The idea of volunteering is appealing to many – but actually volunteering is another story. As we age, we often become busier, which can make it difficult to dedicate time to these kinds of activities. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to fit volunteering into your schedule with a bit of effort.
Finding Time To Volunteer
Balancing volunteer opportunities with work and family life is a delicate situation, but it’s manageable, with a bit of strategy.
Consider these tips:
- Organize a volunteer group – Volunteering solo might be easier to set up, but doing so with friends can be beneficial for many reasons – aside from being surrounded by people that you appreciate and get along with, it’s likely that at least one member of the group will help coax others into volunteering consistently.
- Choose an organization that fits your schedule – Once you’ve secured a full-time job, finding the time – and mental capacity – to volunteer on workdays can be difficult. If you’re working Monday through Friday, opt for an organization that operates on weekends. Likewise, if your off-days land in the middle of the week, choose a group that’s active when you’re available.
- Set a predetermined schedule – Keeping your priorities straight is an important task when you’re busy, and this usually involves planning ahead. Set aside a day or two per week – or every other week, if that’s too much – that is dedicated to community service, and stick with that plan regardless of how you feel about it the day of. Once you’re used to regular volunteer work, it will become increasingly easy to show up.
- Find your volunteering niche – Are you particularly skillful in a certain area? Use your strengths to your advantage. If you’re able, find a charitable organization where your talents are utilized to a greater extent than they would be during a general activity. This will not only allow you to be active in the community, but to develop personally – a benefit that might drive you to volunteer more often and have a positive effect on your career.
- Volunteer on holidays – Sacrificing a day of leisure may not sound appealing, but charitable organizations don’t always take breaks to enjoy holidays. Search for an opportunity that takes place on the morning of a holiday, perhaps, which will make it easy for you to log service hours while opening the rest of the day for family time.
With these tips, a little motivation and keen organization skills, it’s possible to find time for community service within even the busiest schedule.
Volunteer With United Way
United Way of Greater Cleveland works with over 100 local programs that assist local families and individuals in need. Contact us today to learn more about how you can help us further our cause, or visit our Volunteer page for more information.