Archive for February, 2011

Is Your Control Out of Control?

February 9, 2011

You probably know by now that I often use lines from songs in my writing. I do this because I am a singer and that’s what we do…we sing. Since I can’t use the music here, I use the lyrics. Just pretend I’m singing. As long as you are pretending, imagine that I sound really really good. There is a song from the Broadway musical, The Pajama Game, which begins like this:

Hurry up, hurry up
Can’t waste time
When you’re racing with the clock
When you’re racing with the clock
And the second hand doesn’t understand
That your back may break and your fingers ache
And your constitution isn’t made of rock
It’s a losing race when you’re racing with the
Racing racing racing with the clock

I think that pretty much sums up life for some of us. We are so busy being busy that we aren’t really as productive as we could be. The only thing we’re producing is exhaustion! Some of us have convinced ourselves that this is just our lot in life and OF COURSE, we’re rushing around like squirrels on caffeine, because we have to make sure everything gets done. And it goes without saying, that we are the only ones who can get the job done, because nobody else is capable. Right? And we sure love to complain about it, don’t we? We say things like, “There just aren’t enough hours in the day.” Or, “There is no way I can get everything done that I have to do in the time I have.” And the ever popular, “If I don’t do it, it won’t get done!”
Guess what? There are people who just might be capable of helping and sharing the load, if we’d give them a chance. There are only so many hours in a day. If we spend every minute controlling things and fixing things and re-doing what others have done…what will everyone else do with their time? They have hours, as well, so why not delegate? Sure, if your kids make their own beds, they may not be as neat as if you had done it, but so what? If you let your son try his hand at doing his own laundry, he might end up looking like he wrestled with a gorilla and lost…or he just might do a good job at it….but you’ll never know if you don’t give it a chance. At work, if you’re lucky enough to have an assistant, let him or her do what he or she is there to do, which is to assist. If you are on your own, try not sweating the petty stuff (or petting the sweaty stuff). If papers don’t get filed by quitting time, never fear…they will still be there in the morning, and contrary to popular belief, the world will still spin on its axis. At home, if your refrigerator needs cleaning, and you’re tired… just remove the things that are moving under their own power, and don’t risk sleep deprivation by cleaning at 1:00 AM! Better yet, let someone else who uses the fridge have the pleasure of tending to it. You do not need to control your refrigerator.
True leaders know how to delegate. They trust others to be capable. They are not control freaks. They prioritize and they know that when they are constantly racing with the clock….the clock will always win. Now stop reading this and get back to work…time’s a-wastin’! Just kidding.