Asking for help is not a faux pas!
Hands up if you are busy and could do with another pair of hands??
I think we all could.
But here's the thing…
You can! Below are some options but I want you to notice what your internal dialogue is telling you when you read them...
- You can ask the people around you for help - your kids, your staff, your partner - and then keep them accountable.
- You can pay people
Curious to know what the voices in your head are saying right now???
Let's pretend you are in a leadership role in a school and it's report time and you are spending until 10 o'clock at night reading reports and correcting other people’s stupid spelling errors and typos (sound familiar?). Sure, you could send them back to be fixed by the people who made the mistakes. Then you could be disappointed and resentful when they take forever and make more mistakes.
Now let's imagine that you pay some super talented but poor copywriter/journalist/writer/grammar-freak $25 an hour to do the first edit. Would $250 for 10 hours work give you your evenings back and make life worth living? Even if you paid it from your own pocket (which would be dumb, but quicker than arguing with your finance person).
Perhaps you are pissed-off that you spend the weekend stripping the beds and cleaning the loo.
Would 3 hours of a cleaner per fortnight for say $100 ($50 bucks a week) give you back HOURS of your time? This is time you could spend doing things you love and that REDUCE your overwhelm. Besides, you are giving someone else a job, someone else who also has to feed their kids, their dog and look after elderly parents. Hell, that's community service.
A home organiser to sort your pantry, wardrobe, office. Some people get joy from sorting stuff out - who knew!
A virtual or personal assistant to sort out your digital clutter. Again, the world is full of these angels who just LOVE the stuff you find tedious and they are QUICK.
Perhaps you could pay a local teenager to cut out that laminating/ move your classroom / put up Christmas decorations/ sort your resources. OR Maybe just sit down with members of the household, collectively make a list of chores that have to be done daily and weekly. Put times and names next to each task and assign a person to that role. Teenagers are perfectly capable of making their own lunches, washing and even cooking night time meals. Make sure that these are shared equitably (and not assigned according to gender).
HOWEVER - this is not a lesson in telling you how to spend your money or how to bring up your kids. I want you to notice your inner dialogue when I mentioned asking or paying people to help you.
Challenge the beliefs that you can't afford help. Is that true?
Challenge the belief that you are "less than" if you pay people to help you.
Challenge the belief that getting help, paid or otherwise, is admitting defeat, or that you should be able to fit it all in.
Challenge the belief that you can't pay (or ask) someone to do the work you are paid to do.
Outsource as much as you can afford, especially the low-level, repetitive tasks that could be easily completed by someone earning less than you.
The mantra for this week - is there someone else who could be doing this job? Better yet, is there someone else who would get joy (or money) for doing this job?
Ask for help and pay for it if necessary. Your mental health will thank you.
Hello there! I am Jenny Cole - Coach, Consultant and Cheerleader. I work with women to create careers, workplaces and lives that allow them to flourish.
I love nothing better than watching smart, capable but overwhelmed women step confidently into their best self and truly succeed.
I am endlessly curious with two successful businesses behind me. My blog shares what I see, what I know and random musings.
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