Welcome to Mission #23 of our 52 Get Organized Missions.
Good relationships have many health and longevity benefits, yet we rarely consider how we can improve our friendships.
This week, over the next 3 steps and 30 minutes, that’s exactly what we’ll do.
If you’ve completed the previous mission Get Organized Mission #22: Organize Your Bathroom, congratulations. This next mission will take you in a totally different direction.
Remember: you only need 30 minutes for the basic mission. Extended Options are below.
If you’re new, you might like to start here: 52 Organizing Missions.
Get Organized Mission #23: Declutter Your Friends
Step 1: List Your Friends (10 minutes)
Make a quick list of the main people who occupy your discretionary time – time and activities that are up to you.
Check the past few months in your diary and include people with whom you socialize, share drinks or meals, play sport, meet for coffee, have parties, or engage in activities or hobbies.
Include those you regularly meet in person, by phone or online.
Step 2: Review Your Relationships (10 minutes)
Put a ✔ next to friends for whom any of these apply:
- The friendship has deepened over time
- You both enjoy spending time together
- The friendship is balanced over time – sometimes they need more from you, sometimes you from them
- The friendship is energizing – you learn from, provoke thought in, or gain insights from each other
- The friend helps you grow – on occasion you challenge each other.
Put a ✖ next to friends for whom any of these apply:
- The friendship has remained superficial over time
- You don’t particularly enjoy spending time together – it’s more a habit
- The friendship is unbalanced over time – they lean too much on you, or you on them
- The friendship is energy-draining – you feel exhausted from the effort of being together
- The friend keeps you stuck – you tend to support each other in gossiping, complaining or justifying yourselves.
Step 3: Re-Organize Your Social Diary (10 minutes)
Um, there’s no need to send notifications to people on the ✖ list to announce they’ve been culled. A simpler, kinder strategy is to simply allocate your social time based on friendship quality.
For people on the ✔ list:
- If you haven’t seen them in a while – make a note to arrange a date
- If you’ve neglected to express how much you value the person – make a note to email, call or send a card to say they’re special to you
- Over time – allocate more of your discretionary social time to these friendships.
For people on the ✖ list:
- If you’ve no dates planned and you’re usually the inviter – consider leaving things as they are
- If you’re invited to make a date – see if you can lengthen the time between get-togethers
- If you have an upcoming date – make a diary note to try to change the flavor of the friendship and move it to the ✔ list
- Over time – allocate less of your discretionary social time to these friendships.
Dos & Don’ts
- Don’t stress yourself out over who belongs on which list. You’ll have internalized a good sense of which friendships are mutually rewarding and which are not – go with your gut instinct.
- Do feel good about proactively managing your friendships. It’s a life area most people say matters, yet few people do anything about.
Extended Organizing Mission Options
Want to go beyond this 30-minute organizing mission?
- Talk to your kids about the value of having good friends – and being one, too. Help them sort through their own friends using an age-appropriate version of this week’s mission.
- Organize a dinner party, afternoon tea, games night, picnic or other event and invite all the people on your ✔ list. Celebrate your fine friendships!
Ready, Set, Go!
Remember – move quickly, act fast, don’t overthink.
Before You Go: 1) Check In; 2) Send Photos!
Please add a comment to say you’ve completed this week’s Get Organized Mission and you’re keeping your commitment.
And see you back here next week!
Did You Know
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