It’s hard to stay in touch with friends. The only thing that has worked for me is scheduled, recurring calendar events.
- Every other Thursday night, my wife and I hop on a Zoom with a friend in Portland and chat for an hour or two.
- Every Tuesday, I have a coffee chat scheduled with a former coworker of mine.
- Every Saturday, my mom comes over for dinner.
- Once a month, I catch up with an old friend who moved away.
We remember because our calendars remind us. We don’t have to think about when we’ll hang out again. There’s no awkward “we should do this again!” or “let me know when you’re available for lunch next week!” involved. It’s automatic. I schedule it once and we are guaranteed to stay in touch.
If you’re thinking it’s weird to treat a friendship like a sprint planning meeting, then maybe you’re right. But it works. It’s worth a little weirdness to stay in touch with the people who matter to me.