Random Acts of Kindness (without leaving your desk)

It being Random Acts of Kindness Day, I’ve been pondering this. I love the idea of random acts of kindness and also the idea of paying it forward. However, remembering to do either can be a real challenge! It’s very hard to bring these things front of mind and unless a blatant opportunity is thrust in front of your nose, you might start the day with excellent intentions and end having not done anything. It’s easy when someone in front of you on the tube has a buggy to help carry up the stairs. Or when someone is in the car park looking despondently at their non-existent change it’s a no brainer to offer a quid. But actively seeking opportunities is harder. I think this is particularly true when you work at home and don’t get out much! We tend to think of these RAK as being face to face encounters, but they needn’t be at all. So I prefer to think in terms of kindness, generosity and helpfulness. Time is a valuable commodity and for many freelancers, that's what they sell. It's therefore the most valuable thing we have to give - whether or not you leave the building. So here’s my quick list of some small, some larger things that virtual folk, I reckon, can count as RAK.

  • Offer to have a chat with a newbie or wannabe Freelancer about what it’s really like to do this.

  • If someone needs help on some software (Facebook groups are ideal for this), offer to skype and talk them through it.

  • Go through the last 3 things you bought that you were pleased with and give the product or company excellent Google reviews

  • Look at your work suppliers - have you given them all Linked In recommendations and testimonials?

  • Think about your business, who mentored, inspired and encouraged you? Send that person or those people a card or gift telling them that. People often aren’t aware that their actions can impact on others and that a kind word or a pep talk can stay with you for years. Tell them how they inspired you.

  • And lastly, don’t neglect yourself. I’d love my RAK to myself to be buying a very nice pair of boots I have my eye on. But, it would be kinder both to myself and my bank balance to look after myself better. To take an afternoon off if I’m feeling under the weather or to be gentler to myself when I mess something up.

Whatever random acts of kindness we do, we must do them for their own sake and not to get anything back. Which isn’t to say that a warm glow is a bad thing. It’s like arriving at your desk at 8.30 having already done a spin class - you’re both energised and smug. It’s a good feeling, let’s spread it about.