Delegate this holiday season

We spend a lifetime learning how to delegate.
How to make an office or a shop run efficiently. How to train new employees. How to help other people do the many tasks the workplace requires.
As well as how to expand our effectiveness by passing on the responsibility.
And just when we get good at it, when we’ve finally earned the distinction of being great delegators, we wake up one morning and discover we have no one to delegate to.
It happened to a friend of mine. Over the years, she had effectively supervised scores of employees. But then one day, she retired and the first thing her spouse said was, “I just want you to know I’m not one of your employees.”
And that’s the way it usually is. The opportunity to delegate is the first thing to vanish in so-called retirement.
I suspect that may be one of the reasons many people feel so busy this side of 60. There are groceries to buy. A lawn to tend. Volunteer and part-time work to do. Preparations to make for entertaining.
And you feel that you have no excuse for the clutter in your house or garage because you are retired.
But by the time you get all the tasks of daily living accomplished, your energy is gone!
It’s part of the whole time management package–delegating so you can do the things you really want to do. If you know what you want out of life this side of 60, you’ll know how you want to spend your time.
And there’s no right way to spend your retirement time. Only your way!
Delegating can help, especially in this busy holiday season.
It is usually the retired grandparents who host the Christmas dinner, as did my grandmother and then my mother. And now that families are so spread out, we often have overnight guests, as well.
On top of that, we are writing Christmas cards, shopping for gifts for family and friends, wrapping the gifts, and decorating the Christmas tree.
No wonder we have an overwhelmingly busy season!
It surely would be nice if we could delegate! And maybe we can.
In his little book “How to Delegate,” Robert Heller points out that the most important thing about delegating is deciding “which tasks you could, or should, be delegating.”
But after retirement, we not only have to ask “what” tasks we can successfully delegate, but we also have to ask the question “who?”
In spite of my friend’s experience, don’t give up on getting help from your spouse or other family members. My spouse, for instance, is in charge of pies–wonderful “like homemade” pies he buys from a small grocery store in a neighbouring town.
My son, who is a stellar cook, is in charge of the turkey and everything that goes with it!
And my grandnephew, Caleb, bakes mouth-watering dinner rolls for a very reasonable price.
That brings me to the fact that when you are retired, you may have to exchange money for time. Increasing your time will reduce your stress.
For many people, Christmas is one of the most stressful times of the year. But don’t let it happen to you.
Delegate and simplify—and really enjoy the 2012 holiday season!
Write Marie Snider at