I know, you’re busy. You worked 80 hours this week, are taking a graduate class at night, and baked a cake for your company potluck—from scratch. According to a recent report, most Americans were too busy to enjoy summer or take a vacation this year. Whether you’re a college student back in class, a working mom balancing a hectic Outlook calendar, Little League and PTA, or a young professional working hard 24/7 every day to ensure you make it into the C-Suite, we’re all overworked and overtired and our time is stretched thin.
With our energies depleted before the day even gets started, how do we make sure to nurture the people who keep us going when things are hard, shower us with love when we need it most, and tell us we’re awesome when a date doesn’t text back? Well, besides discovering how to add more time to the day (and please share your magic with the rest of us if you have) here are 15 life hacks to nurture your friendships (pssst…they all take 30 minutes or less).
1. Take 10 minutes to create a favorites list on your smartphone so that you’ve made the rest of the life hacks below easy for yourself.
2. Choose one day a week (I personally do this on Sunday for the most part) and dedicate 30 minutes to texting your favorites a loving note or a friendly hello.
3. If something funny comes to mind about your best friend or you remember a special story about shopping for hats with your grandmother (maybe that’s just me), send them an email or call so they that know you’re thinking of them.
4. Find out your closest friends’ busy season and drop off lunch one day. If you have friends that work in the fashion industry, bring them lunch (or have it delivered) today, trust me, they’ll appreciate it.
5. Make (or buy) chocolate chip cookies and drop them off to someone you care about.
6. Soup. Soup is the answer. Want friends to come over, but don’t have the time to make dinner? Prepare a great stew and just put it in the freezer for “unexpected” best friend visits.
7. Next time you’re at a museum or gift store, buy some stamps and post cards and keep them in your desk drawer. During lunch, write a note and voila, pen pals for the win!
8. If your bestie lives across the country and scheduling a Skype date isn’t going so well—make her (or him) a video message and send it.
9. Have a favorite activity that you never get to do, like aerial yoga? Call a buddy! Fun things are always better in pairs.
10. Forward an article and add a little note (they make such a big difference)!
11. Scan an old picture and text it to them.
12. Order them a treat—receiving a present in the mail makes everyone smile.
13. Email them back, even if you say “I miss you! This week is super hectic, but I’m going to email you back this weekend.” That’s better than silence.
14. Say thank you. If someone sends you a text, a gift, a treat, or even a virtual hug, let them know how much you appreciated it.
15. When you see each other, put away your phone, keep your iPad in your purse, and enjoy finally being face-to-face.
How do you maintain your friendships?
Watch Office Hours with Emilie Aries to learn how she learned to prioritize her relationships!