Asking for Help


asking for help

Is it not in your nature to ask for help?

Have you asked for help and you heard crickets?

Is it easier to procrastinate about something rather than ask for help?


Let’s admit it, asking for help is hard.  It may seem like it’s a signal about deficiency or weakness. It may be about fear and vulnerability. It may be a lack of a skill or an undeveloped skill.  It could even be about being stubborn. A lot plays into asking for help.  It’s time to acknowledge we are all not good at everything and play to our strengths.


It’s the best way to conquer a tough project though.  It helps you move forward when you are stuck. It saves you time when you are struggling with a task or technology.  Bringing together more hands and ideas can improve your project too.  Is it time for you to assess asking for help?


Start small

The best way to start anything new is to start small.  Ask for help with a small time commitment or piece of the project.  Isolate just one thing that is holding you back on a project.  Ask a trusted resource to help you with that one small task.  If you are not sure what that one small thing is, ask a trusted resource to process the steps in the project to create the series of actions for completing the task.


Asking for help at work

Collaboration is a great strategy for asking for help at work.  Create a team that works well together who create energy and more together.  Find resources for a variety of needs that you have, whether tech, writing, calculations or other needs.  Sweeten the pot with an offer to assist with a strength you have.


Email is your best tool for asking for help.  Be sure to include a specific request with a deadline.  Think of potential solutions as options that your resource can help you with, especially the small simple solutions.  Think about additional resources like coaches, professional organizers, and productivity consultants who can also provide support and increase your productivity.



Asking for help at home

We often think our family is an unreliable source for help.  However, asking for help at home is an important part of family cohesiveness.  Even if you think it’s easier to do whatever yourself, teaching how to help others and team work is worth the extra energy and time.


It’s easiest to ask by starting with a family meeting.  Even if there is a lot of eye rolling, your family will be happy to help with simple, small tasks that can be done quickly.  Use a family chart to keep everyone on track.  Set a time and date for your helpers to complete their work.  If someone is already doing that task, count that.  Find tasks everyone can do at the same time together to get a big job done too.


Finding resources

Have an array of resources at your disposal.

  • My first go to is google and find online resources. Finding answers can be as simple as a few keyboard clicks. It takes a few minutes and already I know new tricks.
  • My next step is to find someone in my inner circle who can respect my request.  There are many colleagues, family and friends who have skills that compliment mine. I return the favor by offering something to help them as well.
  • Finding resources in your community are a great collaboration as well.  In my arena I love having interior decorators who work on color and space design, handymen who repair and hang pictures,  and tech people who help make my computer and smart phone work well.
  • Who would be a bonus to you as a resource?


Not matter the challenge, there is help there for the asking!  Remember to share your gratitude for their help.   It’s not only about how to ask for help, it’s also how to appreciate those helping out too.


Tricks and tips for any organizing or productivity challenge here!



10 replies
  1. Janet Barclay
    Janet Barclay says:

    I love your suggestion to start small. Not only does it not feel as much like an imposition, but it’s less scary for folks who are afraid they will lose control of whatever project is in question if they bring someone else on board. And it’s a great introduction to the wonderful feeling of freedom that comes when you’re not so tied down!

  2. Ellen
    Ellen says:

    You are right Janet! For me it’s all about baby steps. Once you catch the good feeling of letting go, it’s much easier to make decisions and keep going.

  3. Sarah Soboleski
    Sarah Soboleski says:

    Thanks for the detailed post! I like how you differentiated between seeking help personally and professionally. Good tips for both! I, personally, find family meetings to be helpful.

  4. Ellen
    Ellen says:

    Thanks Sarah! Family meetings and the family calendar are the best tools to keep commmunication open and stay on top of all things for your family.

  5. Olive Wagar
    Olive Wagar says:

    I am coming to your site from the Professional Organizers Blog Carnival.
    I especially appreciated your suggestion to ask for help from a friend who would respect your request. Sometimes we overlook the closest solution!

  6. Linda Samuels
    Linda Samuels says:

    I like your suggestions for finding resources. It’s one thing to want help, but it can sometimes be daunting to find the right help. In particular, asking your trusted circle of people for referrals is a great way to find good help. I know that when I’m referred by a client to a potential client, there’s a certain amount of trust and confidence already there. And I feel that way when I’m hiring someone to help that has come from a trusted resource.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] you haven’t reached out for support. In any of these instances, it could be time for you to add this element to your foundation.  Support can be help from someone or something tech.  First identify the […]

  2. […] Asking for help can be hard. But it’s a lot more fun and much easier when you work with a partner to get stuff done.  Look for a partner in someone who has different strengths from you.  It’s not that you are any less skilled, strong or resourceful. It’s picking a partner who you work well with together. […]

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