Knowing when to ask for help is a strength

by Julie Baird on April 8, 2010

Understanding yourself is the key to successfully managing your time. Part of that is about understanding how far you can go on your own and when you need to ask for help.

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness; it can be a powerful strength as you go through life. No successful business person survives alone; they have teams behind them providing them with help when they need it.

Here are some potential situations when you might want to consider reaching out for help:

Accountability: If you know you have trouble keeping on task or keeping agreements with yourself then find someone who will help keep you accountable. It may be a friend, a parent or a coach. Share your goals and objectives and check in regularly to share progress. It is much harder to procrastinate when you have to own up to someone else.

Overwhelm: If you are at a point where you feel overwhelmed then another person may be able to help you see through the fog and recognize the priorities to get you going again. If you have a friend who has strengths in this area that can be helpful. Just make sure that whoever helps you does not do the prioritization for you – you have to learn how to do it for yourself.

Schoolwork suffering: If you are at the point where your schoolwork is suffering then it is time to speak to you school. Let them know that you recognize there is a problem and what you are trying to do to change how you cope. Ask them what option you have to make up, delay etc. You may not be able to make a difference to your current grades but doing this will make them much more sympathetic to your situation. There may be help that you can get through the school to help with study skills and other topics that could help you in the longer term.

Getting some quiet time: Depending on your living circumstances you may need to ask for some help to create some quiet time for you to really be able to focus. Make sure you explain clearly and calmly what you need and ask for help in achieving it.

Organizing your space: This can be overwhelming so if you have a friend or parent who likes to do this sort of thing recruit them to help. Put some music on and have fun. Just make sure that the solutions you come up with work for you.

Building a System: There are many people in your life who will have experimented with various ways of doing this. Have your needs clear in your mind then ask what others use. Target students you know who are clearly well organized. Just be aware that some of the super organized may not even realize what they do, or that what they do is unusual. You may need to ask detailed questions. Just let them know you are asking because you admire their organization skills and they will be happy to answer your questions.

Learning New Skills and Behaviors: When we try and learn something new or try to change the way we behave it can be difficult to make the change and stick with our new habits. Often having someone outside to help can allow us to understand things better and keep us on track. If you find you are struggling to keep up some of the new behaviors from this program then you may need some additional support. You may want to be part of a group who have similar issues, or have help from an individual acting like a coach. Think about someone trying to lose weight or get fit, those who are successful have often had help from outside themselves. Consider what type of support would work best for you as an individual and find something that fits.

If you are struggling to control your time and get the results you know you are capable of then it is time to take action. The Focused Time Management System TM for Students avoids all the clutter and gives you the most important things to focus on to get you back in control of your time and your life. It’s all step by step, not a big mish mash of things. So you do step one of the system, and when you’re done with that, you move on to step two, and so on. So easy! All the tips, tools, and worksheets are handed to you on a silver platter. E mail me at to arrange a time to chat over your issues and see if I can help

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