The Shulchan Aruch states that one should arise early on Friday morning in order to prepare for the Shabat. Rabbi Eliezer Papo (a”h) in his sefer, Chesed Le’alafim writes that the sweat that comes from the effort one puts into the preparations of Shabat has the ability to erase ones sins just as the tears of ones prayers do. Even if a person is a man of great stature and he has many workers, he should not give up the merit of preparing for the Shabat. This concept of doing the preparations oneself applies to all the mitzvot and not only to Shabat.
The Gemara tells us of some of the greatest rabbis who did the chores of Shabat themselves; Rav Chisda would prepare the salad, Rava and Reb Yosef would chop the wood for Shabat etc. Rav Eliezer Papo concludes that no one should say that it is beneath his stature to do the preparations of Shabat, for the greatest honor one could have, is to say he serves and gives pleasure to Hashem.
The Chayeh Adam (a”h) writes that one should especially try to help his wife on the short Fridays when there is a lot to do in a short amount of time. Without the additional help, it can chalilah lead to the desecration of the Shabat. He then writes, that it is a great benefit if one says before each acquisition for the Shabat, “Lichvod Shabat Kodesh – this is in honor of the holy Shabat.”