1. Schedule time in your week for your friends.
Even the most introverted of us is built for relationship and can't do life alone. We all need people in our world to come along side us and help us along our journey.
If we want to maintain and grow our friendships despite our full lives then we need to prioritise them. The simplest way to give friendships the importance they deserve is to give them time. Being proactive and blocking out time in your weekly schedule for friendships and relationships is really the only way of ensuring they are prioritised. Book in a weekly coffee slot in your diary. Protect it and ensure you invite a different friend every week. Schedule a walk with someone who is important to you. You will get to chat and check in on each other and exercise. Everyone wins.
The key is scheduling regular time for touching base with those who are important to you. Because if you are not intentional in prioritising this time, there will always be demands that will take your unscheduled time.
2. Be the kind of friend you would like to have.
If you are under pressure and life is full, and you are wishing someone would notice you are under the pump. Perhaps the best medicine is to be 'that friend' for some one else. We all have people in our world who we know could do with a cheer squad. Be 'that person' for them. Send a text to cheer on that friend who is juggling study, work, family and other commitments. Tell the them how much they inspire you. Tell them they are doing a really great job and that you are heaps proud of them.
Its funny how being 'that friend' is a great way to get our eyes off our own woes. Moreover if we are generous with encouragement it is reasonably likely that we will find ourselves the recipient of encouragement too.
3. Make the thought count.
Too often we think about doing stuff and then that is all it ever is - a thought. We get distracted with our day and don't call that person that we thought of, don't send that text we had planned to or forget to write that card. I know that I seriously need to get better at actioning those thoughts straight away. It is easier said then done though. But it does help if you are intentional in setting up a few things in your life. You could invest in a hands free phone kit in your car. I often think of calling people when I am driving places. And obviously unless you have a hands free kit you can't call them. Then as soon as you get where you are going you forget to make that call.
I now carry a little snap lock bag of blank greeting cards in my handbag with some postage stamps so if I think sending someone a card I have no excuse not to send it - as everything I need is always with me. We totally need to bring back the handwritten card. Who doesn't love receiving something other than bills in the mail. And despite the price increase in postage stamps, your friends are worth the dollar, right?
There are probably many many more things that we can do to ensure we don't do life alone, these are just 3 quick tips. What tips do you have to prioritising those who are important to you?