How to Stay in Touch
Working from home and - though we/I hope to expand the company very soon - by oneself comes with very particular challenges, like staying connected. Friends have moved away and have not been replaced by friends from the office; maintaining professional relationships is even more important when self-employed; etc. etc.
In short, it can be extremely isolating. And, with social media encouraging a false sense of super connectedness, it can be even harder to go beyond the superficial "like" and "comment" relationship. Thus, the extra motivation for becoming good at staying connected with friends and family scattered across the world.
So we have implemented a few measures to make sure we stay connected to the friends and family who are no longer in our backyards, so to speak. All of them center around two things: the idea that you can only have a good friend if you are a good friend and iCal.
- Think about how it makes you feel when a friend reaches out, sends flowers, says happy birthday. Use that as motivation to do the same.
- Enter your friends' and family member's birthdays/anniversaries/big events into iCal, making sure to set a morning alert for those days. And when you get the reminder, send a text/email/phone call immediately, otherwise you'll forget.
- For the extra-special people in your life, set a reminder a week before those big dates so you can plan ahead if you're so inclined to send a card, gift or flower arrangement. Bonus tip: if you do like sending cards, gifts or flowers, plan for this in your monthly budget.
- Set a weekly or bi-monthly iCal reminder to reach out to the important people in your life - even if it's just a "hey, miss you" text.
- Don't underestimate the power of coffee. Plan your week around getting coffee, drinks or meals with the friends who are still in your backyard.
As we've begun to work by ourselves, we've realized the importance of relationships and connectivity - and not only because it can drive our careers. It rejuvenates our souls. It gets us outside of ourselves. And if that isn't the point of life, we don't know what is.