I want to keep up with friends. But one of the things I face as an introvert is not keeping up with people. I forget to keep in touch, and then when I think of it, it has been so long that I feel awkward re-establishing contact.
I have made a conscious decision to be in contact with people. Today’s article are techniques on how to use productivity tools to keep up with friends.
The Start: Making A List
When I first realized this was a problem, I had to figure out what I wanted “being connected” looks like. So I made a list of all the people that I wanted to have regular contact with. This included a childhood friend, a high school friend, my college roommate, and three good friends now. (I have a lot of acquaintances, but few people I choose to spend a lot of time with)
Once I had the list, I had to figure out the best way to stay in touch.
For my friends that are not local, it is not possible to do regular in-person meetups. For some of my local friends, work schedules and other time constraints make it difficult to get together, such as the friend who works second shift (my workday starts at 7:15 a.m.)
However, if if it just a matter of committing to a time, I have found that setting up a recurring appointment is the best way to do this.
A friend of mine set up dinner meetings for three of us. It started a few weeks ago, and happens every two weeks. Her daughter is in Girl Scouts during that time, and mine is at home during homework. Our other friend has older children that don’t need supervision. This meeting time is on a day when we personally don’t usually have commitments, and having it on the calendar makes it a priority.
Using Repeating Reminders
For my friends that aren’t local, I set up repeating tasks to contact them. For some, it is a letter (yes, remember those?) once a month. For others it is an email once or twice a month. For others, it is a phone call once or twice a month.
Once I decided on a frequency, I put the tasks in my task manager (Remember The Milk) and just do them when they come up.
Using Ongoing Projects
This was the approach I took in 2014, and although it worked, I abandoned it in 2015 (I’m not sure why).
For other friends who are local and whose schedule is rather unsettled (like mine), I made a project each month to contact and spend time (or talk to) various friends. It was a project with tasks like “Have lunch with Michelle” or “call Angie”.
As these tasks came up during my weekly review, I was able to schedule them in during the week, or at least put out the email or phone call to set up a meeting.
Keep Up With Friends
Whether you keep up with people by regular meetings, repeating reminders or ongoing projects, the outcome will be the same: you will keep in contact with those people important to you.
Do you have any other methods? Share below.