When an opportunity arises to make plans with friends, often it can take quite some time for those plans to come to fruition. Or perhaps they were not even at the plan stage at all, they’re just part of a “Wouldn’t it be great if we could…” conversation.
Maintaining and strengthening connections with friends and developing new ones is really important to me, as I’m aware that if I’m not careful I have the tendency to become a hermit, so I’ve developed a couple of strategies to ensure these nebulous plans actually come to fruition.
Put possible dates in the diary
When discussing potential dates for a catch up or a night out, put all the suggestions that you know could work for you into your diary immediately. This is particularly important when you know that it could take some time to get to a decision on the actual date.
When I calendar events in this situation I put a question mark at the end of the event title and use a set colour for these ‘yet to be confirmed’ events. (In my case it’s grey.) I use a digital calendar, but this could be adapted by writing in pencil and perhaps using a symbol to denote that it’s not yet a firm date.
This approach has the following benefits:
- I don’t accidentally book something else into one of the potential slots.
- If something else does come up on one of those dates it’s a reminder go back and see if a definite date can be confirmed.
- When a decision is made I can just delete the dates that aren’t needed, edit the remaining event so it displays in the standard colour and remove the question mark.
Schedule reminders for those more vague plans
I often have conversations (in real life or on social media) where we agree that we’d like to do something specific: go to a particular restaurant, see a show, visit somewhere.
These aren’t plans (maybe because they’re too far in the future or we’re not sure we’ll have the finances), they’re just suggestions.
And as such it’s really easy for them to never leave the suggestion stage.
I’ve missed too many opportunities this way so I needed a strategy.
Now, when a conversation like this occurs, I schedule a future task to contact the relevant people and turn the suggestion into an actual plan. For me it’s essential I create that task as soon as I can otherwise the chances of it happening get smaller with every passing hour!
So that’s it for today. Maybe the shortest article ever. But hopefully at least one of these ideas will be helpful to you!