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Mr. Butler

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Feeling overworked in the office or at home? Delegate.

To delegate is simply to entrust a task or responsibility to another person. Delegation is something we just normally hear in offices or in a corporate environment. It’s an effective way of running a team, big or small. Its concept proves a valuable way of maximizing time and resources. It’s surprising that it’s not talked about more often in a family setup. In many ways, a family is somehow like the smallest version of a company. The same principle that proves valuable inside a company setup, delegation is the hack to a comfortable life at home.

For most of us, if not all, there are times when we unconsciously do our chores just as a way to escape what worries us, the bills that remain unpaid, the relationships that seem not to be working, and the work that we can’t seem to be promoted in.

Getting ourselves busy with these chores seems to be an effective way to “feel” productive and has the illusion of being on the road of progress. It’s quite easy to mistake activity with productivity. There is nothing wrong with this approach until it causes us to stagnate and lose focus on what matters most, spending time with our family and providing for our kids and family.

Working smart always beats working hard. As an adult, we learn that we become responsible for more than ourselves. Ultimately, it’s the level of output that we produce that matters, the number of things we get done. What better way to do more with less than to delegate stuff to other people.

To put this in better perspective, allow me to share a little about myself and my realization.

I’m happily living in BF Homes with my dear wife and two lovely daughters. In this beautiful subdivision, we have slowly built our roots and our family. But as a normal family of course, we are bogged down by so many household chores that need to get done – Cleaning, repairing something, buying groceries, cooking, laundry and more other stuff. The toughest part is; our time is not just about doing all these things. We have to squeeze them into our busy work schedule. And it would not be a good idea to prioritize them either over the job or business that puts food on the table and sends the kids to school. We have to secure our income, secure a promotion or secure a better business deal. This is something we can never endanger. No wonder working moms and dads are called superheroes ‘coz it’s just amazing where they get all the energy and time to get all this stuff done. So the question is, is there a better way to get through the chaos? The answer is Delegation.

If you are like me, after thousands of hours of sacrifices and the hundred times you have to fight yourself and literally drag your feet just to buy groceries, do laundry (well maybe not this one), clean the house or fix that sink faucet, there will be that tipping point when you become a little bit smarter and start asking yourself: is it really worth doing all these things by myself?

In a study conducted in 2015, the average middle class earns an income of around 45,000 pesos in a month or 255 pesos per hour, assuming a 22-day work month, 8 hours per day. Let’s say you and I are in this bracket. You could be earning more than that of course. But just as an example, that basically means selling our time to the company that employs us at 255 pesos per hour. That’s actually a decent rate, something that we can already be proud of. With today’s economy, assuming a fair lifestyle, it should give us a relatively comfortable life already. But here is a possibly controversial question, if our time is already worth 255 pesos or more per hour, why should we force ourselves to spend an hour doing a household chore and be paid nothing? I get it. Some people just enjoy doing chores. But I’m not posing the question to them. I’m posing the question to all the overworked parents out there who have to juggle work and family obligations.

So going back to my question above, let me explain further. I’m not saying your spouse or kids should start paying you something for doing a household chore. It’s not that. Let’s put it in a scenario. Let’s say you arrive home at 7 PM, and you realize that you are out of grocery stocks. Your most likely option to take is to drive yourself to the grocery store, spend gas, parking fee, and possibly get tempted to buy things you don’t really need and spend 1 hour there doing so. On the other hand, if you have the option to get those groceries by asking somebody instead to do it for you for only 160 pesos, would you take it? Perhaps you immediately thought “No!”. But come to think of it, if you did it yourself, you would have given away 255 pesos and spent more money on incidental things like gas for your car, parking fee, and others.  You may say, but Aaron, it’s already after shift. That’s even worse because you have given up the opportunity to spend that scarce one hour on things that matter, like playing with your kids, bonding with your wife, or work on something that will increase your future income. And I would assume spending 1 hour with your loved ones is way more expensive than your pay at work. In fact, we may even say it’s priceless. It’s an issue of trade-off. At the end of the day, 160 pesos becomes a small price to pay compared to doing it yourself.

This realization prompted me to look at things differently now. If I see someone willing to do things for me for 160 pesos, I’d be happy to give him or her the job. Besides, my time is not worth 160 pesos. It’s worth way more than that. I bet the same is true for you.

It is time to realize you are not alone. There are people around you who can help. You don’t have to be stressed by unnecessary worries of not getting things done. By basically delegating some stuff to other family members or even to home service professionals, you get to spend more time on what matters most to you.

To your freedom!🥂

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