For most of my career, as I’ve given advice to the self-employed, I’ve urged delegating, particularly in the arena of the home. Let go of laundry, cleaning and other jobs someone else can perform at a lower wage. That way you can put your best talents toward the highest dollar amount value for how you spend your time. Rather than using your $100-$500-an-hour expertise on manual labor, pay someone else to perform those tasks and put your energy and creativity into earning in your desired area of expertise. This is a fundamental principle of entrepreneurship.
Well, that’s all been turned upside by the pandemic which is keeping us inside our homes and not allowing others to enter. I’m not proud to admit that, having given my twice-a-month cleaning lady an extended paid leave, I’m now faced with cleaning my own bathroom. I had to ask a friend how to accomplish this task. Although I’m not going to share a photo of my completed work, I am proud to say that my mirror is back in the reflection business and my tiles are spic and span.
But here’s the thing: housework, if done correctly, will kill you. Where that used to get a big laugh, it’s not so funny in the current atmosphere. Although I do recommend that you lower your standards. Must the bath towels be folded in equal thirds? Does the dishwasher have to be stacked YOUR way? Can you let go of your Martha Stewart perfectionism for the duration? This world-wide crisis is shining a strong beam on how we choose to live.
The way I’m getting through my shelter-in-place duration is to stay close to friends and family, purchase what I need (and no more), take care of my clients, and maintain my mental and physical health one day at a time.
For you, that may mean occasionally increasing your kids’ screen time on devices, binging every once in a while on Ben & Jerry’s or Netflix, or allowing the bed to be unmade one day a week. Whatever is required for YOU to feel okay about yourself in the day. It’s all we’ve got. Of course, hold onto the jobs you relish – cooking, child care, and or cleaning, if that’s your thing. Most important is to maintain your sanity, optimism and spiritual well-being for these 24 hours.
Tomorrow, you can make a different decision.