HOW DO YOU ASK FOR HELP?
Do you realize that when you ask for help in one area of your life, you are actually creating space for yourself to show up better in all areas of your life?
When you ask for help at home (cleaning, yard work, kids, meals, etc.) you can be more focused and present in your work.
When you ask for help or re-align responsibilities at work, you can turn your work mind off when you are home or not working.
I need this reminder so I am saying this for both of us…
You don’t have to do it all. No one is doing it all.
You can say no.
You can ask for help.
Let’s talk about how…
Let’s start with a list.
Can you look at your week and list all the responsibilities you have in your personal life?
It could be tasks that are recurring and constant - yard work, cleaning the house, dishes, laundry, cooking, childcare routines, homework, dog walking, etc.
It could be responsibilities that are only for a season - bridesmaid, planning a party, volunteering, etc.
As you look at that list, what are the things that only you can do?
What are those things that you need to do, that are your responsibility in this season?
What is left over?
#1: Are they things that someone else in your household or family can do?
I know I know - you’re thinking “They can’t or won’t do it.”
But have you asked? Have you shown them how to do it well?
There have been times as a woman that I assume my husband is thinking like me or reading my mind. When I started telling him the things I needed to get done or I was processing, he was able to help or hold me accountable.
Timing is important when you ask for help. Pick a time when the person can be present and focused. Not when they are distracted or when y’all are in a disagreement.
#2: Are they things that you could pay someone to do?
I know I know - you’re thinking “I can’t afford that.” But before you say that, have you priced it out? Have you weighed what you will gain in return if someone did it for you? Not only will they do it quicker but they will give you the gift of time to do other things or to rest.
Can someone help you clean the house? Once, twice or four times a month?
Can someone mow the lawn?
Can someone take care of the kids for 4 hours on a Saturday for you to get caught up?
Can you order food from a local caterer or an online company to have healthy dinners?
Can your groceries be delivered to you?
Can someone let your dog out midday so you aren’t running around on your lunch break everyday?
Asking for help professionally is a little
bit more complex.
It depends on your position, company culture, budget, etc.
Just because there are variables you can’t control doesn’t mean it is impossible.
That is step one.
Getting past the mindset that there is
nothing you can do about it.
As a team member or employee, you don’t always have control over the budget or hiring. But you do have the ability to:
Have a hard conversation with the person who can make decisions.
Create boundaries with people and your work.
Ask clarifying questions about deadlines and prioritizing work.
Quit offering to help everyone else.
To leave if all of the above has been truly exhausted. (I know, this is scary but sometimes we need to be reminded this is an option.)
As a manager or owner, you have a responsibility to not only look out for your wellbeing but also the wellbeing of those around you. When you ask for help, you are setting an incredible example. When you ask for help, you are more present to see the workload of your team. You are able to ask questions. You are able to help your team prioritize tasks. You are able to reduce burnout.
If you are overwhelmed, I bet your team is as well.
Because you have the power to influence change, let’s ask 3 hard questions:
Do you have the right people in the right positions?
Is the problem with not having enough people? Can you add someone? (think creatively - part time or freelance)
Is the problem with the workload? Can you reduce the services, hours, or work for a season? (might hurt to make this decision now but this is for a long term gain.)
Nothing will change if nothing changes.
There are hard questions, conversations, and decisions to be made.
But I know from experience they are doable AND worth it.
Be proud that you are at least asking the questions that are mentioned above. Don’t be frustrated if you don’t know the answer or solution immediately. Wrestle with it.
But don’t think you need to do it alone.
You might need to ask for help in figuring out how to ask for help. Find an accountability partner or a mentor. Find someone with sound advice and experience. I have always believed…
don’t do your life and career alone.
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