3 steps to master work life balance: step 3: ask for help

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Today we will wrap up our series, 3 steps to Master Work Life Balance. We have discussed Work Life Balance Step 1: Define Your Triangle. We have also addressed how to be more successful at each section of the balance triangle in Work Life Balance Step 2: Rotate & Stay Present.

Today we will talk about the final step, Step 3 which is:

ASK FOR HELP

This seems like a simple concept, but I have noticed with women, myself included, we do not like to ask for help. When we are out of balance, we move through our lives feeling overwhelmed, stressed out and worn out. Either we do not notice that we are spinning out of control, or we are wearing "busy" as a badge of honor.

There is no shame in asking for help. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. On the contrary, it is a sign of strength and awareness. You are aware that something is off balance and you need help to explore, work through and come back into balance.

I always think of the analogy of the flight attendant advising the adult to put on their own oxygen mask before helping their children. You have to help yourself first before you can be your best self for others.

SYMPTOMS YOU MAY BE OUT OF BALANCE

• Overwhelmed
• Exhausted
• Not eating well
• Not eating at all
• Nauseous
• Yelling at loved ones
• Crying
• Depressed
• Losing/gaining weight

I have experienced all of these symptoms when one area of my balance triangle has been overriding the other 2 sections. Work and Life are the 2 sections where I can easily feel overwhelmed. Play, not so much! :)

I have learned over the years, that I simply need to ask for help. I need to verbalize what I am feeling, overwhelmed, stressed, like I can not get caught up, etc. At work, I have asked my bosses for freelancers to help provide additional design solutions for a client. In my own freelance business, I have spaced out the time in between client deadlines. At home, I have asked my husband to pitch in around the house with chores a bit more during certain weeks.

ASK FOR HELP

When you are feeling out of balance, ask for help.

• "Husband, would you please load the dishwasher tonight? I need a break."
• "Boss, would you mind if I sketch outside today? I need some fresh air."
• "Friend, would you mind picking up my kiddo from carpool today? I have one more errand I could get done while I am out."
• "Husband, would you mind doing bath duty tonight?" I would like to go to bed early."
• "Client, would it be ok if we push your deadline out 3 more days? I want to make sure I have enough time to fully explore your project design options."
• "Friend, would you like to go on a walk during lunch?" I am having all the feelings and I need a friend today."

ACTION ITEM: Take one thing off your to do list that does not really need to get done today. It can wait. Lighten your load. The laundry can wait until tomorrow. Talk a walk instead.

ACTION ITEM: Ask your significant other to be responsible for the night time routine because you would like to read for an hour before bed. Then read a book. Do not get sucked into the internet abyss.

ACTION ITEM: Skip all evening responsibilities and declare family movie night in pajamas instead. Regroup with your loved ones. All devices off or on silent. The earth will keep spinning if you attend one less dog class, kid sports practice, or drinks after work with co-workers. Put the oxygen mask on yourself first.

Now you have all my secret tools to MASTER your own Work Life Balance. Add Play into your life. Rotate your balance sections so you can feel successful in one area when you feel like you are "failing" in another. Stay present in the moment. Ask for help when you are feeling out of balance and overwhelmed.

Do you have any tips or tricks you use to stay in Work Life balance? I would love to hear them.

I wish you all the balance and joy in your lives!