The simple scheduling tip that changed my relationshipsSep 05, 2023
Making time for friends, family, and other personal and professional connections strengthens your support network and enhances your health and well-being.
But it's all too easy to neglect important relationships when work and life demands take over.
Today’s practice of scheduling regular check-ins offers a simple way to build new connections, nurture existing ones, and prevent valued relationships from falling to the wayside—even during busy times.
1 thing to apply
Schedule time each week to invest in connections and relationships that are important to you.
Side note: If you already feel overcommitted and need to set boundaries more than anything, there’s an entire section in the Intentional Productivity Masterclass that was made for you. While adding structure can help with overwhelm, sometimes the best first step is learning how to say no.
3 main benefits
- This strengthens existing friendships and helps you grow your network.
- Regular check-ins prevent relationships from fading when you're busy.
- Catching up with people you care about cultivates joy and connection.
5 minutes or less
Step 1: List your connections
Make a list of friends, family members, and/or professional contacts to check in with regularly. Do this on a piece of paper or use the notes app on your phone.
Step 2: Choose your format
Frequency: Next to each name, write down how often you’d like to connect with each person: weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc. For example, you might chat weekly with close friends and family and touch base quarterly with a new business connection.
Format: Next to the frequency, write down how you’ll connect: email, phone call, video chat, in person, etc.
Step 3: Schedule talk time
Where applicable, block off specific/consistent times in your schedule for regular check-ins. If you call your mom every Sunday afternoon or have a monthly dinner with a close friend, put that in your calendar.
Of course, this doesn’t mean it’s the only time you’ll talk to that person (don’t worry, Mom) or that the time is set in stone; it can simply act as a placeholder to make sure you touch base that week or month.
Step 4: Review connections
Lastly, block off a bit of time each week to review your list and make sure you’ve made time for the people you want to connect with. For instance, I've made this part of my weekly review. It takes only a few minutes and ensures I'm not neglecting anyone. Time well spent!
Here's how Justin Welsh, a successful online solo-entrepreneur, uses this practice to build his professional network:
Click the image to view this tweet and expand the photo.
Justin sets this quarterly check-in with new connections to share ideas, offer value, and find opportunities to collaborate. As always, find the process that works best for you and use whatever tool you prefer whether that’s a calendar, to do list, planner, or app.
Bonus tip: If aiming to build your professional network or if you want to include specific details for your connections (ie. birthdays, how you met, things you have in common, last time you spoke, etc.), you might want to create a simple spreadsheet. I know it sounds ridiculous, but it’s a great option if you have trouble remembering details. It’s much easier to keep track of key information this way vs. having it all in your head which often leads to forgetting important dates and forgoing opportunities to check in and connect.
Conclusion: Having a system for something as intimate as your relationships doesn't need to feel like yet another to-do list. While this practice might sound like overkill, I’ve found planning this social time both strengthens relationships and reduces mental overwhelm.
Do what works for you, but don't underestimate the power of small, regular check-ins for building and maintaining strong relationships.
Your time and energy are your most precious resources. Remember to share them with those who matter to you. And as always, thank you for sharing some of yours with me today.
Want to dive deeper? Here are 3 ways I can help:
1. If you want more clarity and focus, I'd recommend starting with our affordable self-paced courses:
- Intentional Productivity Masterclass: How to Find and Focus on the Right Things
- Self Care + Productivity Masterclass: Reduce Stress and Do More of What Matters
- Making Big Picture Decisions: 6 Expert Practices for Clarity and Confidence
- : full access to all courses at a discounted rate
2. If you're ready to build a full-scale personal productivity system, join our live 5-week program.
3. Want self care and mindfulness resources? Check out my books: