question now at: Debra@AmbitionIsNotADirtyWord.com.