Category Archives: Career-Education

Reclaiming My Time

Standard

Reclaiming My TimeA few weeks before Congresswoman Maxine Waters coined one of the top phrases of 2017, “Reclaiming My Time”, I had written a note on my dry erase board at work that simply said “Take Back My Hour.” Like many, I tend to work through lunch.

As a working mom, I have very limited time once I leave work to do things that I want to do.  My evenings are filled with Peppa Pig, books, washing clothes, and anything else the little one dictates.  I don’t want to pretend that my child is my entire life as I have a very active social life and I am very active in my Sorority.  Still, I feel like I could use more time (don’t we all).  More time for what?  Reading, personal development, exercising, and blogging are a few things on my list that I want to spend more time on.

As I thought about ways to get to those things, I started taking inventory of my day and ways to maximize my time. Taking back my lunch was the first thing that came to mind.  Saying you will take your hour to read and doing it is another thing. So I joined Toastmasters, International.  By joining a club close to my job, that meant twice per month, I would have to physically get up from my desk and go to meetings.  This has been a great opportunity to network and work on my professional development. Another thing I decided to do was cut back on my social media. Once I realized I could access Facebook from my work computer, my productivity went out the door.  Also, I spent hours texting friends all day. At the end of the day, I was wasting a lot of time.

I also have a hard time saying “NO”. I raise my hand to volunteer every time something is asked.  I’m working on saying “No” more so that I can have time to say “Yes” to the things that really mean the most the most.  In September I did inventory of all the projects/committees I was involved in through my Sorority.  At one point, I counted up close to 10 different projects/committees.  In the past, I would be disappointed to have to remove myself from a project.  This time, I realized that I can not keep going at the speed that I have been going and didn’t hesitate withdrawing my commitment or position on a committee.  I already look back and count up the times I could have done X if I had not done Y.  No – we shouldn’t live in the past, but we have to learn from those mistakes.  It may have taken a while to come to this point, but I am learning and I’m excited to see what this extra time brings me.

How have you reclaimed your time?

 

 

Comfort Zone

Standard

When I returned from maternity leave in November, I was having major issues at work – the kind that had me pondering legal action.  I was actually excited to return from maternity leave, as excited as one could be, as I was in a place where I actually started liking my job. I had an awesome team of people that worked for me and I was growing a great client base who even sent gifts for my little one.  Although I never wanted to stay with the company as long as I did, I was in a place where I was relatively contempt or comfortable.  However, everything changed within one week of returning from leave.  I was made redundant and ultimately forced to take a demotion and paycut.  I experienced severe angst going into work every morning and one day, as I held back tears, a Marvin Sapp song came on the radio. The song was “Comfort Zone” and in it he talks about God challenging him to come out of his comfort zone.

I was truly in the midst of a challenge – financially and mentally.  While on maternity leave, I had phone calls about job opportunities and interviews that I turned down.  With a new baby, I didn’t want to start a new job and enter the unknown. The job I had was comfortable and I knew it well.

It was no secret in the building that I was demoted. I left my team and I now reported to someone who just a few weeks prior had been my peer. The only thing that separated me from my old team was half of a wall.  I swallowed my pride, held back my tears and frustration, and came to work with a smile on my face.  I was the acquiescent employee. My colleagues were taken back by my demeanor and often asked me how I could be so happy after everything that happened.

What they didn’t know was that I had accepted the challenge from God.  I knew that “God was grooming me to walk in my destiny” and that something greater was coming.  During this time, Jakalyn Carr’s song “Greater is Coming” was also on repeat.  If you don’t know the song, here are some of the lyrics:

An olive has to go through three stages, for its oil to run

It has to go through the shaking, the beating, and the pressing

And just like the olive, some of you may have felt like you go through the shaking, the beating and the pressing

You’ve went through all of that for your oil to flow. Now, your greater is coming!

I was certainly shook, beat, and pressed at work from clients and colleagues. One day, that oil just started to flow. I was getting multiple interviews and eventually I was offered a job in my community.  When I was finally able to give notice that I was leaving, I still came to work and gave my all right up until my last day.

If I could leave you all with something it would be the hope that you don’t fear or wallow in challenges and setbacks, step out of your comfort zone, swallow your pride, stay positive and your oil will flow abundantly.