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 an analogy does it take for you to “let go” and pass off responsibility?
Perhaps it is because I just saw the ballet “Dracula” last night. Perhaps it is because this is a real technique I’ve used with high-achieving women. Either way, I guarantee you’ll walk out of it with:
- Less stuff on your plate
- A different perception about how to approach things that ARE on your plate
- More appreciative of the life you have
- Closer to your major goals and dreams
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.
Then the high achievers come home. They are high achieving there too: Making it all work, holding the household together. Then they feel that pang of bitterness: “Why is no one helping me? I need help!”
Enter: The “If I Died” List
A) List everything you do:
- around the house, from laundry to cleaning
- with the kids
- with your older parents
- the playdates
- birthday gifts x __#__?
- the carpooling
- the groceries
- the dinners and dishes
- the lunches and more dishes
- the dog
- the overall household schedule
- the big maintenance
- the small maintenance (e.g., light bulb changing)
- the financial planning
- paying bills, depositing checks
- dealing with the cars
- vacation planning
- fixing what you can, and calling for handymen
- anything else for which you are the head honcho
B) By each of the items, explain WHY you do it. This will get at if the motivation is a compulsion, or core value.
C) Next, discuss the list with your partner or a friend, item by item. If you are single, discuss it with a friend.
D) Ask your partner or friend, “If I were not around, and you were responsible for a bunch of these items, what would you do?”
E) Let them answer.
- They are not allowed to judge how YOU do it, and what they wouldn’t do.
- They can only have three categories of answers:
- “I would handle scheduling like this ____________”
- “I would not do the item on the list (I would hire someone, cut it off the list completely”)
- “I’m not sure how I would handle that, I would have to think about that.”
- “I wouldn’t do it the way you do it, here’s what I would do.”
- “It’s stupid that you do that item on the list, I would never do that.”
- Other judgmental answers.
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?
Hot Mommas = Dynamic Women.
Proud of the women and girls in your life? So are we. The Hot Mommas Project increases our key success factor – confidence – of Gen Y, Gen X, and beyond. How?
1) Exposure to role models and mentors. We are the world’s LARGEST women’s case study library.
2) We measurably increase confidence up to 200% (through our #SisU learning tools). Did you know women and girls self-limit when lacking confidence?