Are you forever meaning to make time to see friends, send cards, buy gifts and generally keep on top of your personal life? There are short-cuts you can take that are perfectly acceptable. Here are our top ten timesavers…
Order pre-printed cards
If you’ve got a picture phone, take a photo of your family or friends next time you’re all together and get a personalised card made up and sent out to everyone with the same printed message.
Use a website that does the postage for you and you’ve saved yourself even more time. The personal touch of the photo will make up for the fact that you haven’t hand-written an individual message.
Keep in touch the easy way
Put updates and photos on Facebook that all your friends and family can see. Perhaps if they realise how busy you are from your posts then they won’t quibble if you haven’t phoned in a while.
Meet for the afternoon, not the weekend
Giving up a whole weekend to go and stay with friends is often out of the question when you’re a busy working family. Instead, why not see if you can meet them mid-way at an attraction for an afternoon out together? You can catch up without having to give away so much of your precious time.
Have takeaway dinner parties
Is it your turn to have people over for dinner, but you don’t have the time to clean the house and cook an elaborate meal? Invite people over for a takeaway instead – unless you’re a masterchef this might actually be a more attractive idea. Even better, offer to take one round to their house and you can pass on the cleaning too.
Send round-robin emails
If you owe your friends and family a catch-up, there’s no reason why you can’t embrace the ‘round robin’. If it’s for relatives, get the kids to do it. They can be annoying to receive, but you’re a busy person and this is better than nothing.
Arrange group get-togethers
Instead of trying to fit in coffee with a neighbour, drinks out with a colleague and a trip to the cinema with your best mates, invite everyone you haven’t seen in a while to the same evening in the pub. While you may not be able to have a heart-to-heart, you’ll hopefully have given everyone a good night out.
Just send gift cards
It might not be the most original pressie, but if you choose the right supplier, a gift card is a super way to show you care. Get everyone you know the same thing and buy them all in bulk. You’d be happy to receive one wouldn’t you? No guilt required!
If in doubt, text
OK, it might not have the same impact as a letter, a card or a phone call, but texting is the modern parent’s answer to almost everything. A quick hello, a thank-you, a party invite, or a good luck message can all be done from your mobile while you’re on the go.
Let others fit in with your schedule
See if you can meet friends, your boyfriend or your mum for lunch near your work instead of giving up an evening. If that fails, tell them where you’ll be at a certain time – watching the kids play sport or in the supermarket – and ask if they can meet you there. If they love you they’ll understand.
Scale down your social life and keep your circle small
If your friends are always moaning that you don’t have time to see them, to chat for hours on the phone, or pay them a long visit – maybe it’s time you cut back on your social circle. Being a social butterfly is hard work. Think about who you actually want to see. Chances are you make time for them already anyway.