“I’m too busy to keep up with my friends. I just don’t have time to engage people like I want to.” I hear these words quite often these days. We are busy and some of us have families, jobs, and even school to deal with on a daily basis. Who has time to pursue or maintain any more relationships? While I’m sympathetic to such a reality, I also know that the best life has to offer, including business, is usually found in the context of relationships. I have found that using 3 simple tools has given me the chance to keep up with key relationships, some even in different continents.
Text messaging. Text messages are the fastest, most dynamic way to reach someone. It’s instant and designed to be succinct. Most smart phones will accept pictures and video as well. I even use text to communicate with a group of friends if it’s appropriate. Texting has become my primary for of communication with those who are closest to me, both friends as well as clients.
Twitter. Amazingly, there’s a lot of personal communication that happens through the Twitter DM feature (direct message). Some of my friends and clients DM me about all types of subjects. They range from business ideas and questions to goofy humor or color commentary. A note of caution about DM: if you forget to put the letter “D” before someone’s twitter name, that message will go out to your entire network. I have seen embarrassing and inappropriate comments in the mainstream that were meant as DMs.
Facebook. It’s true that you can get “sucked in” Facebook and blow hours of productivity reading through people’s post and commenting on them. However, I have found that I spend a few minutes a day going through my stream and using the “like” button, I can still be involved in my friends’ lives without spending a lot of time. Every time you click the “Like” button, your friend is notified and your face and name appear before them. It’s a great way to say, “I’m here and I’m keeping up with you.”
How do you find time for your important relationships?