I know I’m not alone in feeling that there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Despite trying to curb my social media habits, stay focused on single tasks by eliminating multitasking, and scheduling myself carefully, I still find there isn’t enough day to fit in all my activities. Work takes up a majority of my time, then riding, while other important aspects of a well-lived life like self care and social time get’s pushed to the periphery. These are my three best tips for taking back a social life from an ever expanding schedule.

1. Use your planner to your advantage; schedule time with friends. Although I’ve been falling off the bandwagon in recent weeks, I plan one day per week (Sunday) that my horses have the day off and I don’t schedule other major commitments. This means I have the flexibility to plan a brunch in the city or a day trip with friends without feeling guilty that I let my horses or professional commitments down. Also, it’s totally normal to text someone asking if they want to grab dinner in two weeks from Monday. And by totally normal, I mean I do it, so take that as you will.

2. Turn mundane errands into times to catch up. I’m an introvert, and can find myself running from one commitment to another without realizing how much time I’ve spent alone. I’ve found that inviting friends along at times when I am usually alone like trips to the mall, trips to the tack shop, even as basic as wine and food shopping, helps make boring errands more fun and helps me connect with friends that I don’t see in my daily life.

3. Seek out connections at the barn and at work. Despite recently graduating college, some of the friends I see most often are former work colleagues. Although there is etiquette involved with socializing with colleagues, especially dependent on what industry your in, I believe it’s worth at least learning a bit about your co-workers lives. What are they passionate about? What’s their favorite kind of food? You may find yourselves bonding over a favorite lunch spot or a dramatic TV series. This will help you get out of an isolated bubble at work. I also tend to keep my personal and equestrian lives rather separate, but equestrian friends can help round out your life. It feels good to be able to go on about your horse without seeing your friends eyes slowly glaze over. Basically, I’ve found it’s worth making connections with others wherever you spend your most time, because you don’t know who you’ll meet.