You would do anything for them. But making time for all of the people you love and care about can seem overwhelming. Most of us have at least half a dozen or more people we’d like to stay connected to regularly.
But with so many people to catch up with, there is not enough time in the day?
Make Connections With Loved Ones a Priority
If you don’t make connection time a priority, it won’t happen, plain and simple. You could spend hours mindlessly bored-scrolling through social media. Or you could make some simple productivity adjustments and devote that time to meaningfully engaging with those you love instead.
Could it be as simple as adding quality time to your calendar? Life goes by quickly. Don’t wait to call them or hang out with them.
1. Identify Your Priority People
Make a list of the people you want to make a priority. Many of us have a circle of friends. But some of those relationships are more important than others for various reasons. Prioritizing some over others is not a selfish decision. Instead, it ensures you have enough time for those who are really important.
If you are short on time, these will be the ones you always get into your schedule. And when you have extra time, you can connect with those who didn’t make a list.
These include your kids, significant other, parents, siblings, and maybe a long-time best friend. But just because someone’s “family” doesn’t mean they automatically make a list.
The more time you spend with more motivational, authentic people, the more re-fueling those interactions feel. This newfound energy can change how you think about making time for them and others.
2. Plan Your Priorities
You probably have regular things you “must do” weekly, like making a living and taking care of your kids, even when on vacation. But beyond those essentials, you have Groceries, cooking, cleaning, and paying the bills, among others. These all demand some of your time. The more you plan out and streamline these regular activities, the more time you’ll realize you have in a day.
For example, instead of making several little trips to the grocery store for a night’s meal. Instead, put one or two time slots on your calendar for grocery shopping. Then make a list to follow. Don’t let creative marketing ploys entice you to browse for other things. You’ll save time, money, and gas this way.
Better yet, set up a regular grocery pickup date. Many grocery stores will now do the shopping for you. You just have to pick it up.
3. Stop Multitasking
The human brain doesn’t switch focus easily. Studies show multitasking causes activities to take longer. You also perform each task poorly. Eliminating task-switching by scheduling important tasks reclaims that time and performance.
Now, you’re giving each task your undivided attention for a designated period of time. When you do this, you can do it faster and better.
On top of that, next time you sit down with your dear older family member, you can give that loved one your undivided attention. You’re no longer there worrying about what you’ll make for dinner.
You can apply this strategy to all kinds of household tasks. For example, schedule 30 minutes or so a day to straighten and organize your house, and you’ll find out how much easier it is to keep a clean home.
4. Share Your Calendar
One of the great things about putting your tasks on a calendar is that you can now share them. So consider sharing it with work friends, loved ones, and your social circle.
If someone in your circle wants to initiate a playdate for the kids or game night for lots of friends, they don’t have to inquire about when might be a good time.
They can even send you a calendar invite, which you can accept. That adds it to your calendar automatically. Or you can suggest a new time.
The more of your friends who also share their calendars, the more efficient and fun this sharing becomes. Do more together. And up your efficiency game while doing it.
5. Set Aside Recharge Time for Yourself
While sharing your online calendar can be convenient, it’s essential to realize that just because you have an unused time slot doesn’t mean you have to “give it” to someone else. Everyone needs personal time to relax, reflect, and recharge.
Failing to take this time can lead to social overload, stress, and mental health challenges. You should allow yourself this time when you need it. But we also recommend that you add some of it to your calendar.
This could include time slots for exercise, meditation, financial planning, self-reflection, reading, and gardening. When people take care of themselves first, they have more to give others.
This helps you avoid social or volunteer overload. You want to be able to give everyone you hang out with your energized self, not the tired, burnt-out, drained self. Since it’s important to put self-care activities on your schedule to make sure you’re taking this “me time.”
6. Bring the Best Attitude Possible
This is not necessarily a plastered”positive” attitude. Because let’s be honest. We can’t always be positive. That’s called “toxic positivity.”
But making time for loved ones includes giving them the version of yourself that isn’t complaining or being negative. If you have a friend or loved one with whom you always fall into this trap, you may want to reassess what your friendship is built on.
It’s okay to vent about issues. That’s what friends and family confide in each other about. But don’t make it all about the problems. You will inevitably bring them down too. That’s not the quality time and high-value relationships you want to have with people you love.
7. Host a Regular Event
Start a new family tradition or fun friend’s night. Most people want to participate in events. But many don’t want to have to plan them. Group activities include book clubs, movie nights, preparing a home-cooked meal together, game night, or picnics, which encourages genuine interaction.
When it comes to planning events, timing is critical. Give people enough notice, but not so much that they forget about it. Plan events frequently enough that people look forward to them. But don’t make it so frequent that they feel like an obligation or skip out because they’ll just catch the next one.
And, of course, add them to your calendar. Send out formal invites that others can add to their calendars.
8. Be Active Together
Having a workout partner is a great way to stay motivated. It’s a lot easier to put off the exercise if it’s just you. So even if it’s just a weekly walk or Saturday morning yoga via video chat, start scheduling an activity with an exercise partner.
You’ll meet two goals at the same time. Exercise isn’t the only activity you can do this with. Invite a loved one to join you on the weekly grocery trip or to get the car washed. Stop for lunch or coffee after.
These may be little times together. But they mean you’re part of each other’s lives. Both of you will remember these shared moments.
Making Time for What Matters Most
We prioritize things that are important to us. So if you’re going to say loved ones are important, then put a plan into action to show them they are the priority. If you’re already feeling pulled in too many directions, it is hard to make that change.
Getting organized using these time management tips makes it feel like you have more time for those you love. As a result, you have more time, and more energy to put toward relationships with loved ones.
Image Credit: by Matheus Bertelli; Pexels; Thank you!