Before I start wrapping up the From Scattered to Sane series there is one topic that I feel is important to touch on. That topic is asking for help when we need it and why it’s so essential to this process of reclaiming our lives and taking back our time.
I won’t lie, this is something I still struggle with frequently. There seems to be this taboo or stigma around asking for help. Almost as though just admitting we need help is akin to admitting failure or that it’s something to be ashamed of when the truth is the total opposite.
Asking for help is an essential part of taking back your time.
Why is it so hard to ask for help and yet it’s so easy to offer it?
Maybe it’s our pride standing in our way or maybe it’s just that we’re used to doing things for ourselves. Perhaps it’s the culture we were raised in and the messages we were exposed to as we grew up.
I don’t have the answers and I’m pretty sure the answers will be different for each of us. What I do have is absolute certainty that asking for help is an essential part of creating a time management systems that work for us.
You Cannot Do Everything By Yourself
I want you to stop for a moment and take a look at your life. Pay close attention to the people in it. Your spouse, children, family, friends, co-workers, employees, all the people who play ongoing roles in your life, especially your day-to-day life.
Now think about how you interact with them. Are you the friend who always volunteers to plan the parties? At work are you the co-worker who picks up the slack so everyone doesn’t fall behind? On the home front do you handle all the home management tasks for you and your family?
How often do you ask for help or delegate tasks to others?
When working on creating systems that work for us, it’s essential that we
You Share Your Life With Others
We do not go through this life all alone. There are people we interact with, share our spaces with, and are accountable to in our everyday lives. But it’s often easy to overlook or forget that they are accountable to us as well.
My husband is amazing at reminding me that I’m not the only one who lives in our home so I’m not the only one who needs to be taking care of it. Four of us live here, that means four sets of hands should be pithing in and helping out.
The same is true for many other settings. Whether it’s the workplace, volunteer activity, church, or something else, if other people are involved it’s not solely on us to be doing the lion’s share of the work.
Ways to Ask for Help
The one thing to remember about asking for
Start With You
The first place to start is to help yourself. Make sure you’re setting boundaries on your time that match your priorities and responsibilities.
It’s so important that we have realistic expectations of ourselves. Yes, busy seasons will always find us. Some weeks will be more tightly pack than others. But the more we try to strike a balance, the better able we’ll be to navigate those times.
Delegating is another way to ask for help. This step, in particular, lets us ask for help before we need. We just need to spend a little time thinking about the tasks that we need to do in a day and figure out which ones we can pass on to someone else.
Are there tasks in your daily or weekly schedule that you can assign to other people? For example, can you have your kids take on more responsibilities around the house? Or have your sister plan the next family get together?
Ask for It
Of course, the most obvious way of asking for help is to, well, ask. There’s no shame in saying “I can use some help” or saying “Yes, I can do this task, but I’ll need someone to help me with it.”
I find that asking for help is made easier when I start of by having an honest conversation with the person I’m needing help from. Bring it up with your spouse or partner, start a discussion with your kids, confide in a friend or family member, or talk about it with a co-worker or supervisor.
Outline where you’re at and how you’re feeling. Most importantly, be specific in what you need from them. For example, if you volunteered to organize a fundraiser and realize that there’s more work than you can comfortably handle maybe you ask for help monitoring sales or making up promotional materials.
Pay for It
The final way to ask for help is one most people don’t talk about much and it’s paying for some extra help. If you have the money in your budget this can be a great way to get the help you need.
This could be many things, such as:
- hiring a babysitter or other childcare
- getting a cleaning service
- employing a landscaping company to mow your grass
- subscribing to a meal planning service
- sending your laundry out to be done
- ordering meal kits in the mail
Don’t underestimate the power of having someone take on task for you. Even something as simple as getting a meal kit in the mail can make cooking feel a lot easier.
Asking For Help Is Not a Bad thing
If you take nothing else away from this post, I hope you remember this:
There is no shame in asking for help. It’s not
I’d Love to Hear From You
We’re getting ready to wrap up the challenge, but before we do I’d love to hear from you. Do you have a hard time asking for help? If you were to ask for help right now, what would ask for?
Drop me a line in the comments and let’s keep this conversation going.
Next up, we’re going to be taking a look back over this whole series and I’m going to share one more exercise that I’ve found to be really helpful.
Until then, I hope your days are feeling more calm and less chaotic.