How to volunteer without sacrificing your schedule
Whether you’re a parent, shift worker or simply juggling a jealousy inducing social life, we’ve all let an enticing volunteer role pass us by as we wonder “will I have the time?”
Well dear reader, we’ve done the research so you don’t have to! Here are three reasons why volunteering doesn’t have to be a balancing act:
As charities and organisations realise they’re missing out on a talented pool of busy students and full time workers, “flexible volunteering”, where you offer your services as a volunteer as and when it suits you, is on the up! Equally, there are many volunteer opportunities that allow you to contribute from the comfort of your own home, particularly those encompassing web based tasks such as social media management, so why not squeeze in an hour before the next episode of Bake Off? Finally, keep an eye out for micro-volunteering opportunities! Initiatives such as Team London allow would-be volunteers to find impromptu opportunities by simply selecting the date and the amount of time they’re able to give.
Learning new skills to increase employability, better understanding people and businesses, making new friends and contacts, even falling in love…you’re not just volunteering, you’re a multitasking master of time-management! Buddying up on a volunteer role or signing up to a fundraising campaign with a friend or family member is also a great way to spend time with a special someone whilst still making a difference!
It’s “you time”
And breathe. Schedule in some positivity between that Post Office trip, dentist appointment and 3pm conference call - volunteering makes you feel good! Helping others can be a healthy boost to your self-confidence, self-esteem, and life satisfaction. Scientists also believe that acting altruistically releases endorphins in the brain, this is known as the “helper’s high”!
Ok, so we said three reasons but here’s one more for good measure (it’s also possibly the coolest)...
Giving time gives you time!
Unfortunately volunteers don’t have access to a secret time-space vortex, but according to research published in Psychological Science, when people volunteer it actually makes them feel like they have more time in their day. So here’s how it works:
- Using our time to help others makes us feel highly productive and capable.
- This in turn makes our day feel more “full” and accomplished.
- The more that we feel we’ve done a lot with our time, the more time we feel we have!