Reclaiming MY Time

Little Sister: What time does the meeting start?

Me: 3pm

Little Sister: What time do you want to head that way?

Me: 3pm

Little Sister: You can’t leave here at 3pm and get there at 3pm.

This conversation took place circa fall 2009.

The fall of 2018 is upon us and I find myself in a similar predicament. There are places I want to go, yet and still, I am not giving myself enough time to make the proper preparations for my journey.

During one of my first counseling sessions I told my counselor that in high school I did all the things. I played four sports: volleyball, basketball, softball, track. Completed all the homework and extra credit. I got all the As too. I was a member of a few committees. In the off season I had a part time job, was a member of a summer track club and made it to all of the open gyms. I was busy and booked, yet I moved through it all with a great deal of ease.

My first semester in college was intentionally one of light academic rigor. Originally, I had the notion that I would take seven classes, play a sport and do work study. I did all the things in high school. Thankfully my mother talked me out of that. I took four classes, played the one sport and had six hours of work study per week. It was struggle city. That was due in large part to my emotional health. The other culprit was poor time management.

I didn’t realize it then, but in high school I followed a pretty tight schedule. School > Practice > Shower > Homework > Eat > Sleep > Repeat. I didn’t have time to procrastinate with my studies because homework was due every day. That was my main focus. The other activities were for fun. In college my responsibilities were similar, but my schedule had more free time and homework was rarely due for a grade. That is where things fell apart for me. Without anyone there to hold me accountable for my tasks on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis I shirked and/or procrastinated.

I eventually learned to manage my time better and hold myself accountable for completing the mundane tasks on the regular. I would write to do lists, leave myself reminders and positive affirmations on sticky notes all over the place, set aside blocks of time to study alone. I took more classes that required daily write ups or had daily/weekly quizzes. I purposely befriended people who practiced good study and time management habits so they would rub off on me. I still employ some of those same tactics. For the most part they are just as effective now as they were then, but in some cases I need go harder. I am after new heights and I have to create new routines because what got me here won’t necessarily take me there.

I am more than capable of accomplishing all of the things I am setting out to do. However, I cannot achieve them all at once. I cannot plant seeds and reap harvest in the same day, week, month or year. Even worse, if I continue down this road of poor time management and procrastination there will be no harvest. Last week I told you that sometimes I make rules for myself.  Well, I’ve done it again. I’ve set up some rules for the month of August to help me free up some time and make better use of it. I am officially in time out. The new rules are as follows:

No cell phone during work hours

I started this then stopped, and now I’m back on. Texting and checking timelines means that I will be distracted from my work. That leads to me having to stay later or work weekends to finish projects. There are eight whole hours in the workday and I plan to use all of them appropriately.

No wasting time on Social Media (Instagram and Facebook)

Scrolling aimlessly through these endless timelines is a major time waster. It also means that I am consuming everything that other people are doing rather than working on producing my own results.

No unnecessary shopping and/or spending

Includes, but is not limited to, clothing, books, brunches, drinks, plane tickets, and cosmetic & skincare products. Time is money. I’ve got a finite amount of both and need to conserve my resources.

No TV on weeknights

Again, I can produce results or consume other peoples work. Not both.

Making time for five workouts a week. No excuses.

I gotta get these gainz! Focus on the work and they will come.

Grocery shopping and meal prepping every Sunday

It may take a half a day to complete, but it is a definite time saver during the rest of the week. If you have any clean meal prep recipes feel free to share them with me below!

Tracking all of the to dos and not tos.

Because checking things off of a list helps hold me accountable. Duh!

I’m just trying to be a better me. I am historically a high achiever. Some things I achieved because they just came natural to me. Other things I had to really work at. Either way, each achievement took a considerable amount of time. If I want to level up I have to be willing to discipline myself daily and put in the necessary time. I have books to read, blogs to write, products to review, gains to make, content calendars to create, people to see and places to go. I need to reclaim my time and budget it more wisely.

That is how I plan to close out my summer. What about you?


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