On July 27th, U.S. Representative Maxine Waters made headlines as a result of her exchange with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. The timed conversation between Waters and Mnuchin consisted of her asking him about the possibility of Donald Trump’s having financial ties to Russian banks. In an attempt to have a productive dialogue, Waters soon realized that her time was not being valued She took ownership of the conversation with the phrase, ‘reclaiming my time’ and reminded Mnuchin of her intention of the conversation.
Congresswoman Waters set an example for all of us to follow. Time is our most valuable commodity, and it’s something that we can never get back. Effective time management is a critical component of self-care. Our intentions have to be well outlined and we must not lose sight of our goals. If we do, we either hit roadblocks that leave us trapped in stagnation or we deviate from our predestined path. Here are five simple adjustments that I’m making to reclaim my time and reaffirm my intentions.
1. Get 6-8 hours of sleep
I never noticed how important getting my rest was. At my last physical, my doctor asked me about how much sleep I was getting per night. I had recently subscribed to a ‘No Days Off’ mentality that convinced me to believe that I could properly function off of 3-4 hours of sleep per weeknight and 9 or 10 hours on the weekend. He then let me know about the negative mental and physical effects that the previously stated schedule would soon cause if I kept it up. 6 hours of sleep should be the bare minimum and 8 hours per night would be ideal. I got 7 hours of sleep last night and I was surprised by how productive I am currently without needing a large cup of coffee.
2. Social Media Fast
The other day, I caught myself scrolling on Twitter and Instagram for a total of one hour. Constantly paying attention to what other people were doing was distracting me from my own responsibilities. I was also posting every day, which dampened the novelty of my experiences. I removed all of my social media apps from my phone today and it feels good to fully focus on the things that pertain to me. I don’t know how long this fast will last, but I’ve made a plan to go without it for a week to start out with.
3. Daily Devotional/Morning Meditation
I’ve come to find out that the way my morning starts sets the tone for how I approach my day. When I wake up earlier in the morning to meditate, journal, and read the bible, I find myself to be more peaceful throughout the day. When I don’t, I find myself to be far more irritable and introverted. Making the time to center myself spiritually results in me having better days as a whole.
Our physical and mental upkeep is vital for our own trajectory. I’ve recently realized that walking is a valuable stress reliever. Since most of my obligatory activities are within walking distance, putting a playlist together and achieving 10-12,000 steps a day has now turned into a routine. Imagine a week without road rage or paying for gas! Even if you aren’t able to walk everywhere, the gym is a great way to work off any anger from your work day.
It’s also a novel idea to take your mind off your own situation by immersing yourself into a good book. Dwelling too much on your job, school, or personal desires can easily result in a burnout effect. My literary interests are in the realm of biographies, self-help books, and realistic fiction novels. I currently finishing a book called ‘Unthink’ by Erik Wahl. I’ve found out that exposing myself to the imagination of different authors benefits my own creativity in everyday life.
5. Socialize with People That You Actually Like
This suggestion might seem to be ridiculously simple, but a lot of us work, study, or live in environments where we’re placed with the mental task of being around people that we don’t like. Nowadays I find myself cherishing the close knit collective of friends a lot more these days. Corporate kindness during the work week needs to be balanced out by securing time to spend with the people that know you best. Even though the movie ‘Girls Trip’ was primarily intended to entertain, the film proves that spending time with friends has therapeutic value.
In closing, We all need to work on realigning ourselves on a frequent basis. The most productive versions of ourselves are exposed when our core is fully intact. Self-care and time management go hand in hand.
Banner Photography of Congresswoman Waters