A 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?