One Day = 24 Hours. How many hours do our friends receive?

Wow. How did the author of this article (and the book from which it’s excerpted) get into our heads? Was it through mind-reading? By listening in on our conversations? Or, could it be that we aren’t alone in voicing frustration over not having enough time in a day to focus on relationships with our friends?

The article, How to (really) make relationships a priority, challenges each of us to recognize some very real, and unfortunate, truths about how we set priorities and use our time. See if you recognize some of the ways we negotiate with ourselves to use the time we have available:

  • “I’ll call (name of friend) as soon as I finish writing this draft.”
  • “After the kid’s baths and bedtime, I’ll check in with (name of friend) for a while.”
  • “I’ll take a look at Instagram and YouTube to relax, and then call (name of friend).”

Most of these kinds of scenarios happen in the evening when, after a full day of work and family, we usually have a bit of free time. But, you knowwhat happens next, right? By evening, our energy is gone and the well-intended call, check-in or whatever, doesn’t happen.

The time we spend with friends, whether in person, on the phone, FaceTime or however we communicate, is relaxing, enjoyable, and even healthy for us. And, best of all, each encounter strengthens the friendship and allows it to grow. Something this beneficial should be a priority!

We’re experienced in creating goals and plans to set priorities for our careers and personal aspirations; why not do the same for our friendships? This doesn’t mean we have to commit to specific dates and times, but it should remind us to be aware of when it’s important to give these relationships the attention they deserve. For example, if your calendar has a lot of empty space, and not one friend’s name in sight, then it’s time to reach out and get some quality time with one another.

How will this make a difference in the time we dedicate to our friendships? The author, Laura Vanderkam, assures us that “viewing relationships as their own category of time is transformative in turning these activities from something you do when you have time left over to something that happens.”

Photo by mauro mora on Unsplash

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