Dying to get it all done

Jennifer Wilson

I’m your guide here at Simple Scrapper. Our community helps people find what fills you up and fits your life in memory keeping.

March 16, 2011

This is a guest post from Aaron Morris aka Sir Scrapalot, who shares tips for scrapbooking productivity with Simple Scrapper readers once a month!

I‘ve always been a little bit of a control freak. For as long as I can remember, I’ve done things myself. It always seemed like giving up part of a project to someone else would ensure that it wouldn’t be the way I wanted it. It was all about control – everything needed to be the way I wanted it. Anyone who shares the same thoughts as I did, knows that it’s not easy. You end up taking on A LOT of projects, and really start creating more and more work that you have to get done. After I had kids, it magnified. There was more that needed to be done, and I was going to do it myself. Even if it killed me. The thing was, it almost did.

I remember the headaches. I had convinced myself that they were “stress headaches” from everything I HAD to do. I always managed to sleep them off, waking up the next day back to my normal self. Then, one day, it didn’t go away. I woke up the next day with the same headache. Then, another day. When I woke up with the headache three days later, my wife insisted I call the doctor. Not surprisingly, they saw me right away. The diagnosis…I had blood pressure so high, they were surprised I hadn’t had a stroke. Then, the scary thought, “Had you not called in….” I didn’t want to think about that.

As you can imagine, there was a lot of change after that. Funnily enough though, there was one thing that didn’t change. Every time I would stress that I had too much to do, my wife would offer to help, and I would brush it off and get it done on my own. It took a few years before I really started letting my wife and other people “help me.” It was getting easier, but it never felt right to me. Until six months ago.

I’d been interning under my principal in my efforts to become an administrator. One day, in casual conversation I asked him, “How do you get it all done and not go insane?” He looked me dead in the eye and said, “Delegate.” In my head, I heard breaks screeching…you want me to have other people do stuff? What is this crazy talk? He went on to say, “the reality is, I can’t do everything AND be an effective leader for the school. Part of effective leadership is knowing when to ask for help, and knowing that that’s OK.” Cue the fireworks…I mean, could it possibly be that asking for help was the answer all along? From that day, I’ve tried to adopt a more open policy for asking for and accepting help. I’m not perfect, but I can tell you that it’s truly making my life a whole lot easier.

Here are 4 things that make asking for/accepting help easier for me:

  • Not everything is going to be perfect. Nothing is. Accepting that is key.
  • It depends on who you ask to help. I tend to ask for the best. If I need help making a pig cake for my daughter’s birthday, I don’t ask my other daughter, I ask my mom…she’s the best at that.
  • The feeling of getting stuff done and being relaxed beats the feeling of getting it all done your self and having a stroke.
  • When things are REALLY important to me, I do them. I just don’t treat everything as something that’s REALLY important.

I have two young daughters, a beautiful wife, and a great life. It’s only one life though…I don’t want to run it into the ground micro managing every task that comes my way.

Do you have trouble asking for help? What tips do you rely on to ask for help?

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8 Comments

  1. Migdalis

    Thanks for your words!
    Really help me a lot!

    Reply
  2. Shannon

    Wow. This article really, really resonates with me. I am a control freak, micro manager, schedule obsessed, high strung, type-A person. I have such a hard time delegating, saying no or asking for help. I never thought about how ineffective it makes me though. Definitely something I need to think about.

    Reply
  3. Mimi Linda

    Wow! How this speaks to me. I can totally relate to this article. I agree with Shannon and that I must learn to deligate and say NO to some requests that come my way. I often feel that I’m to pressed to get things completed and perfect.

    Thanks for sharing

    Reply
  4. Marg VP

    I think it’s important to prioritize, designate, and let the rest go whenever reasonably possible.

    Ask for help. If help cannot be had, then ask yourself “how important is this?” or “can it be accomplished more simply or at a later time?”

    Once you do that, you may just find that you actually free up some time for yourself and the hobbies or tasks you truly enjoy the most.

    Reply
  5. Claudia McDaniel

    OMG that is totally me! I sometimes tell my kids that it’s not right unless it’s done my way. Isn’t that terrible? I get the headaches and have them disappear once everyone’s in bed and I can relax. I have found that making a list of things to do helps, because I can see myself making progress a little bit at a time. Also, when I tell my husband it seems to not be as big a deal as I thought. I guess saying the words out loud puts things in context. I’m learning to delegate and ask for help. I’m also learning that the world won’t end if I don’t get it done just perfect. Besides, if the world does end before I can finish something, then no worries! LOL

    Reply
  6. Kimberly

    Wow! This really resonated with me; my dearest friends and I just talked about this! A couple of us offer (more like insist) to help each other out with little things like carpooling, watching each other’s kids, so that we don’t always have to feel like we’re asking/begging for help!

    Reply
  7. Anna

    Years ago I read a book called “The One Minute Manager Meets the Monkey.” It changed my life. I realized that in my perfectionism I was driving everyone crazy especially myself.

    Aaron, thank you for reminding me again of the important lessons I learned from that book. A little refresher was just what I needed!

    Reply
  8. Crystal

    I can really understand what you’re saying and I’m so happy that you were able to have those realizations before something really terrible happened. Another benefit to letting people help you is that you’re also helping them. I used to have a boss that micro-managed everything. It really undermined my self esteem and made me feel so unhappy. I’m sorry to say that he never got your message while I worked for him. Finally, I realized that it was “him not me” and I left and moved on to a happier more confident life. I also realized with children that when you can give them a task, like making their bed for instance, if they are young, it’s not going to look perfect – I could go in and make it perfect – but to let them do the job and feel a sense of accomplishment is invaluable. Sorry to go on and on – great article, thanks for sharing!!

    Reply

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  1. Getting it All Done Was Killing Me | Sir Scrapalot Designs - [...] Posted by Aaron aka Sir Scrapalot on Mar 16, 2011 | View Comments Hello there! If you are…
  2. Simple Steps to Finishing What You Start | Simple Scrapper - [...] not ask for help? In my case, my husband takes our daughter to swimming lessons on Saturday so I…

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