We all want to be good friends and listen when someone we care about has a problem. However, you don’t always have time to listen for hours. There’s also the problem of friends who want to complain and never do anything differently. Listening to their never-ending problems can be really draining.
I have found that these two responses help save time and make sure that the person you’re talking to is as invested in their situation as you are.
“Can you remind me of this in a week?”
I get lots of friends asking me for feedback on their work. In more than one case, I read the work, spent hours writing a critic and then when I got back to them their response was “Oh, actually I’ve changed my mind and I’m working on something else. Would you mind looking at that instead?”
Man oh live!
Now when someone sends me something, I write “‘I’d love to look this over, but I’m busy right now, so can you remind me in a week?” If it’s not important enough for them to remember to remind me, than it’s not important enough for me to spend time on it.
“How are you going to handle that?”
I learned this gem from The Living Course. People love to complain. They can do it for hours. Sometimes they don’t realize they’re doing it. Asking this simple question stops the complainer in their tracks. It makes them concentrate on how they’re responsible for making the changes that will make them happier. Nothing I can say will make a difference. They are the ones who have to take action. If they start going into excuses about how they can’t handle it because it’s not in their hands, ask “how will you handle the fact that it’s out of your control?”
I hope these help you save time and energy. Let me know if you have any other responses that help you.
I don’t know how anyone gets anything done without a to-do list. If I don’t make a list I end up wasting the entire day. If you didn’t think I was nerdy before, I usually keep a macro and micro list. Here are some tips:
1. Start your list for the next day in the afternoon. I have found that writing the list during the day time helps me sleep better. It gives me plenty of time to add the random things I remember so I don’t stay up thinking about what I need to do tomorrow.
2. Keep a weekly to-do list. I don’t like making daily lists because then my days feel to structured. On Sunday I’ll write down all the things I need to do for the following week. Every day I go over the list and pick the things I want to do for that day. If a friend calls and wants to have lunch, I know that the list is still there and I’ll be able to catch up tomorrow. Keeping a weekly list allows for some spontaneity but also ensures that everything gets done.
3. Plan for the future. This tip comes from my dad. This isn’t necessary for most people, but if you have a big goal it’s hard to keep track of your progress if you don’t make a Macro-to-do list. Figure out when you want to accomplish your goal, make a list of everything you need to do to make that goal, and then assign a deadline for each of those tasks. If you don’t do this it’s easy to let things take longer than they need to. My dad is a big fan of Parkinson’s law : Work expands to fill the time allotted.
4. Write it on paper. I never got into using my phone for to-do lists. First of you have to remember to check your phone for the list. And I guarantee that every time you check your phone you’ll get distracted my a text message, or an email, or low battery. I keep my list right by my computer so it’s visible, and I can easily add things. Plus it’s so rewarding to cross something off my list. When I’m done with my list it looks like a scribbled out mess. If you’re really against pen and paper, I suggest google tasks. It’s simple and easy.
5. Include some fun things. I always include some self indulgent activities on my list. It reminds me that taking care of myself is just as important as filing my tax return.
I hope this helps you get more done!
You will never “find” time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.