Have you ever marvelled at those (usually busy) people who, nevertheless get back to you with exactly what they promised at exactly the right time? The ones who never lose a phone number, or forget to buy you a birthday card, or to phone to check on you? Have you wondered how they do it despite juggling as many things as you do? There’s one simple organisational trick, which if you’re determined to be a reliable friend, works wonders.
It’s not a superhuman memory that makes you a much better friend
You might think that their secret is having a good memory, but it’s actually the opposite. My memory has got much worse as I’ve got older and I’m more reliable now than I ever was. It goes without saying that you have to be the kind of friend that wants to be reliable and to remember things which you’ve promised to do for your friends. Assuming that’s the case, what you need to do to make work is this….
A good friend’s diary is their ‘secret weapon’
Get a diary (preferably a ‘notemaker’ type which leaves a page for notes by every week displayed) which you carry with you everywhere. Then you have to make two habits automatic. Firstly, whenever anyone tells you anything you’ll need to remember for later, such as a phone number, or something you need to buy, or that they’re going into hospital in 3 weeks, note it down immediately by the most relevant date.
So if you’re friend’s going to need you to keep an eye on them after they’ve left hospital, make a note to visit them or call them by that date in the diary. The other automatic habit you have to have is that of checking your diary first thing in the morning religiously, and acting on what you’ve written. So if you’ve promised to get back to someone by a certain day, then you’ll know and you’ll honour it.
Your diary will make being a better friend easy….
Beware of promising more than you truly intend to deliver. If you clutter your notes with things you don’t really want to do, you won’t take them seriously and the important stuff will get forgotten too. But if you are sincerely more intent on being reliable, then making your diary work for you is the key to making it easy.
If you want to know how to be more reliable adopt some of the habits you’ll find in the two home office chapters in ‘Banish Clutter Forever’…