Reclaiming your time (and sanity)


You’re probably familiar with Maxine’s Waters’ famous clip where she shuts down political rambling by chanting “reclaiming my time.” See it here.

Who among us, doesn’t want to reclaim some time?  We know how fast it goes, and how it can be easily wasted.  There are some great articles and tips in this month’s Oprah magazine.  Here’s the cliff’s notes version of my favorite part…

  1. make a list of all the things you have on your agenda today
  2. mark which ones you look forward to (!)
  3. mark the ones you feel like avoiding (x)
  4. decide if all the Xs are actually important enough to do (cross out a few if possible)
  5. see time open up for the better stuff !!!

It’s simple to explain, but not so simple to actually do.  If you have a lot of Xs on the list and can’t see a way to get out of them, then maybe it’s time to revisit priorities.  Yes, there is always going to be laundry, grocery shopping and cleaning the kitchen.  (which you could outsource, but that’s a topic for another time.)

How about those things on your to-do list you dread like going to a networking meeting you know will be boring, or attending your kid’s school’s PTA meeting because it seems like something you should do?  Basically, I’m talking about all those things you say “yes” to because you feel you should, but you’re not actually all that interested.  These are the X events you need to bail on, and not look back.

What do I avoid like the plague? PTA meetings, for one, let’s talk about a snore session, shall we? I also toss half read books if they can’t hook me in the first few chapters.  Same thing with TV shows, I mean, why sit there if it’s not keeping your attention?

It’s not always easy to say “no” to people who want you to serve on committees, volunteer for events, or even ask for advice and sympathy (when you know they won’t listen anyway or return the favor.)

Let’s listen to our guts the next time a request comes your way.

Gut check:

  1. does this sound like fun?
  2. will I learn something useful?
  3. do I want to spend time with these people?

There may actually be times when you just aren’t sure if an opportunity is right for you.  Maybe it’s something that needs exploration, or there is something there that’s attractive to you.  It’s OK to try something new out, but we all owe it to ourselves to be honest if that new thing becomes an annoying time suck.

Stick up for yourself, your time, and your emotional well-being…say yes to what you love!  (The rest can wait till tomorrow, or never.)

I’d love to hear how you prioritize your calendar!!!



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