Do you feel that you need to jump to help everyone around you? That’s great – until it takes away from the things that are important to you. If you find yourself spending your time helping others and then scrambling to get your work done you need to step back and gain perspective.
It’s important to help out, that is one of key requirements of being a part of a team. However, your personal success is dependent on what you get done. You must be seen as someone who gets things done in order to move up. So how do you find the right balance?
Ask yourself the following questions?
- Does this request take away from a critical task I already have to do? If the answer is yes, then you need to say no, or ask to defer your help until you get your task done.
- Is this request aligned with my / my team goals? If the answer is yes, then you should proceed to help out and determine how to fit it in.
- Are you feeling pressured to help out at your own expense? If the answer is yes, then you need to pause and figure out where the pressure is coming from before you act. If your boss is pressuring you to shore up a shaky team member/ project then ask for more clarification. Find out how this will help you in your career or why you and not someone else. When the pressure is from a chronic needy co-worker it may be time to RESPECTFULLY decline to help.
- Will this help you achieve your goals? If the answer is yes, then go for it. This is clearly lined up with your goals so find the time.
Remember that it is important to get your work done, work towards your goals, and to help others out. To really be successful it is so important to learn when and how to say no to protect your time and your needs. Helping others is part of everyday life, but you will always be behind schedule, overwhelmed and frazzled if you put others needs before your own. This is not about being mean, it’s about having balance and when you focus on pleasing others, you will not be pleased personally.