When it comes to household chores, we all have our own way of ensuring they get done:-
- Dividing tasks equally between the adults in the house
- Giving children age-specific jobs
- Doing everything yourself
- Doing what you can on a day to day basis – everyone mucking in
- Getting someone in to do certain tasks (cleaning, ironing etc…)
And all these ways can work well, and can help to keep your home running smoothly – as long as you remember one key rule:-
Don’t share – SPLIT UP!
Sounds quite negative doesn’t it – but bear with me – it really works and can make all the difference to how you and your family feel about doing household chores.
What happens when you share jobs with someone else in the house?
- No-one has ultimate responsibility for the task
- You are never sure whether its your turn to do something – so it sometimes doesn’t get done
- Its never 50/50 split for each task
- Usually one person ends up resenting the other for not pulling their weight
- You may do things differently – and therefore hamper each other or cause wasting of time getting things setup how you or they like them each time
- You will always feel uneasy relaxing if there’s stuff to do – even if you think you’ve done your share
- You aren’t empowered to make decisions as easily
- It aids procrastination – after all – someone else will do it if you don’t
So you see – sharing – although it works brilliantly in most things, really doesn’t work around the house.
Instead – look at splitting things up
What do you mean by splitting things up?
Splitting things up basically means taking a specific job around the house, defining what it is, and delegating it in its entirety to a single person.
The person responsible for that task should be comfortable that it fits in with their schedules and that they can keep on top of it as well (for example, no good giving someone a daily task such as washing clothes if they are only able to do household jobs at the weekend, as a backlog will soon build up).
Things to remember
Work out what works for your family, which jobs need to be done and ideally when and how often they need to be done, and get a list of what people can fit in.
When you work out what needs doing, make sure its obvious where a job starts and ends (laundry is a tricky one as it has so many different aspects to it – you may want different people to be responsible for different areas, or find it easier to have one person doing that and only that for their job).
Also, look at how long jobs take, and don’t overload one person – it may be (like the washing example above) that one job is all that a person needs to do because its so large – it may be that one person ends up with a long list of relatively quick tasks – but make sure it feels fair to everyone as then you have more of a chance of things getting done.
It may well be an easy task to split things up this way, or it may take some time – but once done it will be worth it – as everyone will know where they are with things.
Splitting jobs helps in so many ways:-
- Everyone has specific jobs
- You can immediately see what you need to do
- You can plan when you do things, and how, more easily (and around your schedule)
- You know when your jobs are finished, and can relax
- You have responsibility
- You are still working as a team – but with different jobs
So you see, splitting up can be so much better than sharing!
What if you need help?
Obviously there will be times when other pressures mean that one person may not be able to do their tasks for a day/week etc… – that’s life – but you will still be able to ask for help of course.
Splitting the tasks so that you are responsible for them purely means that you need to get them done – it gives you the permission to ask for help when needed, and makes things so much easier around the house – after all – the other alternative is that you simply stop doing a shared job, and make the other person do it without really asking – which isn’t fair to anyone.
Do you share or split?
I’d love to know how you delegate in your home, do you share jobs or have you found that splitting them works best? Drop me a comment below – thanks in advance!