I recently volunteered my time to help publicize the service projects that the Boy Scouts of America are undertaking in my town. I knew this was a good thing to do, but I found that it took me a few days to hit send on that email committing myself. This hesitation made me wonder… Should I be doing this? Do I have time? Do they really need my help? This got me thinking deeper…. why is it so hard for people to give up time in the form of volunteer work? That answer came quickly… because there seems to be less time to give.
I know that I am no different than any other individual raising a family, keeping a home and working with clients. We all feel pressed to make time for too many commitments. At the same time, too many organizations find they have fewer volunteers to minister to the many needs in our communities.
Informally, I surveyed my colleagues about their volunteer work to see how they feel about their volunteer efforts. Everyone, without fail, feels satisfied that they have chosen their cause despite the fact that the work is time-consuming. This work opens their network, allows them to feel connected to a community and bonded to a common cause.
So, why am I writing about this topic? It isn’t some guilt trip to increase volunteerism. It is to spur you to pause a moment to think about how you spend your time. Are you engaging in work you enjoy? Are you doing things that further your business and personal goals? If not, then it is time to re-evaluate your commitments.
Likewise, when selecting your business development activities, choose wisely. Don’t fill your calendar with random ‘acts of marketing’ because you will not further any goals. Instead, select ‘worthy’ avenues of your efforts and you will feel a stronger sense of accomplishment along the way (…and perhaps even help an important cause at the same time!).