Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Advice From a Control Freak

Me: "Someone has been at my desk.."
       "How do you know?" says my office mate.
Me:"I can feel it. And I don't think I put that pen there."
       This is followed by my office mate making this big eyed face of concern/disgust/confusion.

This is a real life story. Often times we watch murder mystery shows at home where the host will say things like "Sandy didn't notice that things were ary in her house, so she didn't suspect anyone was lingering in her basement to kill her." And I'm all like ...."Dude, I notice when someone moves a pillow. Like, what?!"

Nothing gets past me, Inspector Gadget.  Those two embarrassing anecdotes were just revealed to you so you would be thoroughly convinced before you read the rest of this post that I am 100% a control freak. Full-fledged-anxiety-ridden-control-freak.

I digress.

The last couple years of my life have grown to become increasingly busier as time goes on. This is the normal ebb and flow of most peoples lives and I am preaching to the choir here, I'm certain, but it's an issue to be spoken about regardless of the fact. As business gets busier and life gets compounded on top of that, how do you manage it without going crazy? There was a time when I didn't. It's as easy as that. I didn't manage it. I tried to do it all, superwoman style, and it often times left me drained, completely exhausted and not "present" in my day to day life. When I thought I was doing a good thing by working extra hard and doing everything myself, I was actually robbing myself of alot of sweet moments in my life.

In an effort to control the control freakness, I put together a few tips that I find to be really useful in our home, business, life, etc.

1. Create a team and delegate.

If you have a business you will soon find out that putting together a good team is the best asset for your business and your sanity. Protecting the bottom line is always important so it's tempting to try to do everything on your own to keep costs down, (And sometimes that is very necessary.) but when the opportunity arrives to hire good staff/team members, do it.

If you have a family (which is often times harder to manage than a business) these team members would be your family member. Delegate certain tasks to certain people. Once you have delegated them, forget about them. Personally, there are certain things in our home or finances that David does every time. I clear my brain of these items and use that brain space for other things.

Delegation is incredibly freeing.

2. Don't be afraid to pay for services.

I am old school- two years ago you could have caught me saying things like "why would you ever pay someone to clean your house?!" or  "who pays for someone to mow their lawn?" or "why would you pay someone to do your taxes?" I couldn't feel more opposite now. There comes a time when you must put a value on your time. When that value is greater than the cost of the services then you should pay someone else to do that service.

Last summer, we started paying someone to mow our yard. As simple as it sounds, paying someone to do this small task relieved so much tension. Not that mowing the yard is necessarily that much work or time, but freeing yourself of that obligation is very valuable. (I won't even get started on taxes. Paying someone to do our taxes was literally the best money ever spent.)

3. When possible, put yourself on subscription services.

Ever go to the bathroom in the middle of the night only to find out there is a sliver of toilet paper the size of a postage stamp left? I won't even get started on food.

Lots of places offer subscription services that are super helpful. Amazon has an excellent subscription service that will allow you to pick the product and the timing of delivery. Then these items just arrive at your door and you don't have to think about them or plan them. It's really nice for staple items that you know you will need/use like paper products, hair/makeup products, face wash and cleaners. Often times these subscription services offer you a discount by going on auto delivery also.

4. Don't be afraid to just ask for help.

Sometimes you just have to break down and ask for help from a friend or family member. There is nothing wrong with emailing your mom and just saying "hey, can you come over and help me with ____" Easy as that- just ask!

5. Create a system.

I've created a little system I use when cleaning the house. Instead of randomly cleaning what "needs" to be cleaned, I will do the same tasks in relatively the same order once a week. For those of you nerdos out there, this routine goes a lil sumthin' like this:

         1. Put clothes in washer/start washer.
         2. Put dishes in dishwasher/start dishwasher.
         3. Dust.
         4. Clean mirrors throughout the house.
         5. Take out the trash.
         6. Lint roller the couch.
         7. Wipe down appliances/cabinets.
         8. Clean litter box.
         9. Wash Sheets
         10. Vaccum

Even if these things don't appear to be necessary, there is something about doing them every single week that just kind of keeps things feeling under control. And following a "routine" makes it so much easier and quicker. I can complete the majority of these tasks in 45-55 minutes and then its over and I can forget about it.

This just an example of a system. You may benefit more from a system regarding cooking or paying bills. Regardless of what that system is for, create it and follow it. It will free your mind of so much space.

So, there it is, my friends. These items may not prove to be helpful to you, but they have certainly created more sanity and positivity in our home and I hope it does the same for yours. Sometimes "losing" control and letting other people take over is the only way to stay sane.


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