What was their name again….
I’m sure we’ve both had lots of friends and associates who we’ve slowly lost touch with. Time passes, priorities change, schedules get busy, and people slowly fade out. It’s always a bit disappointing recalling the good connections we’ve let weaken. It doesn’t have to be this way though! For those of us who need a little organization to keep these things top of mind, there’s an easy solution; build a calendar to keep in touch. It’s as simple as it sounds.
This might sound contrived or burdensome to those who do this naturally, but it’s been extremely helpful for me. You may already have alarms or notifications set for when someone’s birthday or other special event is coming up, but you can also create notifications reminding you to reach out and get catch up with people. That way, you don’t forget and the connection remains intact.
Build it into your calendar.
I practically live out of my calendar, and I know many of you do too. If you know you want to keep in touch with someone, just slot them into a future time. Then when the notification pops up, make sure you reach out to them in some way. A quick call, text, or email all work. It doesn’t have to be complicated, a quick check in works wonders.
Connections Open Doors
Often, keeping these connections open creates marvelous opportunities. You’ll find invitations to social gatherings, valuable opportunities, and the inherent joy in human connection. It doesn’t have to take a lot of time, you can catch up in as few as 10 minutes or just exchange a few messages.
To be fair, I don’t use this for everyone I meet. There are some individuals who I don’t mind parting with, for whatever reason. I only set these reminders for relationships I want to maintain. You can use catch-up reminders however you’d like, but I’ve found it most useful for new relationships or those constrained by additional factors like distance.
How Often Do I Reach Out?
It also makes sense to pick your timeframe based on the strength of the relationship. If it’s someone I worked with for a few years, I might schedule a month or two out. That seems appropriate to me for those relationships. If it’s someone I just met today and think we could develop a friendship, I might schedule something for later in the week because we don’t have as strong of a baseline.
Over time rapport will break down, so if these relationships are important to you, you’ll want to keep the timelines tight. I’ve tried reconnecting with people several years later, which I had only ever known as acquaintances. Yes, there were a few successes, but most of the time it was the equivalent of approaching a stranger on the street. On a short timeline the outcomes are much better.
Keep it simple!
One final note, these reminders are to help you remember, they shouldn’t feel like a burdensome chore. If you find yourself trying this method and are dreading each time you have to communicate with someone, stop doing it! There are plenty of other ways to maintain a relationship, this is just one potential tool.
Hopefully setting these follow-up reminders helps you maintain some of your valuable connections. If you have any other ideas for maintaining an important relationship, we’d love to hear them! If you give this idea a try, let us know how it works for you, we’d love to hear about your experiences. Best wishes!
- Think of someone you’d like to reconnect with and reach out to them!
- Schedule a time into your calendar to talk to them again.