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Chapter
3

Find your “coworkers”

You should now have a pretty clear idea of your base schedule for the week, for both work and life priorities. 

But we can’t do all of this alone. Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, you do your best work alone or collaborating with others — we all need social connections in our lives. 

In this step, we’ll determine at least three moments of social connection you can add to your schedule. 

Note: This might cause you stress! More things to do and commitments to add? That’s not our approach, though — we’re all about integrating social connections into your existing priorities, so it’s not one more thing to do, but instead an extra you’re gaining along the way.

Take advantage of friendships beyond best friends and partners, because they can bring you happiness

Making friends as an adult can often feel quite challenging. Especially when so many of our friendships have traditionally come from the workplace. 

According to studies, casual friendships emerge around 30 hours spent together, good friendships emerge around 140 hours spent together, and best friendships don't emerge until after 300 hours spent together.

You can see how the office was a breeding ground for friendships, given how much time we spent there. We need replacements that'll allow us to work and build relationships at the same time. 

Another important type of relationship we often don’t give much thought to is “weak ties” — acquaintances you might see infrequently. Think of your barista or a fellow dog owner at the dog park. They’re actually very important to our social health and add to our overall happiness. According to Cornell, “These casual conversations and moments with weak tie relationships are often more light-hearted and easy-going, allowing for less stress and burden than the more heavy and serious interactions with a strong tie relationship. So make sure to maintain those weak ties and interactions, as they are more important than you might think".

At Groove, we’ve heard how transformational supporting weak tie relationships can be for your day-to-day life: 

I think one of the hard parts of owning your own business is the isolation that can come from working by yourself, especially working from home...Groove plugs me into other people doing amazing things around the world. I get to learn new things, interact with people, and ultimately be more focused on my work because there is someone else on the app holding me accountable and cheering me on. I didn’t realize I was missing this camaraderie until I found it from Groove and I’m so thankful I did. It makes me feel less alone and so much more capable throughout my busy, chaotic days.” — Hannah Brencher

In this exercise, we’ll identify three moments for social connection to add to your schedule.

Note: The degree of social connection you need or crave varies from person to person, so we’ve purposefully left “moment” vague enough to personalize what that means for you.

1. First, think about what type(s) of social connection you’re looking for right now. It could be:

  • Collaboration

  • Networking

  • Camaraderie

  • Just being around people

  • Accountability

  • Someone to learn from or ask questions

  • Or something else!

2. Next, jot down if you already have any current activities that provide moments of social connection.

  • For example, do you belong to a co-working space? If so, write down what your initial intention was with that connection. Why did you start doing that? Is it still giving you that? Like in Step 1, note if you want to keep it or swap it for something else.

3. Review your list from question 1 compared to the last question.

  • Are any areas of social connection being missed? If so, what activities could you do that would fulfill that need? If you don’t have someone to learn from or ask questions, can you join a mentor-mentee community?

4. Between the lists you made in questions 2 and 3 you should now have half a dozen options that will fulfill your needs. Select 3 of those activities and add those to your calendar.

  • These events/activities can be once a week, once a month, a stand-alone event…it depends.

5. If any of these are new to you, make a plan to complete all of the new activities within the next seven days.

  • E.g. Reach out to a potential mentor, join a co-working space, or schedule a coffee date.

Sam is looking to build social connections revolving around their career. They work from home most days, but once or twice a week they venture into town to work at a cafe in Denver. They like the energy of being around other people working and sometimes will tell friends to stop by and work from the cafe too.

To get that high-five feeling of camaraderie, Sam decided to connect with folks on Groove who were also running their own businesses while prioritizing work-life harmony. Now they Groove from 2-5pm every day to get that extra accountability when their energy dips. Here’s their updated calendar: 

Recap

You now have a weekly schedule that prioritizes:

  1. Your personal needs.

  2. Your work needs and preferences.

  3. Your social health.

But how do we step out of the day-to-day and take moments for larger goal-setting and reflection, alongside others? That’s what we’ll cover in Step 4. 

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