If you’ve been reading Inside Out Style for some time you may have discovered that rather than make a bunch of New Years Resolutions that I end up not keeping. Instead I choose a word of the year, a word that I use as my focus for the year. A word that will influence all my decisions and keep me on the right path. A word that I use as guidance.
My word this year is DELEGATE.
Why? You may ask? Well, I’m terrible at it and that is not good for me. I do everything myself (except for my book keeping and a little of the really technical web stuff that my brilliant web woman does for me and a part time VA). Everything else is me and I feel constantly overwhelmed.
I’ve been ill the past few days. And when I’m sick, nothing happens here. That’s because I’ve got no back up. Nobody to help here. It’s all down to me, and if I’m not working, nothing happens.
The downside of being a control freak non-delegator is that my inbox is out of control (something like 23000 emails in it, I kid you not), I miss emails, I lose emails, I feel terrible about not answering many emails that I get. If you’ve ever emailed me and I haven’t gotten back to you this is why. It’s not because I’m ignoring you, but sometimes in that stream of emails and my limited time things just get away from me.
There is just so much to do, and not enough time in my day. Not only do I have those 23000 emails to deal with I have to:
- find ideas for blog posts
- write blog posts
- edit photos for blog posts
- create pictures or polyvores for blog posts
- plan and schedule social media for those blog posts
- create an editorial calendar for new blog posts
- moderate comments and answer comments
- Deal with around 200 emails per day (that 23000 emails didn’t happen overnight)
- Create and write new programs and ebooks.
- Record videos for programs and blog posts
- Edit videos
- Upload videos
For the Consulting arm of my business
- Market my personal styling/image consulting business
- See clients – colour analysis, wardrobe audits, style analysis, personal shopping, packing for holidays etc.
These all require some administration as well as the actual consultation time.
- Create new image products and tools
- Colour Swatches
- Style Files
- Contrast tools
Then there is training and presenting
- Write new training programs
- Write speeches and presentations
- Create powerpoints
- Create marketing around these programs
- Run image and colour consulting training programs both in the classroom and online
- Update manuals, training videos etc.
- Create and present monthly webinars for image and colour consultants
- Create programs to present at conferences.
- Attend conferences and network.
Keep up with the endless stream of administration that exists within any business.
Then of course I have 2 kids and 3 step kids who require time and attention. Their ages range from 6 – 13. My kids got to school for 6 hours a day. They have after school activities, friends, social lives, homework and emotional needs that I’m needed for. I expect myself to complete 8 hours a day in 6 or less.
Then there is a husband to love, a house to run, a garden to prune and weed and friends and family to keep in touch with. Oh and we’re about to do a major house renovation this year too.
I’m completely overwhelmed most of the time. I try to push it all to the back of my mind and work through my endless and growing to-do list. But I know that I can’t keep up the pace.
That is why my New Year’s Resolution word for 2016 is delegate. Rather than always try and do everything myself, I need to work smarter not harder. I need to think about the possibility of someone else completing a task for me.
I’m going to focus on delegating tasks wherever I can this year.
I’m getting an assistant soon. Someone to free up some of my time so I can be the creative powerhouse I love to be. So I can spend my time creating programs and content, rather than just vainly trying to catch up with everything on my list, valiantly trying to do everything but of course missing lots.
Do you have a word for 2016? If so what is it and why? I’d love to know!
Good Heavens! I need a little lie down after reading all the things you do. I shall add your assistant to my list of people for whom I send good wishes. ( You are already in my thoughts). I don’t have a word, I have a wish. I wish all the people I know could be as blessed as I am. Much love for 2016. Delegation is good for you. xx
My goodness Imogen!! I knew it took a lot of work to create and maintain this amazing blog. I don’t know how you keep going. No wonder you have been unwell. Delegate NOW…your family and loved ones need you! My very best wishes for 2016 and hope you find your wonder woman soon. Xx
Thanks Frances – I think I’ve found someone who will take the pressure off. Happy new year to you!
Excellent word and I hope you find the assistant of your dreams. Have a Happy Healthy and less-stressed 2016!
Imogen, I am delighted that you are getting an assistant. Your business is growing and deservedly so with all you do. I think it will have many perks for you. Not only will you have your work divided, but you will have someone closely connected to your business to discuss issues, ideas, or triumphs with throughout the year. Someone to “mind the store” if you want to slip away or need to be somewhere else. There will be more time for family, friends, and you. Good move!
Happy New Year!
Hugs to you, I know how you feel and stepping down from management was the best thing for me. My emails are probably part of your frustration and being sick just happens. The world won’t fall apart :-). Get yourself an Andrea Sachs! (Google if you’re unsure of who she is).
My word will probably be ‘Preparation’, since I’m always winging it instead of being on top of things. That, or ‘Colour’ :-).
Great idea. I think we women feel like we have to do everything. Not true, and leads to burn out. (Get a gardener too! Unless you love it.)
Try combining two tasks. Read all of today’s emails and another 50 of the backlog. As you are working on one, open another window and make note of any ideas that pop up that could be a blog post. I bet the email reading would be more enjoyable and more productive.
I do already have about 20 windows open and I take all possible blog post ideas out as I”m going through emails and pop them into my editorial calendar.
