July 23, 2010

Bulk view

Giving myself permission to delegate again

SCHEDULED: 2010-07-23 Fri 08:00

I don’t like spending money. Sometimes it’s hard for me to give myself permission to experiment. I get this urge to invest it for the long term. Darn you, compounding interest. But long-term planning is better the more you understand about what you want and don’t want, so experimenting now has its own payoffs.

I hesitate to delegate because of the time I think I waste doing other things. Reflecting on my week, though, it looks like I’m pretty trim about how I spend time. About the only timesuck I feel guilty about are reading fanfiction on the Internet. I’m fascinated by how well-written fics fit neatly into the original universe. It’s like how well-written code fits neatly into the overall structure. But it leaves me feeling less warm and fuzzy than reading books from the library or blog posts from the Internet. Solution 1: Feel less guilty about it. Solution 2: Deepen, trim, time-bound, or eliminate it.

And then there’s the realization that I can take things slowly, that I don’t have to cram so much into a day, and that chores have value. So what if it takes me the better part of an evening to tidy and clean? It’s good thinking time, and it also means that I know where things are. I grew up around maids, and things were constantly being put away, and I had to ask where things were. Now, I’m glad I know where most things are, and I can invest time into figuring out where things should logically be.

BUT it’s good to experiment and to explore backup plans so that if life really does get all crazy-busy (interesting opportunities, life events, etc.), we can get through.

There are a few things I want to try:

  • Cleaning/housekeeping
  • Cooking
  • Singing lessons
  • Sewing lessons, and wardrobe/pattern advice

(As it turns out, I can learn the ukulele mostly on my own, it just takes practice. If a toddler can do it, so can I!)

Maid service

Cleaning doesn’t take that much time, but doing the occasional chores (vacuum carpets, clean the bathroom, etc.) takes up a precious chunk of an evening or weekend. I want to give cleaning services a try, find people we like working with, and have a good back-up plan in case things get crazy. This probably means going with an established cleaning company that’s bonded and insured instead of hiring a part-time housekeeper, because I want to try out occasional cleaning first.

What’s keeping me back? I have to trust the service not to misplace or take stuff. But it’s stuff and shouldn’t get in the way of exploring opportunities, anyway. Besides, reputable businesses are in it for the repeat business, so things should be okay.

Why should I go for it anyway? They can clean the house to higher standards than I’ll take the time to do. Also, we can be flexible with timing because W- or I can work at home, so we’re in a good place to try this.

Cooking

We’ve settled into a great (and yummy) routine of cooking our favourite meals in big batches, which saves us a lot of time. We’d love to explore new healthy recipes, though. Cooking would also be more fun with help with the prep work and the cleanup. =)

What’s keeping me back? Cooking is good practice for me. I enjoy it.

Why should I go for it anyway? Cooking assistance will help me break out of the routine. It means being able to try more dishes without investing large chunks of time, particularly if this is part of a meal delivery service. If we find new favourites, then we can either invest the time to do it ourselves in bulk, or load up on that in our freezer.

Singing lessons

This looks like the kind of thing that’s hard to practice on your own and that’s easier when someone’s coaching you. I’d like to be able to sing confidently and comfortably.

What’s holding me back? Making time to go for singing lessons.

Why should I go for it anyway? I should just go. A set of singing lessons won’t take that much time, and then I can check it off my list of things that I was getting stuck on.

Sewing lessons

I’ve read a lot of books and even attended a sewing class, but I still find it hard to wrap my head around altering patterns, fixing outfits, and dealing with the occasional sewing question. Someone could help me fix my fitting shell and learn how to do things correctly.

In fact, stepping back a little, it would be great to get some wardrobe advice. What works well for me? What patterns should I focus on first?

What’s holding me back? I sew sporadically. Also, there aren’t that many people offering one-on-one sewing lessons.

Why should I go for it anyway? Sewing lessons will help me sew more regularly. And more enjoyably, too: I can spend less time getting aggravated by mistakes when I know I can talk to someone about how to fix it before it gets worse.

I think it’s time to start practicing with this stuff again…

Recent post about what I want to do and how delegation can help