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How to Give Back When You're Strapped for Time

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backpack and laptopMany freelancers and small business owners want to find ways to give back and be more socially responsible, but running a business can make it seem impossible to find the time to do anything other than the task immediately in front of us.

How can you find a way (and the time) to do more good in the world, while still keeping up with the demands of our businesses? One solution is to focus on one trait at a time.

First, make a list of all the positive traits you would like to have (generous, responsible, helpful, supportive, etc.).

Under each item, list ways you can incorporate more of that particular trait into your daily life. For example, if you want to be more responsible within your community, you might consider sponsoring an area youth program or volunteering to maintain a local park.

Finally, set aside time each day and week to devote to your commitment. Even 15-30 minutes a day can make a big difference. If you could commit to just 15 minutes a day, five days per week, at the end of the year, you would have contributed more than 65 hours of your time to improving the world around you. That’s more than a week and a half of your attention!

Many times, we put off getting involved and doing things that we really want to do because of the belief that there just isn’t enough time. On top of that, we think that the time we do have isn’t enough to make any kind of difference, but even small contributions add up. If we can find ways to give back in even the smallest ways, we can make big changes in the world around us.

In what small ways can you make a difference in the world around you? Share your tips for getting involved while still keeping up with your business and other commitments.

Image from Flickr by laRuth.

8 Responses to “How to Give Back When You're Strapped for Time”

  1. I’ve made blankets for everyone in my family. Since I still wanted to make blankets, last year I collected, bought, and made over 365 blankets to give to local charities. A tied-fleece blankets only takes an hour or so to make. The local charities in Washington, DC welcomed the donations. The homeless families and women in shelters loved the selection and chance to have something special just for them.

  2. You don’t even have to leave your house to make a difference either! Just registering and spending some time on places like can make a world of difference- all over the world no less. With Kiva especially, the loan amounts are small enough to incorporate a freelancer’s budget. What a great way to make a difference without even using up gas money!