Okay people, we’re all just a little bit swamped with all the things we have to do in our days to work it. Whether its work, school, running a household, or trying to stay in shape, most times it feels like we can’t breathe with all the juggling we do to keep all of our balls in the air. But doing good for others actually makes you feel better about yourself! And we can’t hate on that, now can we? In light of our super busy schedules as we try to take over the world, here are my top ten “do good deeds” that take less than five minutes. Reeeeady, set…go!
1. Put coins in expired parking meters on your mad dash to work. If you live in LA or the surrounding areas, you know how notorious parking enforcement is. On any given day, you could be slapped with a hefty parking ticket for being a mere half minute late to your parking spot—and it can cost you upwards of $65 buckaroos. And for some unexplained reason, parking enforcement gets an inane pleasure in meting out parking punishment. I once had a parking enforcement officer burst into an all-out sprint across a busy street—no regard for the crosswalk, and in the face of oncoming traffic—to try to beat me to my expired meter. Save your fellow workmates the panicked mad dash to the street and drop a quarter in a few meters as you make your merry way to work.
2. Buy the person behind you a cup of Joe. Okay admit it—we all indulge in this guilty habit called Starbucks at least once a week. And while we might need the extra pick me up (I love their hot chocolate—I can’t lie!) it gets a little spend-y. Next time you’re in line, do the person behind you a favor and treat them to a yummy cup of the good stuff.
3. Feed a homeless person. Unfortunately, you’re likely to run into at least one homeless person in your day to day pursuits. The next time you head out for the day, grab a box of granola bars and hand them out when you come across someone a bit down on their luck, While we might feel a little leery about handing out cash, lest it be spent on unsavory enterprises, food always goes a long way towards filling the belly and the heart.
4. Donate to KIVA. KIVA is the gift that keeps on giving. With just a few clicks of your mouse, you can give a micro-loan to a small business owner in a third world country—allowing that person to pull themselves up by the bootstraps. The good news—your loan gets paid back to you over time. You can either recoup your money or reinvest it by funding another micro-loan with the repaid funds. The good news—you either get your money back or you can use the investment for beneficial tax purposes when you file during tax time—and no one I know has ever complained about a tax break!
5. Hold the elevator for someone. It’s an unspoken rule that time is money and it follows that if we need to get somewhere, we need to get there fast. Often, we can’t fight the urge to push the “Close” button the second we step in the elevator, even as we see someone making a mad dash across the lobby to throw themselves through the closing elevator doors. Help someone avoid amputation by elevator today—wait that extra thirty seconds and make someone’s day.
6. Dish out a genuine compliment. There’s at least one good thing you can notice about anyone on any given day, but most of the time we don’t take the time to point it out. But dishing out a compliment doesn’t hurt us any, and it might do someone else a world of good. So the next time someone gives a stellar presentation, or looks a little snazzier than usual at the office, a “Good job!” or a “Looking nice today” could be all it takes to add a little sunshine to someone’s day.
7. Smile. Did you know that smiling is contagious? If you smile at someone, nine times out of ten they’ll smile back. And that just makes the world a happier place. So check—you just contributed to world peace in less than a second.
8. Show appreciation. Remember that barista who served your latter? Or the grocery store stock-person who ran back to isle six for a fresh cartoon of eggs when you noticed that yours were cracked? The unfazed waitress who took down your finicky order and then split the check ten ways to Sunday without batting an eye? It might be their job to create an impeccable sugar free hot chocolate, run across a store for eggs, or get the chef to make an eggless omelet, but these guys are all too often taken for granted—because while we might expect the difficult or impossible, it’s their job to make it happen. But a simple “Thank you!” can go a long way to making these every day mini-heroes feel appreciated.
9. Send a text or give a phone call to someone you haven’t talked to in a while and let them know what they mean to you. Do you want to do good and be happy while doing it? Studies have shown that telling people why they mean so much to you actually increases your feel good vibes just as much as it increases theirs. Check out this video below for some bona fide proof!
10. Like, comment on, or share my blog, Work It, Gal! Last but not least, if you really want to do good today, like, comment on, follow me on twitter (@workitgal), subscribe to, or share the Work It, Gal blog! The do good vibes you’ll get from this do good deed speak for themselves.
Now that you’ve feasted your eyes on my quickie do good deeds for the day, I’ll let you get back to your super busy schedules and all that entails—but be sure to pick at least one good deed if you can! (Number 10 is my favorite—what can I say, I’m biased. ;))
Work It, Gal