Time is a precious commodity. We use it as a means to celebrate birthdays, honor anniversaries and plan the years to come. While time is an indicator of the milestones in our lives, our days would be even better if we could control it. We never have enough minutes in a day to feel truly fulfilled. From Doctor Who’s Tardis to Harry Potter’s famous time turner, our minds dream of a world where we could manipulate the racing clock.
How do we find fulfillment and change the world when we’re constantly bogged down in our daily to-do list? When Toyota shared their new documentary series, The Toyota Effect, with me I was blown away and inspired by the impact they’ve made in communities across the country. Toyota believes that organizations have a responsibility to impact society in a positive way. As a social good blogger, I couldn’t agree more. The company has gone out of its way to share the Toyota Production System with non-profits and organizations to help them find efficient ways to do their day-to-day work. You can watch the videos for yourself here and see the life-changing improvements productivity can create.
In my recent years of striving to lead a more fulfilling life, I’ve found my own small and unique ways to make a difference that I’d love to share with you. When good ideas are shared, great things can happen.
Start By Getting Organized
Buy a planner, tackle your inbox and chip away at least one area of clutter in your life. Everyone has different methods behind staying organized, but I’ve found that a clear workspace keeps me sane when the days get chaotic.
Identify a System That Allows You to Be Your Most Productive Self
There’s nothing like crossing off your to-do list or logging into your email to find something close to inbox zero. Before you can work toward your big picture goals, you first need to cross out the nuances of your daily to-do list. If you’re digitally savvy, an app like Evernote may work for you. I personally get a rush from physically crossing something off a hand-written checklist. Remember, your organizational system should be quick and simple. Creating a checklist shouldn’t take longer than the tasks at hand, right?
Find Your Passion Project
Now that your schedule is clear, so are your horizons. Finding a passion project to work on outside of the office can be incredibly rewarding and do wonders for your overall happiness. To scratch my itch for creativity and share my love of social good, I created Cup of Charisma and had no idea where it would lead. Your next blog, book, non-profit organization, art project or business venture may be the accomplishment that changes your life and the lives of others. Pursue it.
Don’t Just Seek Change, Create It
Identify a cause you believe in and set goals to measure the impact you envision. Perhaps you want to plan a clothing drive for a local children’s home. Maybe you feel inclined to organize a beach clean up with friends and family. The cause that holds the greatest soft spot in your heart is a meaningful place to cast your anchor and establish your purpose.
Enjoy Life’s Simple Moments
Just because you want to be a world changer doesn’t mean you need to permanently tattoo the Superman logo across your chest. Not every hobby you love needs to be tied to cause. Browsing through your favorite record store or binge watching a show on Netflix may feel like you’re not helping anyone, but sometimes you need to help yourself first. By embracing the down time in our often-hectic lives and pressing the pause button, we recharge ourselves to for our next big task at hand.
Create an Effective Plan to Travel
Start each year with a map and mark down the places you’d love to see. Next, portion out your vacation days accordingly and book flights well in advance to cut costs. Trust me, there’s inspiration to be found in every mile you travel and lessons to be learned in every person you meet along the way.
Find Time for New Friends and Keep the Old
One essential tip for making the most of your time is spending it in good company. Fill your life with the energy and ideas of new people you meet, but also make sure to stay grounded and close to the old friends who helped you grow.
Find a Mentor and Be a Mentor
While friendships add to our lives, mentorships develop them even further. Knowing I wanted to be a writer, I found mentors in my life that helped me map out my own blue print for success. While I’m still working on my life’s plans, I can’t begin to tell you how much clarity I have about my purpose because of the mentors who have coached me along the way. Your mentor could be your idea of your future self, or just someone who has vast knowledge and experience to share. Similar to Toyota passing on it’s rewarding social-technical system, once you’ve found your mentor, it’s your duty to pass the torch and be that guiding light for someone else in your life.
The story behind my productivity is just one in a sea of many. If you’re looking for more inspiration on how to effectively manage your life and make an impact, check out The Toyota Effect’s documentary series here. Tell me your favorite in the comments below!
This post was created in partnership with Toyota. All opinions expressed in the post are my own and not those of Toyota.