#15a: DELEGATE – Your Work Life Solution

By @KathyKormanFrey.

This is part of the Power Plays series.

There Xandra sat …in her car.. in the parking lot…outside the hospital. “I’m in labor,” she texted from her Blackberry: Still wired, still connected. Xandra is alive and well today (this is an exercise, not about people really meeting their demise).  But, really people?

What is wrong with this picture?

Businesses often prepare for worst case scenarios. What if the CEO gets hit by a bus? The company will get key man insurance. The company will do advance succession planning.


What can we learn from this?

The “If I Died” List is about removing yourself from (Part I). The point being: How SEVERE do things need to get for you to “let go” and pass off responsibility?


Perhaps it is because I just saw the ballet “Dracula” last night. But, also, this really does work with high-achieving women who have a hard time “putting it down.”

Either way, I guarantee you’ll walk out of it with:

  • Less stuff on your plate
  • A different perception
  • Potentially more appreciative 
  • Closer to your major goals and dreams
Not bad for a quick exercise in a blog, net net.

Back to Xandra…

She’d had a lot of prep, as had her team, in anticipation of the baby day. Boss-lady was gone – for a while.  But that compulsion, it was there…you know what it is..to get out those last few emails, take care of those last few things.

The achiever in us: It both works for us, and haunts us.

Said another way: We both freaking love and hate this person.

Personally my overachiever side is a cyborg robot. Maybe I should name her. She was awesome when staging our house for sale. Then, she had to go back in the closet and go night night if I wanted to have friends.

High achievers can also play victim. Ruh Roh! Does this battle cry sound familiar?

“Why is no one helping me? I need help!”

So – death sounds worse than having no help. So…let’s go there.

Enter: The “If I Died” List

A) List everything you do:

  1. around the house, from laundry to cleaning
  2. with the kids
  3. with your older parents
  4. the playdates
  5. birthday gifts x __#__?
  6. the carpooling
  7. the groceries
  8. the dinners and dishes
  9. the lunches and more dishes
  10. the dog
  11. the overall household schedule
  12. the big maintenance
  13. organizing
  14. the small maintenance (e.g., light bulb changing)
  15. the financial planning
  16. paying bills, depositing checks
  17. dealing with the cars
  18. vacation planning
  19. fixing what you can, and calling for handymen
  20. anything else for which you are the head honcho

B) WHY you do it? (Does it “just need to get done” or is it a “core value,” for example)

C) Discuss the list with someone objective. Say, “what items would you keep, outsource, not do at all?”

Extra Credit (the MOST fun):

D) Discuss the list as “Outsource or not do at all” ONLY (meaning – You / they are NOT AVAILABLE to do ANYTHING). How does THAT look?

Hot Mommas Project research done with the support of the George Washington University School of Busines, Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence shows that successful women who feel balanced (i.e., high drive, high balance) have one big thing in common: Support at home.

Here’s a chance to explore that conversation, from the YOU side, the PARTNER side, and the “THEY” side. Maybe some things will get outsourced, you’ll ask for help with, etc. Who will you ask, “THEY.” Create a THEY in your life.


  •  What items should you keep, pass off, and toss out all together?
  •  Could the people around you handle the list if you were not there?
  •  What feelings does this bring up for you? Relief, bitterness, not sure?
  • How SEVERE an analogy does it take for you to “let go” and pass off responsibility?
See all posts in this series

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