I've talked about my current "Ask for Help Project" already. These are the tangible, practical ways I've found to be the most helpful in implementing this concept!
Last time I talked about what this "Ask For Help" Project is all about (click here to catch up if you missed it), and I promised to list some of the tangible, practical ways I've been implementing this idea to prevent overwhelm and be as productive (and happy) as possible!
I've found the following to be the most common and effective ways I've been increasing the amount of help in my daily life. Each one is associated with a very targeted question - questions that I am learning to ask myself when I start to feel rushed, overwhelmed, anxious, or burnt out. Most of us encounter opportunities like these every single day:
1. Drop the task
Does it really have to be done right now?
It may be the wrong time, or possibly altogether unnecessary. If I am already cooking and keeping an eye on two kids, it’s inappropriate for me to go start the laundry.
If I am working on an urgent call list at work, it’s inappropriate for me to go check the mail or answer an email.
2. Ask someone to take over
Do I actually need to be the one doing that?
If I am in the middle of doing the laundry and my kid asks for a snack, I can send them to go ask their dad instead.
If I get an urgent call from an important client at work, I can ask my currently not-busy coworker to refill the paper tray on the printer.
There may not be someone available to ask, but many times there is someone to ask! How often have I turned down offers for help because I wanted to pretend I had it all together, or I “didn’t want to impose.” I need to learn the difference between being a real nuisance and having humility.
3. Ask someone to do it with you
Is there someone that could help me with this?
If I’m trying to get in shape and really struggling, I can find a trainer with more expertise to advise me. I can pair up with an accountability partner. I can watch youtube videos to get some motivation.
If I’m sad or bored, I can invite someone over to keep me company.
If I’m swamped at work, I can ask my boss to help me come up with a new plan so I can do a better job.
4. Spend the money
Is there a resource that could help me with this?
I order Hello Fresh meals every week, because planning a menu and cooking is very stressful to me, and this takes a huge burden off of my shoulders.
If I am completely overwhelmed by my kids and need a break, I can hire a babysitter. (And, by the way, yes - the fact that I need a break is a good enough reason. I don’t need a “special occasion.”)
If I am starving but can’t step away from my desk at work, I can order lunch from DoorDash.
Sometimes the relief that I get when I spend money that I actually do have is *exactly* the reason I have any money at all. Money is meant to be used for things that matter. Help often matters.
5. Let someone do it their way
Will any serious problems occur if this isn’t done my way?
Most of the time, the answer is no.
If I ask my husband to be in charge of feeding the kids lunch, I guarantee you they will not be eating what I wish they were eating. But they’re still fine, and I didn’t have to feed them myself!
If I let the assistant administrator at work send in the insurance claims, it might take twice as long. But I had time to do something else instead.
Asking myself these questions still takes a big mind shift, but with practice, little by little, I’m starting to feel less and less unnecessary pressure, and more and more freedom to actually do important things! Things that only I can do - legitimately.
Do you struggle to ask for help? Which of these is the most challenging for you?
If you know someone who would benefit from this, please share this post!