Ask for Help; Build Your Insider’s Board

Earlier this month, a friend of mine initiated a conference call between her, another friend, and myself.  Just out of the blue. No warning. Nothing.  She started the call by telling us that she wanted to be more intentional about her relationships this year, and one way of doing that was by being a more present friend.  She then asked us to tell her how she could better show up for us. I was taken aback.  

I’m so used to being a person who’s always offering support or help that I really didn’t know how to answer.  I thought about it for a while, and to my surprise because I still struggle with the vulnerability of asking for help, I replied that I sometimes just need someone to come over and be in my space while I complete tasks, whether that be cooking, doing laundry, writing music, practicing, etc.  I just need another body in my vicinity to keep me motivated and on track.  My friend immediately responded with, “Oh, you mean body doubling!”  She explained that body doubling is a productivity strategy used to finish tasks. The body double is essentially there to reduce the potential for distractions. This tactic is often used to help individuals with Attention Deficit Disorder and can be very helpful in keeping them focused. 

My problem is not that I get distracted, I just lack the motivation to get started sometimes.  Either way, body doubling reminded me of college and how easy it was to get together to study, cook, clean, or do any of the necessary things for living in community.  Post-college adulthood doesn’t seem to lend itself to the kind of cooperative settings to be productive in our personal lives, and that’s a shame.  

A few days after my friend asked this question, I was up against a deadline for a song I needed to record.  Surprising myself again, I reached out to that same friend for some body doubling assistance.  She emphatically agreed and came right over after work.  I was able to cook and record the song while she paid some bills and participated in a Bible study.  

After she left, I realized this was a prime example of the GSD Factor Insider’s Board or GSD Factor Clan that Misha discusses in Get Sh*t Done: The GSD Factor.  This friend was informally serving as the execution member of my GSD Factor Clan, and I didn’t realize it until after she left.  

If you’re thinking this is no big deal, and you constantly have this kind of support, I envy you.  However, as the self-appointed “strong friend,” this was a breath of fresh air.  It felt good to have someone offer to help and then actually do it.  If you’re like me and struggle to admit that sometimes you need help, no matter how big or small, I challenge you to activate that group of people that Misha describes in her book.  Whether it be your “Clan” or “Insiders Board,” ask for help, and let them help you.