Living a life of service when you already have a busy schedule can seem impossible.
“I’m barely able to balance running my business with spending time with my family. How am I going to add another commitment to my to-do list?”
I totally get it. I’ve been there.
In my late 20’s and early 30’s, I had all these ideas for how I wanted to serve others – but I didn’t act on them. Because I didn’t prioritize them.
If helping others is a priority to you, you’ll make time for it in your schedule.
When I prioritized service, I started volunteering in so many ways. I'm a board of trustees member and track and field coach at my children's school. I do pro bono entrepreneurial mentorship. I even speak faith-based messages in churches throughout my community.
I don't say this to brag or to overwhelm you. What I want to say is: If I can do it, so can you.
The trick is not to get overwhelmed by all your obligations. Let’s get into how you can make space for service without burning out.
1. Choose the right kind of service for you.
There are many ways to serve others.
A common one is volunteering your time – helping at a soup kitchen or hospital, for example. Another option is gifting your skills as a mentor. Someone who’s a couple of steps behind you would value your expertise. You can also give financially. Find a charity you believe in and start donating regularly.
When you find a type of service that resonates with you, you’ll find it easier to commit. It won’t feel like yet another obligation overwhelming you.
2. Pay attention to your motivators.
Take time to see what you feel called to do. If you already have a personal cause that’s important to you, do something that supports that cause. Maybe you’re most interested in helping those in your community who are less fortunate. There are many ways to help the poor or homeless.
Try out a couple of opportunities to see what works for you. The most important thing is that whatever you choose to do, you’re giving it your all.
3. Make sure you’re taken care of first.
You can’t be fully present in anything you do if you’re not taking care of yourself first. To pour out to others, you need to make sure your cup is full.
When you focus on being the best version of yourself you’re able to give your best. Allowing your own health to suffer because you signed up for too many responsibilities isn’t going to help anyone – including you.
4. Don’t overcommit yourself.
One way to make sure you’re taken care of first is to ease yourself into service. You don’t have to volunteer at a soup kitchen, mentor your neighbor’s son, and coordinate a church bake sale right away.
It’s okay to say no to something that you don’t have the capacity for.
Set clear boundaries for what you are and aren’t willing to sacrifice. If weekly movie nights with your family are important to you, don’t schedule volunteering at that time.
And you definitely don’t want your full-time job to suffer because of your added commitment. You need your income to keep your household together!
Start small. What’s one commitment you can make that feels manageable?
5. Schedule and get organized.
Organizing your schedule prevents overwhelm. It also allows you to see where you might be spreading yourself too thin.
Plan ahead and figure out how you can split your time. For example, I carve out Sundays and Wednesday nights for serving.
Don’t forget that life is all about balance. Saying yes to one thing is saying no to something else. If you spend an hour mindlessly scrolling through Twitter, try volunteering for that hour instead. Consider what you’re willing to give up to make the time to serve.
Ready to Live a Life of Service to Others?
Living a life of service means prioritizing service. It feels good to see the fruits of your labor and know you’re making a difference. But this is only possible when you can serve sustainably.
You don’t have to do it all at once – especially at the expense of your own wellbeing.
If you’d like some help working through any problems you’re having in your business or life, you can book a coaching session with me.
I’ll help you balance your life’s responsibilities, figure out how you can best serve others, or grow your business.