'Errand Dates' is the brilliant way to hang out with friends when life is busy 4 months ago

'Errand Dates' is the brilliant way to hang out with friends when life is busy

The other day, I was talking to a friend of mine and we agreed that it was far too long since we had met up – and not for our lack of trying.

We had been meaning to meet up for a coffee or lunch for weeks, and yet something always came up that stopped us in our tracks. Sometimes it was work-related, sometimes family. Sometimes it was one of our kids' ballets shows or football matches, and other times it just didn't suit, as we had tons of errands to run and bits and bobs to sort out – such is life as an adult, no?

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However, yesterday, I suggested we meet in the little coffee shop beside my local Dunnes Stores, as I had to go there to do the grocery shopping and figured we might as well kill two birds with one stone – coffee first, errands later.

But, what happened is that by the time we were done drinking out coffees and eating out salads, we were not even close to being done talking. And so my friend decided she actually needed to pick up some bread and kitchen roll and other bits too, and so she came into Dunnes with me. And so there we were, strolling through the aisles, filling our trolleys and chatting away – just like we had when we were sitting across from each other in the coffee shop.

In the end, we kind of laughed and agreed we should have just done this all along – instead of trying to find a date we could meet for ages, we should have just agreed to go do our grocery shopping at the same time, in the same shop.

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It got me thinking, though – could actually running errands together be a really genius way to pencil in time for friends when we really are too busy to actually make them to meet up?

I mean; between work, chores, and sleep – and kids, if you have got them – how are we supposed to have any time to build the meaningful relationships we know we should be building? Well, believe it or not, some people will argue that inviting loved ones to run boring, mundane errands with you can be considered quality time.

The benefit of doing Errand Dates

Say hello to errands dates – the solution to all our busy lives.

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“Errand dates” are basically just hanging out with someone while you both check items off your respective to-do lists. You can go on errand dates with anyone and everyone – your best friend, your roommate, your brother, cousins, parents, etc.; because let's face it – everyone has errands to run.

And don't feel limited to just hitting up the grocery store. Errand dates can consist of things like going to the car wash, shopping for furniture, renewing your prescriptions at the chemist, picking up your dry-cleaning – the options of an errand date are endless.

"When you're bringing your friends into things that you have to do already, it's a way to fit people into your schedule and not feel more overwhelmed and time impoverished, and also connect with your friend and show them that you're invested in them,” psychologist and friendship expert Marisa Franco explains to Well + Good.

Keep in mind, though, that while errand dates are effective for staying on top of your responsibilities while still connecting to the people you love, these dates need to work for both parties. Meaning, if you expect someone to run errands with you, you better be prepared to help them cross things off their list, too. But, if you cross-check your lists, you may be surprised to learn that they have several errands in common.

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“It can be a win-win. This can be helpful for your friend, too,” Franco reveals.

"Whether you schedule your weekly grocery run together or you both need to run to the local nursery for some new seasonal plants, there's no reason a given errand can't shorten each of your to-do lists at once."

Now, how is that for multi-tasking! I am so going to errand date with pretty much everyone I know from now on!