I have a lot of roles in life. Chief Procurement Officer, Chef, Taxi Service, Financial Planner, Laundress, Maid, Care Provider. I switch in and out of these roles more times a day than I can count. And that isn’t even my work life. We all hold many different roles in our lives, and it can be both rewarding and exhausting. In our work there are more and more tools coming on-line that help us to manage tasks and work, in ways big and small. I have a tool to help me manage my cash-flow, my projects, my appointments. But at home, things have remained decidedly “analog”, needing “hands on” and time.
Making skillful requests that support your well-being can be a challenge. It may sometimes feel like a personal failure that you can’t get it all done… always a last-minute scramble of some kind. From handing in the quality level of work you know you are capable of, to living up to your own expectations at home (as a spouse, parent, friend, etc.) what is often called for is a step back to look at the bigger picture.
Whose standards are these? Our potential helps us to achieve so many things, but just because we can see how well something can be done, doesn’t mean we should be investing the time to make it so on the first go. Professionally, you may have time to evolve the work to eventually get to that nirvana place that looks like you originally envisioned (it doesn’t have to be there in the first draft). At home, unhooking yourself from the expectations set in magazines, social media and TV is also key. Yes, it would be beautiful to have an immaculate table set with hand-made place cards and matching linens. If the point is to enjoy each other’s company, do you really need all that stuff?
Our standards are one place to look to give ourselves a break, asking for help is another. How comfortable are you asking for help (at work or at home)? It is responsible to have your half-grown kids do their own laundry, learning to do something that is the definition of life skill. It is strategic to let your boss know when a deadline is unreasonable as you spend more time understanding how much work is involved. You are the only person who can objectively look at what you have on your plate, and then work with others to manage it in ways that allow everyone to be successful. Killing yourself to do everything keeps your work and efforts invisible, and ensures you are not fully appreciated for what you do.
Asking for help, before you have hit a wall, are frustrated, or resentful, means you can source this from a healthy place, and make reasonable requests that others can engage in, increasing the chances that you’ll get what you need. Take a key step towards your well-being; consider, and then ask for, what you need to better balance the commitments in your life.