Learning what not to do

I’m staring at three pages of carefully written to-do items, and a full whiteboard. And it’s a lot to do. It’s more than one woman can do. I should delegate.

I balk at delegating, because having someone do a project for you is hard. You have to explain what you want, and how you want it, and why you want it, and then you have to sacrifice some comfort in the finished product because it may not be what you would have done, even if it does the job. So I don’t delegate. Because I’m not good at those things.

Then there are days like today, days when I feel like I’m running face first into a brick wall because someone told me there was a door there, but then five minutes later they tell me the door is five feet to my right, *smash*, no five feet to the left, *smash*, ad nauseam until my psyche is bleeding. It looks something like this: “Please provide us with X. Now answer these questions that were not related to X but obviously are critical. Nope, those weren’t the right ones, answer these instead. You want to know how could you proactively make your X better? I couldn’t really tell you, so just keep trying and I’ll let you know if it’s right. Also, do it quarterly. No, I won’t provide feedback on the one from last quarter. Now answer the same questions from the first time around. And just provide us with X.”

I want to curl up and weep. This is my nightmare scenario. Tell me what you need, and how you need it, and I’ll provide it! I’ve spent a working lifetime learning to accept and integrate feedback and criticism into my self-image and performance, so critique me, and I’ll adapt! But this… thing… where I have to provide mystery documentation to a black hole of feedback that only tells me I submitted the wrong thing? This makes me want to quit.

So yeah, I need to delegate more. But I refuse to be my own nightmare, so I won’t be delegating unless I know I can do it well.

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