This is part 2 of a guest post from Mike Good from TogetherInThis.com.
Last week in part 1, we discussed how volunteering can lead to discovering your purpose. Most people don’t because they simply don’t feel they have the time. It doesn’t have to be a big commitment, however. You just need to find 1 or 2 hours per month to get started.
Create Time within Your Day
It starts with understanding the activities of your daily life. You need to objectively analyze each day for a couple of weeks. The best way to do this is by creating a daily log of your activities throughout the day. This should include everything from how long you shower in the morning to how much TV you watch at night.
Without this basic understanding, you won’t know where to make adjustments. But with the knowledge, you can develop strategies to move from chaos to being in control of your time. I created a spreadsheet just for you. You can download from my website here: Daily Log spreadsheet or if you’re not a spreadsheet person, grab yourself a large wall calendar.
Each day, log the activities for the day. For fun, put 1 of 3 smiley faces next to each task – a smile, a frown, or a neutral. As your log takes shape, you will start to see trends. You will see the things that eat up the majority of your time. You will also see the things that you either like or dislike.
Change Things to Increase “Me” Time
Pay close attention to the amount of “me” time you have each week. Is your “me” time healthy and enriching your spirit or are you just passing time feeling blah?
Focus on the things you can easily change. Don’t march into work demanding a reduced work schedule – not at least until you have your ducks in a row. Instead, identify areas you can change by getting other people to help you. For instance, do you have a neighbor that drives the same route to your child’s school? I’ve seen parents come together via my neighborhood’s Facebook page to create carpool systems. Or maybe you are the caregiver for a parent and you can ask a sibling for help.
The goal is to identify areas where other people can assist you and eliminate tasks that make you unhappy. Once you have found just 1 hour, replace it with something that makes you feel good such as volunteering.
Volunteering can be as simple as helping your older neighbor who no longer drives or more involved like joining Global Volunteers as covered in Ruth’s article, Finding the Perfect Purposeful Project Fit: Global Volunteers. No matter where you start, be sure you find something that lifts your spirit. Don’t stick with something that becomes a chore. If it causes you to put a frowny face on your log, then it’s not the right thing for you, and you need to try again until you find the thing that awakens your purpose.
What do you think? Can volunteering benefit you and help you discover your purpose?
About the Author: Mike Good is founder of Together in This an online resource helping family caregivers succeed. If you’re caring for someone, be sure to grab his guide, The 3 Free Tools Successful Caregivers Use To Get Their Ducks in a Row, to help you get on the right track to successful caregiving. You can also join him on Facebook or Twitter.