This has to be one of the most common little white lies that people (especially girls) tell each other. You’re out running errands, at a bar, or on the train when you run into an old friend you haven’t seen or caught up with in a while. You exchange the usual pleasantries, and then need to get back to whatever you were doing, so you insist that you need to get drinks/dinner/FaceTime soon and catch up!
Honesty time – we all really do genuinely mean it (most of the time) – we miss their friendship and would love to catch up with them soon. But are we really going to make the time to do so because of this short little exchange? Unfortunately, probably not.
From high school to college, college to the real world, and all the little changes and steps in between, it’s always had to be a legitimate effort to stay in touch with friends, and as we get older and busier it gets more and more difficult to keep track.
I’ve come up with what I feel is a pretty good method for staying in touch with people without it taking over my life or staying glued to my phone. Here are some of my favorite simple ways to hang on to those precious friendships!
Use your mornings
Because we go to work all day during the week, and everyone seems to have their own laundry list of chores or hobbies they maintain after work, a lot of our time goes unused. If your company allows coffee breaks or lunch breaks out of the office, look up which of your friends work relatively close to you and meet somewhere in the middle. I tried this recently and realized I had almost 2 dozen friends working within blocks of me! It’s quick, easy, and such a nice way to break up the work day.
Break from your routine
This is something I have to constantly remind myself to work on. I get very wrapped up in my continuous loop of work – gym – cook – clean – bed that I forget how nice it is to break from the norm and do something different with my time. Even if it’s only one night a week – grab a drink or go for a walk with a friend (especially while this summer weather lasts!). I try to do this once or twice a week and either shift my workout to the morning or just squeeze it all in somehow, and even the days where I’m exhausted and think I’m dreading adding another item to my schedule, I haven’t regretted it one single time. It’s such a refreshing way to mix things up.
Use your apps!
This one seems obvious, and I know we can’t all sit on our phones when we should be working, but even if it’s just a couple snapchats back and forth or a well-timed #tbt post on Instagram, you can get the highlights of what is new in your friends life and take a few moments to make future plans in the coming weeks.
Schedule it (ugh)
Believe me – this one is probably my least favorite (solely because it makes me feel too old and businesslike) but most effective way. For the first time in my life, saying “let me check my schedule” is a very real thing, and I can’t live without it being on my phone at all times. With me now spending almost my entire day on my work email/calendar, it would take me only moments to make plans with a friend and put it on my calendar – making me ten times more likely to actually follow through with it! My friends and I have planned happy hours, dinners, weekend events and trips through this and it gives me something to glance at during my work day and something to look forward to!
We can’t stay in close contact with everyone we would always like to, but I’ve found that in these few short months after college, your social network and the people you surround yourself with are one of the biggest things you have to depend on for your own sanity and overall happiness. Don’t let them slip through the cracks!
How do you stay in touch amid your busy schedules?