List-making is an under-appreciated art form. Practiced and perfected by the likes of Benjamin Franklin and Umberto Eco (not to mention you and probably everyone you know), lists form a crucial part of our lives. Belle Beth Cooper recently wrote a piece for the Buffer Blog on the history and allure of the list, reminding us of the incredible power it has to make sense of the world around us and to enhance our productivity.

Lists can be just as useful when it comes to incorporating good into your daily routine. The next time you find yourself organizing a daily, weekly, or monthly to-do list, try to remember Cooper’s advice and apply it to your philanthropic giving:

  1. Prioritize – You can’t do everything. Make the most of your giving (whether that means giving money, time, or labor) by focusing on causes important to you.
  2. Break projects down into smaller, manageable tasks – Whatever your major goals are, you can make them more accessible (and much less overwhelming) by thinking of them as a series of tasks.
  3. Plan ahead: Set apart time every week or month to engage in philanthropic giving.
  4. Be realistic: Accomplish what you can within your own limits.

November 15 is National Philanthropy Day – what better time to start doing daily good deeds?

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