Hi Imogene, I am a long-time reader, first-time commenter. Thank you for all your hard work on your blog. I check in daily and always find a pearl of wisdom. Like you, I’m not so much for resolutions – they’re too easy to drop as time goes by. So my word for 2016 is “embrace”, as in embracing exercise, embracing laundry in the evening after work or embracing meal planning so we can eat dinner at a reasonable time. To hopefully see the positivity in all these daily tasks which will make our home run smoothly. Maybe I need to delegate, too :). Happy New Year from Ottawa!
Embrace is a lovely word – and I like how you are using it! Embrace 2016
(This is more for you personally than this section so feel free to delete after reading.)
An assistant will help but won’t solve everything. Easy ways to get help generally:
An ironing service. (Just leave a garbag of clothes out at the front door and they come back ironed on hangers.)
A gardening person – regular mowing and trimming. Not the whole answer for the garden but it looks good after they’ve been.
Cooking on weekends and freezing dinners for the week.You can also freeze school sandwiches if they have suitable fillings.
The Flylady website is brilliant and “Flying for kids” would be great for your large family.
Delegate to your clients:
MissussmartyPants has a forum where clients answer each other’s questions.
Ask your clients for blog topic ideas.
Generally only answer people who are paying you.
Charge for your website or charge for a weekly column.
Post less often: Bridget Raes only does four days a week.
Good luck and all the best for a serene 2016!
Thanks Michaela, I do have a cleaning lady who comes once a fortnight. I don’t iron! I quite enjoy mowing the lawn, and my kids do it sometimes for me too when I don’t want to (I find it good exercise). I’m pretty organised as such and plan meals each week as it makes it easier. I try and answer what I can but often point people in the direction of paid products. There is also lots of spam that still gets through the filters but just has to be managed. I have millions of ideas and I get lots of ideas from emails, finding ideas isn’t the hard thing – it’s actually writing, editing, photographing, creating images that takes all the time. I just have an overactive brain and so many ideas of things I want to do, create and achieve. I’m not unhappy at all. Warmest Im
Good God! I feel like I need to lie you down for a few days!! Hmm… and I can picture hubby and kids cleaning house and gardening while you rest. Yes, that looks good!
Delegate responsibilities to children and husband! It would be a major stress to be sick and see nothing getting done and knowing that when you recover, it all awaits you.
Nope, organise, orchestrate and delegate.
Take the list of all you need to do, set up spreadsheets and delegate. My kids all learned to do household jobs from 3 years old upward. Now they all cook twice a week and are often paid to help others clean up and organise their homes. It will give you much needed rest.
Hire your assistant on line with many interviews and a specific list of what you want from them. ie: reading and answering millions of emails in a timely manner 🙂 and saving the serious stuff for your expertise
I do make kids do chores and the husband is great too – just too much to do (and I’m the worst as I put a lot of pressure on myself!)
I love this way of setting resolutions. I read about it here last year and used it last year and again this year. Thank you….This year I have two words/ideas Community and Zero Waste
Ah strong and industrious choleric mixed with perfectionist melancholy. Creates genius whilst exhausted!
Needs Regular holidays! And 2 hours per day “load free” time.
Plus good vitamin supplement to support it all.
Careful – Don’t do the breakdown thing. Its a long haul back.
Great thinking, Imogen, for coming up with a plan and one word to encapsulate it and keep you focused! ! That’s no mean feat in itself!
Oh wow Imogen- seems like you’r plate IS SUPER FULL.
I can only say that I usually don’t do resolutions so I won’t disappoint myself if I don’t accomplish them.
I feel like I am still stuck in 2015, so I am not sure how this new year will be… hopefully yours will be a true accomplishment 🙂 Hugs.
Wow, Imogen – that is quite the schedule!
My word for this year is linger. I find myself rushing through my life in self imposed haste, and don’t take the time for doing anything leisurely. I have an inner slave driver that is always saying more, more. This is the year I silence her, and learn to savor my fabulous life.
Oh my! I got tired just reading through all that you have to do, Imogen! I don’t know if I have any good advice with all this except to persevere and to have a “chaos free zone” or two within your home when you are doing renovations. My word of the year will be “endeavor”.
Thanks for your assistance Bernadette – not sure what I’d do without you! No way I can spend more than 10 minutes a day on Facebook with everything else!
Happy New Year anyway, Imogen. And thank you for everything.
Thank you for all you do for us out here in webland… It is greatly appreciated! Praying for some peace for you in this hectic season of life. My word for the year is “enough” as in: I am enough, I have enough, There is enough, and for when and where I am lacking: God is enough. (I know that doesn’t work for many, but it is my most important “enough”!)
Great word Liz – and I hope that you have a great year!
I usually have a word or words for my new year. This year I have the prefix ‘re’… as in, rest, restore, recover, revitalise, rejuvenate, renew. It’s all about looking after oneself, so there is energy for new and improved everything. That’s the aim.
Best wishes with your delegating and I hope you have time to ‘rest’ and feel ‘reinvigorated’ at the beginning of each week in the knowledge you have ‘reassigned’ some of your tasks to others.
Mary-Ann D C
lovely to hear from you Mary-Ann! Love to catch up sometime. I hope you have a fab year!