How to Be More Generous with Your Time

3 steps to allot your time for giving back

For some of us, being generous means a monetary gift. For others, it's a donation of their time. The common thread, regardless of the type of generosity, is giving. In these hard economic times, many people feel that they just don't have enough money to donate. But you can always make time for someone, or something, important. Here are a few steps you can take to be more generous with your time.

Step 1: Schedule your priorities

By scheduling your priorities and eliminating less important activities that take up your time, you can make time to be generous. Consider the things you need to do this week or this month, the things you'd like to do and the things that don't need doing. Organize your schedule appropriately.

Step 2: Volunteer in the area of your passion

Your first step in donating your time is to pinpoint an activity that you will enjoy doing. The National Philanthropic Trust, a independent public charity dedicated to increasing philanthropy in society, advises potential donors of time, or money, to follow their passion.

Once you've considered your passion, find a way to use it to help those in need. For example, if you enjoy reading, maybe volunteer to shelve books at your public library a few times a month. Or, if you enjoy animals, you can spend time walking dogs at the pound.

Volunteering is an easy, and free, way of being more generous. There are many charities and nonprofit organizations that need manpower. If you find something that truly moves you, donating your time will feel less burdensome and you'll feel better about yourself.

Step 3: Give your time to those you love

To be more generous with your time, you don't necessarily need to donate to an established group or cause. You can be more generous to your family, for example, by taking the kids out to the park or reading them a bedtime story. At work, you can give your time generously by grabbing coffee or lunch with your coworker and listening to what's going on in her life.

There is truly no end to the small things that you can do that will brighten someone’s day and only cost you your time.

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