There is NO Time
If there is no time at all to help other people, something is wrong. In life and work, there are transactions. These are micro exchanges and opportunities for kindness and service. Even if we are running at the gym, we can do something small to help someone else. It could be a smile, a joke, a laugh, a suggestion. There are unlimited ways to help others. In many cases, you don’t need to look for the way, you just do what is instinctual without worry or concern on perception. There is always time.
In order to help folks with a little more impact, I also block out time. This can sometimes be inconvenient for me from a practical perspective but I value the process over any inconvenience. I am always happier for finding the time to help.
Here are some examples of things I do that may help if you are trying to figure out “the how” of helping.
- When I actively block out time for people, I let them know the boundaries and conditions I am working within and the scope of help I am willing to offer.
- I promise only what I am willing to follow up on. If I have an opportunity to do more, I will but I only promise on the level of commitment.
- I help in chunks or blocks of transactions. This means, if you asked me for something, it would either be done very quickly in a block of time or I would do it in a planned block of time as opposed to something that would be done consistently over time. An example would be making an introduction to someone or posting a resume. I would make the introduction and mention that I can’t chase people from a time perspective but that I would make x amount of attempts based on the situation or condition.
- I take calls early and late. If I am on the way to the office, I’ll take a call. If I am on the way back, I’ll take a call. If the person I am working with is understanding, they will normally say “ok” and help me help them.
It boils down to clarity on what I am willing to do and my ability to follow through. If for some reason (and there have been reasons) that I have to adjust or push things to the right a bit, I am always open about this and I will find time to follow up.
The key message is, helping people matters. It matters to them and it matters to me. Our world has enough nonsense going on where negative information and behaviors seem to overwhelm us. It is a responsibility for all of us to take time to help each other. It is not to perform “handouts” but to lend a hand to help someone “up” or even validate their thinking. If I was looking for a “payout” from my helping people it is normally in the immediacy of the moment. In other words, if I handed you an ice cream cone and you loved ice cream and I made the ice cream, it is the moment that you enjoy it that makes me happy.
I hope that you can find time to help others. It isn’t paying it forward or back, it is being in the moment and being part of a community. It is about now.
What do you think?
What suggestions do you have for others to help them?