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3 Ways Busy People Can Give the Gift of Their Time

Lisa Haynes

If you suddenly had an extra hour of free time every day, what would you do with it?

Do you feel time poor — too busy checking things off your to-do list to focus on anything else? In an “always on” world, texts, invitations, commitments and distractions never stop. And as the holidays inch closer, pressure builds when our schedules expand with seasonal activities.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and fantasize about having 25 hours in a day. Or 26!

What Matters Most?

Instead of looking for hours that will never show up, remember that each day really is a gift. It’s often said that time is the most valuable thing you have. When you give your time to others, you make a bold statement about how much you value them.

Pastor Rick Warren put it this way: “The best use of life is love. The best expression of love is time. The best time to love is now.”

As the holidays roll around, try “gift wrapping” small packages of your time to share when you spot a need.

You have areas of influence in your daily life — the people you know and the places you go. Sharing the gift of your time with those around you can strengthen relationships in your neighborhood and community.

Whom Can I Give My Time To?

  1. A neighbor. If you haven’t gotten to know your neighbors yet, this is a great time reach out. Why not invite them to a casual meal, offer to help with a home repair project or see if you can pick anything up for them when you run your errands?
  2. A senior citizen. Seniors often need extra support during the winter, and some feel lonely during the holidays. Help by hanging holiday lights or cleaning up the yard, delivering a meal, offering a ride to the pharmacy or doctor’s office, or just sharing some hot chocolate while you listen to Christmas music.
  3. Someone younger than you. Whether you realize it or not, you have knowledge and experience that can benefit someone younger. Offer to go holiday shopping together, teach a skill you know, go to a park or take a walk.

God notices how and what you give. He even calls it a sacrifice because He knows you have to set aside your personal agenda to help someone else:

“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased” (Hebrews 13:16, New International Version).

Ways to Find “More” Time

You can squeeze an extra hour out of your day if you make it a priority. Get creative!

  • Put a time-tracking app on your smartphone to help you hold yourself accountable for screen time.
  • Take a break from social media or TV during the holidays.
  • Make time gifts part of your daily routine. Double up on errands by adding a couple things someone else needs to your list, or make a double batch of whatever you’re cooking so you’ll always have something to share.
  • Make memories with your friends or kids by inviting them to do some of the things that are already on your holiday to-do list together.

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