June 18, 2018

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Increase Your Productivity: Ask for Help!

"Fortune befriends the bold." - John Dryden

I work regularly with my clients on their "personal effectiveness" or ways of increasing their personal productivity. There are many methods of increasing productivity: removing distractions, focusing on one task as a time, knowing your energy cycles throughout the day, etc. However, one of the most important methods is often overlooked - asking for help when you need it.

Taking the time to seek help can be a real boost to your overall productivity. Sometimes we spend so much time going in circles trying to re-invent the wheel without even realizing we are doing it. Quick and easy sources of help may be a phone call away or a simple email to a trusted colleague. A quick answer may be found in a book. More complicated answers may need more time such as attending a local training class.

It is funny how asking for help is often our last resort! We never want to take the time to seek out help. Instead, we try to jump into action by ourselves. It often feels more efficient to do things by ourselves, but when the situation is too big for us this approach can end up eating up a huge chunk of our time. Unfortunately, for most of us the thought of finding help only occurs to us at the end of the problem solving process --when we are frustrated and feel as if we have hit a dead end. I would suggest instead starting with the question: "do I need help with this?" Why not think about all of the resources that may be available to you?

Some people avoid asking for help because you don't want to "bother" others. If this is you, do you remember the last time someone asked you for help? Were you bothered? Probably not. In fact, you might have even been flattered to be able to contribute. Helping others feels good. I invite you to give others the chance to feel good about contribute to you as much as you enjoy contributing to them. Chances are somebody somewhere has faced and solved the same situation you are facing today. Reach out! Start to use all the wonderful resources available to you. Call a friend, go the library, go to a bookstore. I guarantee it will not only save you time, it will increase your long-term productivity.

Who knows, you may even brighten someone else's day by allowing them to contribute to you.

-Deirdre McEachern
Deirdre McEachern’s passion for life is translated into helping her clients achieve their dreams. Deirdre walked away from the high stress world of high-tech and undertook a complete career change. She now loves her work as an entreprenuer and personal coach. Deirdre’s coaching specialty is helping people attain satisfaction in their careers and lives just as she did. She believes stongly that everyone can find a career which they enjoy, expresses their passion and uses their natural talents. You can contact Deirdre at
Copyright 2001-2003 by Deirdre McEachern.

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