Excerpt: Being a social butterfly

Below is another excerpt from my book Unclutter Your Life in One Week — this time on how to have a social life in this busy world.

This is from the Friday chapter:

“One of my biggest complaints about adulthood is that it’s difficult to simply hang out with friends. In high school, you could call up your friend and say, ‘Hey! A bunch of us are hanging out at Kara’s place. Stop by if you want to hang out.’ No one scheduled ‘hanging out’ on their calendar. No one knew at the start of the night what might transpire by the end of the night. And no one ever left at eight thirty, tapping at her watch, saying she had an early day tomorrow.

When I graduated college, I was completely unprepared for having to schedule time to hang out with friends. The first time one of my friends told me that she had to check her calendar to see when we might be able to grab lunch together, I laughed so hard I made myself cry. Oh, to have so few responsibilities that we could hang out whenever we want!

Review your list from the Foundations chapter that identifies the things that matter to you most. Is spending quality time with friends and family on your list? What else is on your list? Schedule the time now to live the remarkable life you desire.

  • Don’t turn your back on your routines. A little time every day spent on basic routines will provide you with more time in your schedule to pursue the things that truly matter.
  • Plan at least one social event a week. Make a date with your friends or loved ones and keep that obligation. If the people in your life are really a priority, then you need to respect the time you spend with them. Say no to less important requests for your time and keep your date.
  • Plan at least one stay-home event a week. If you’re already a social butterfly, make a commitment to staying home at least one evening a week and taking care of yourself.
  • Keep a list of things you want to do, and do them. Have a list on your smart phone or carry a small notebook with you, and record things you want to do. I have lists of wines I want to try, new restaurants that are getting good buzz, day trip locations, bike trails I’ve discovered, and dozens of other things that have caught my attention. When you’re organized and focused on what really matters, you’ll never have the opportunity to say, ‘I’m bored.’
  • Pay money to take a class. When you spend money on a class, you’re more likely to make a commitment to attending it. If you want to have more variation in your meal plan, take a cooking class at your local cooking school to give you ideas and confidence. If you have always dreamed of going to Rome, sign up for Italian language classes at the local community college to get you prepared. If you wish that you and your significant other would go out dancing, take a ballroom dance class together. If finances are tight, look for free classes listed in your newspaper and make the extra effort to attend.
  • Stop making excuses. You can come up with reasons for why you can’t do something until you’re blue in the face. Instead of wasting the energy coming up with those reasons, use that same energy to find ways to make it happen. You’ll be surprised by your ingenuity.”

7 Comments for “Excerpt: Being a social butterfly”

  1. posted by Lose That Girl on

    I think we’re all so over-scheduled these days, that when we do fall into a spontaneous social event, it’s really refreshing!! A girlfriend called me up on the weekend and asked, ‘what are you doing for lunch *today*?’ It was so nice to go “old school” and take her up on a last minute offer. Just like old times.

  2. posted by Ris on

    I love these suggestions, especially the one about a standing date with friends once a week. I recently started this with a small group of friends and it is so nice to get together once a week and catch up. I’ve built it into my weekly calendar and now look forward to it when the rest of my schedule is hectic.

  3. posted by Imelda on

    I think is really important since the holidays are coming up and just looking at my calendar, I’m overwhelmed. I had 2-3 things I was invited to all one day. Instead, I decided to book a long R&R weekend with my mom to unwind. I think it’s more important for me to have a weekend to myself to relax than attend a concert/shower/baptism.

    It’s good to keep appointments, but don’t overbook yourself. I’ve done it and I end up burnt out. Time to take it slow.

  4. posted by ami on

    These are great suggestions, reminders that there’s a *reason* for uncluttering – namely, to live the life we want to live. thanks Erin!

  5. posted by Jon on

    Great suggestions. I love your perspective on this – especially the intentionality behind both real, meaningful relationships and real rest. Looking forward to the book!

  6. posted by Alex Fayle | Someday Syndrome on

    Although I totally schedule myself to get things done (I’d fritter the day away otherwise), I’m always up for a little spontaneity. And it’s because my schedule is so well organized that I can take sudden days off without caring.

  7. posted by Geeky Yet Cool – You have time to see your friends. Stop lying. on

    [...] I read an article the other day and I immediately wanted to know more information. The article was Excerpt: Being a social butterfly. This is where my curiosity came up: When I graduated college, I was completely unprepared for having to schedule time to hang out with friends. The first time one of my friends told me that she had to check her calendar to see when we might be able to grab lunch together, I laughed so hard I made myself cry. Oh, to have so few responsibilities that we could hang out whenever we want! Excerpt: Being a social butterfly [...]

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