Help Is Not a Four-Letter Word

Father and child wrapping presents

My time-management system is easy. I mentally have a list of things I want to do, and I keep it in my head unless/until my mind starts feeling cluttered. Then I write the list down. Each item in the list goes into one of four categories:

1. Do it,
2. Delay it,
3. Ditch it, or
4. Delegate it.

The secret is to love what I’m working on…I have no trouble at all doing the things I love. And it’s easy enough to delay the other things or else decide I’m not going to do an item at all. I just ditch it. As the saying goes, “It’s easy to say no when you’re saying yes to something more important.” Some people might think putting things off is a bad strategy, but on the whole it works for me. If it needs to be done, sooner or later it will cry for attention. Then I’ll do it as efficiently as possible to get back to the things I love doing.

One thing that was on the Delay list for quite a while was cleaning up the coding on my two blogs. As I mentioned in About Jean, I jumped feet first into blogging, hardly knowing where to start. I learned just enough HTML to modify my WordPress theme. I played around and did whatever worked to get my two blogs looking the way I wanted them to. It was a bit risky, but it seemed the best strategy until last weekend. At that point it got bumped up in priority for two reasons:

1. I now like the way the blogs look, so future revisions should be more minor, and
2. My Cheerful Monk blog suddenly didn’t work correctly in Internet Explorer.

I tracked down the mistake but worried there still might be some sloppy coding that would cause problems. I want to learn more HTML, but gradually, and cleaning up the code needed a lot of expertise…right now. Then I came across Peggy Collins‘ site. Peggy is the author of the book Help Is Not a Four-Letter Word, and among the first words of the site are “Okay, so you’re responsible, hard working, and independent. But you’re also stressed out, overwhelmed, and reluctant to ask anyone for help.” I wouldn’t call myself stressed out and overwhelmed. Yes, I’m over my head, but on the whole I’m handling it well. She is right, though…I was reluctant to ask for help. I should have been able to do this myself.

What nonsense. So I went to Google and found Karen Blundell. I contacted her Thursday evening, and Friday morning we spent 2 1/2 hours on the phone and on our computers and cleaned up Cheerful Monk. In the fullness of time I’m incorporating those changes here. The best part of the experience is I now have someone to ask when more questions come up. Bless you Peggy Collins and Karen Blundell! You reminded me of a crucial part of time management…it is all right to use Option 4. It is all right to ask for help. It is all right to delegate.

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Related posts: Do What You Love, Live Your Own Life, Loving What You Do.

This blog posts weekly, on Sundays.

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One Response to Help Is Not a Four-Letter Word

  1. Karen says:

    Thank you for the plug, Jean :) I’m glad I was able to help. I’m only an email or phone call away if you need me in the future. Take care!

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