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Find More Time to Socialize: 8 Time-Savers for a Better Social Life

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How to make time for your friends and fun without getting overscheduled.

It's All About Scheduling

When you were younger, it was easy to have an active social life. At a moment's notice, you could pop around the corner for a beer or game of Frisbee. But as you get older, more pressing matters take over -- like earning a living, staying healthy, and spending time with your family. If you want to reconnect with friends and jump-start your social life but don't think you have the time, try these tips from our experts.

1. Double Your Pleasure

Instead of meeting your best friend for a glass of wine or cup of coffee, combine your socializing with other activities like exercising or shopping. "Schedule a manicure with a friend -- you can talk the whole time you're being worked on," says Kathryn Alice, author of Love Will Find You. After all, going for a run or picking out your fall wardrobe is a lot more fun when done in twos.

2. Book the Next Date Before You Go Home

Whenever Laura Stack and her husband visit with their friends, she always ends the evening by planning the next date. "They used to tease me about this, but now they're very disciplined about bringing out their calendar," says Stack, author of Find More Time. For people with kids, Stack advises having a standing date with a babysitter. "Then you know and she knows that every Saturday night you're going out. You may not know what you're doing, but you're going out," she says.

3. Buy Birthday and Holiday Gifts All Year Long

"When I see something a friend would like, I just get it," says Stack. After all, it takes no extra time to toss something into your cart the moment you see it, and it saves you from trolling the malls the day before the big occasion. You'll probably also get a better price.

4. Combine Work and Personal Calendars

"If you keep multiple calendars, you'll have conflicts -- you'll double-book. You'll talk to your friend and say 'Let's have coffee.' Then you'll check your Blackberry and realize you have a big meeting at work," says Stack. You can only be in one place at one time, so your appointments should all be in one place, too. Your best bet: sync up your work calendar and contacts with a PDA device so you can have the most up-to-date information with you when you're on the go.

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AnotherMeg wrote:

While I am guilty of using traffic jams as an opportunity to accomplish something like writing quick note or make a phone call,the more the merrier to me means I only visuallly see people and may not be able to spend any quality time with them. Going to a movie with a date certainly doesn't give you a chance to get to know someone unless you are the idiot talking through the movie. Some of the other points, right on target!

11/3/2013 06:49:01 PM Report Abuse
jenstrait wrote:

I think there are a lot of good ideas. Just one problem- I don't think a traffic jam is a good place to be writing a note on a pretty card. ;-)

10/25/2013 06:57:31 PM Report Abuse

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