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03 Apr

Figure out what you could ask for help with

Datum: 2017-04-03 16:01

One of the rea­sons why we some­times have such an over­whelm­ing amount of things to do, is that we are doing things that some­one else could just as well do. Some of us find it easy to ask oth­ers for help, and oth­ers do not. Then there is a third kind of peo­ple; those of us who just do not real­ize that we could ask some­one else to do the things we do not have time for. It sim­ply does not very often occur to me that some of the things that are on my to-do-list could just as well be on some­body else’s.

Receiv­ing help is all about hav­ing faith
And yet, it is actu­al­ly quite easy to get the help we need if we just ask for it. I find it hard to imag­ine the per­son who nev­er likes to be of ser­vice to oth­ers — as long as there is time and space for com­plet­ing their own tasks as well. Being asked to take over a task from some­one can even feel like you are being rec­og­nized, that some­one puts their faith in you to do some­thing to the best of your ability.

Not every­thing, but at least something
If we get a reply along the lines of sor­ry, I can’t right now”, we might feel dis­ap­point­ed. Per­haps our col­leagues are just as swamped with work as we are at the moment and need to pri­or­i­tize doing their own tasks first, but maybe we could ask for help from some­one on the out­side” or get help with a task that does not con­cern the core of our project or task. Regard­less what we can trans­fer from our own to-do-list to some­body else’s, even if it is just a small part of the puz­zle, we will still feel relieved if our list is long and time is short. 

If you, like I, rarely spon­ta­neous­ly think of ask­ing oth­ers for help, you might find it use­ful to once in a while make an active and con­scious attempt to fig­ure out what you could ask for help with.

Do this
If you want to, try the following:

  1. Sim­ply look through your to-do-list and iden­ti­fy tasks that you do not nec­es­sar­i­ly have to do by your­self. If you find some, it does not mean that you have to ask oth­ers to do them, but you could.

  2. When you find a suit­able task, take a moment to think about who you could ask to do it instead of doing it your­self. If you can­not think of any­one, ask a col­league if they have any ideas.

  3. Either ask the per­son for help right away, or for­mu­late a to-do-task that entails doing so lat­er, and you will at least have tak­en action towards get­ting some assistance.

More space for what mat­ters most
If you active­ly search out the tasks oth­ers might help you with, you will have more time for what mat­ters most — mean­ing, the tasks that to a greater extent con­tribute to the goals you are respon­si­ble for and that you need to do your­self. Because if truth be told, the time you spend on all those less impor­tant tasks is time you can­not spend on those that real­ly mat­ter. If it works out well when you final­ly asked for help, you will start think­ing of things to del­e­gate more often and spontaneously.

What is your way?
How do you fig­ure out what tasks you might del­e­gate to oth­ers? Does it come nat­u­ral­ly to you or do you have some method or trick? Share in a comment!