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?