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11 Facts About Volunteering That Will Surely Impress You

11 Facts About Volunteering That Will Surely Impress You

When it comes to benefits of volunteering, a lot of people think that’s it’s all about the warm and fuzzy feeling you feel after helping someone. As it turns out, that’s far from the only benefit. What a lot of people don’t realize is that it is not just about soup kitchens, the peace corps and doctors against borders. Charity work requires a wide variety of people, doing a wide variety of things for everything to work. Because of this you can volunteer as almost anything, which means there are some surprising benefits to be had. For example, volunteering….

1. Teaches You New Skills

From helping making websites, to teaching immigrant kids your native language, to arranging events for charity. Volunteering can really be almost anything. That means that when you get involved in charity work, a lot of the time you will face challenges just as you would in a new job. And through overcoming these you learn and start to master completely new skills,

2. Helps You Stay Active

Sometimes when you need to do something the most, is when you feel the least like doing anything. This is where volunteering can help out. It’s a lot more difficult to blow off volunteering than a casual appointment with a friend. So when you feel like shit, and you don’t really want to, but really need to stay active, volunteering is your friend.

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3. Fills Empty Spaces On Your Resumé

If your job search seems to be taking longer than you had expected, you might want to consider volunteering. It’s a way to prove that you’ve not just been sitting on your ass the whole time but you’ve been actively taking steps that can help you better your situation.

4. Can Lead To Work

I’ve seen people go into volunteering with no expectations, and further down the road, ending up working for a non-profit as a coordinator. Of course this line of work is not for everyone, but thankfully actually volunteering will give you a good idea of whether or not it’s a viable career path for you.

5. Can Be Therapeutic

Depending on what you choose to do, volunteer work can have a tremendous therapeutic effect. There are many options that can be tremendously giving. One of my close personal friends has completely transformed after she started working with disabled kids.  Volunteering helps you look outside yourself and your problems, allowing you to see the world and other people from a whole different perspective, which in turn can make you grateful for what you already have and see your own personal value.

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6. Can Help Improve Social Skills

If you’re the kind of person that has a hard time putting yourself in social situations, volunteering can help. Of course it’s far from an instant fix, but it can be a useful tool in your battle. A permanent excuse to talk to people and try to get along.

7. Can Be Relevant Work Experience

Everyone and their third cousins are overwhelmed by finding a decent job these days. Something that seems to stop many, is that experience often seems to be a prerequisite to get a job. With some professions, volunteering can actually help you get the experience you need to get your foot in the door. There’s many a budding journalist that got his or her start volunteering for a college or university paper, and that’s not at all the only profession this applies to.

8. Can Teach You What Truly Matters

It’s a great way to find new perspectives on life. When you’ve been at it for a while, you just might find yourself re-evaluating your priorities, or even deciding on a completely new path to take in life. One of my friends went from wanting to be a lawyer, to discovering a true passion for teaching.

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9. Helps You Make New Friends

Maybe not so surprising, but what might surprise you, is how genuine these friends are. Some of my long term friends are people I’ve met through volunteering.

10. Helps You Expand Your Network

One of the great things with volunteering, is that you meet a very wide variety of people. Instead of looking at it in a negative light of meeting people you don’t have a lot in common with, think of it as expanding your network. You’re getting to know people involved in many different walks in life that you wouldn’t have had the opportunity to meet otherwise. I’m not the kind of guy that makes friends purely for connections, but sometimes it’s very convenient to have a broad network.

11. Helps You Grow

Summed up in one line: Volunteering helps you grow. Not only as a person, but as we’ve covered, it can help you develop your skill set as well. The only real downside is how hard it is to leave when circumstances make it difficult for you to continue.

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So if you’ve ever considered volunteering, what are you waiting for?

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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