How to Be Excellent (or at Least Pretty Good) at Canceling Plans - Deepstash

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How to Be Excellent (or at Least Pretty Good) at Canceling Plans

https://www.thecut.com/2018/02/how-to-be-better-at-canceling-plans.html

thecut.com

How to Be Excellent (or at Least Pretty Good) at Canceling Plans
I have a bad Law & Order: SVU habit. It's not just that I've seen every single episode at least once, or that just thinking about the show renders me incapable of wanting to do anything else besides watch Olivia Benson & Co. fight for justice.

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Do it rarely

If you choose to use strategies for conscientiously flaking, try to do it rarely. 

If you have to do it often, it’s probably because you’re saying yes to too many things and

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'Not feeling so well'

This approach is fine, as long as it's true. It’s always good to give a reason why you’re bailing, especially when that reason is truthful and specific. Also, deliver your excuse over the...

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Think a few steps ahead

  • If a last-minute emergency prevents you from missing a moderately important gathering, be sure to still send a gift and a handwritten note.
  • Be sure to mention you're sorry for not maki...

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Stay off social media

When you cancel plans, the goal is to walk away completely unscathed, and that means avoiding both guilt and FOMO, so stay off social media. 

If you had to skip a party for a las...

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Ask for help when deciding

If you really want to commit to transparency, you can incorporate your friend into your decision-making process, which also lets you test the waters to determine the best course of action.

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Don't make it a habit

Even the most understanding friend will only be understanding so many times. Your reputation and your relationships will eventually suffer.

And when you do bail, set concrete plans for...

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Take Stock and Track Your Time

You can’t really clean up your schedule if you don’t know what’s in it—and that includes all the things on your literal and official calendar and all the things that aren’t. 

Purge Recurring Meetings and Tasks

Once you know what’s on your calendar, ask yourself: “What is the purpose of each thing on here? Are we accomplishing that or does something need to change?” 

Question each task. Start with recurring meetings, which can very easily build up and take over your calendar.

Sort Things By Importance and Urgency

... and put them in one of four quadrants:

  • Quadrant I: Important, Urgent (crises, last-minute meetings for important deadlines)
  • Quadrant II: Important, Not Urgent (strategic planning, long-term goal setting)
  • Quadrant III: Not Important, Urgent (certain emails, phone calls, meetings, and events)
  • Quadrant IV: Not Important, Not Urgent (scrolling mindlessly through social media, binge-watching TV you don’t really care about).