Communicate plans ahead of time with others ~ Time management tip #5

Do you communicate plans ahead of time? If your plans in any way involve other people, it’s essential to communicate your plans with them.

People are not mind readers.  Make sure you communicate plans ahead of time with other people involved. Most people are not mind readers – Communicate plans ahead of time!

I think as humans many of us assume other people just know what we’re thinking, however, this is simply not true.

I believe that most people like to cooperate, but it’s hard to do this if they don’t actually know you have a plan.

Let’s look at a few of the people it is important for you to be communicating with.

Communicate plans with your spouse

If you want to do something involving your spouse, let them know.  Don’t assume they know you want to go out with the kids for the day tomorrow (all of you, as a family) and then get cross when they’ve made other plans.

It can even be arranging evening meals for the week if you are going to be working late or you’re running the kids around.

Communicate plans with your kids in a way they understand

As parents, we often spend time telling our kids what not to do, wondering why they are not ready at the door at the time you want to be going out the door… Communicate properly with them.  Tell them in advance what will happen and remind them (kids can be forgetful).


Tomorrow we are going to the cinema.  We need to be dressed and ready to leave the house by (give the time) and remember to give them time reminders nearer the time.

Communicate plans with your team

If you work or have your own business and people who work for you.  You certainly need to communicate well with these people.

Communicate plans with your friends

If you want to do things with your friends, make sure you communicate with them in advance.  Don’t wait until Saturday to invite a friend to lunch on Sunday, they’re likely to have already made plans.  Of course, spontaneity is fine but be prepared to accept that other people may have different ideas and plans.

Have a 1-time plan for communications wherever possible

Always make sure that you communicate plans clearly and effectively.

Rather than messaging a friend and saying:

You: Hi, do you want to meet up next week for a drink?

Friend: Sure, what day?

You: Any day is fine with me.

Friend: What about Friday then?

You: Okay, Friday it is then.  What time shall we say?

Friend: 7pm?

You: Yes, great, where shall we meet?

Instead get on the phone and have the conversation in full or send a full message instead.

Hi, Do you fancy meeting up for a drink one evening about 7pm next week at BAR HAPPY?  I can do Monday, Wednesday or Friday.

Be precise when you leave an answerphone message

Let’s say you call someone to make an appointment and the answer phone comes on.  Rather than saying “Hello, it’s (your name).  Sorry I missed you.  I’ll call again.” Say something like “Hello, my name is… I’m calling to arrange an appointment to meet and discuss… (say what you want to discuss).  Could you please return my call.  I will be available on… until 7pm this evening or from 9am -4pm during the day tomorrow. Give you telephone number.

Another example:  Hi, This is Jack’s mum.  I’m calling to invite Joe over for lunch on Saturday.  He can come any time after 11am and we can drop him at home again around 4pm.  Can you give me a quick call to confirm please on ….Give number.

This blog post is part of a series.  To read the rest of my time-management tips, go to Time-Management


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