Read the latest from our columnist, transformational counsellor and blogger, Lisa Bent. Check in with Lisa each month, right here, where she’ll be writing about personal development, mental health, social issues and a whole lot more.
I was so inspired by this clip of American politician Maxine Waters questioning Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Ms Waters had asked him about not receiving a response to a letter inquiring about President Trump’s financial connections to Russia. When Mnuchin danced around the question, Congresswoman Waters stating she was “Reclaiming my time” After watching, four things were immediately evident to me.
- She is a badass Queen
- She highlighted what mediocrity looks like by holding the other accountable
- There is a power in her statement that is transferable outside the courtroom
- I needed to reclaim my time ASAP.
Last month. I wrote about how shocked I was that August had crept up like a professional pocket thief. I realised I was allowing myself to be distracted and had to make better choices to get on with it and move forward. So I decided to fully “Reclaim my time” and here is what I did…
“No can do”
I said No can do a lot to invites with no explanation after the statement. This landed in different ways for different people, which I acknowledged, but I refused to take on expectations, disappointment, projections or any other emotion.
When you are reclaiming your time you do not have to explain what you are doing with your time. It’s my time. However, any drinks, dinners or chit chats that were arranged before my August black out were honoured, there were just no posts, tweets, or comments about it.
Banned all social media.
I disabled all notifications – Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter from my phone, because although the notification sounds were muted, seeing I had messages or likes was distracting. This also meant I didn’t post anything on any of these platforms. As a result, my phone battery lasted all day. That hasn’t happened since circa 1998 when I had a Nokia phone and social media didn’t even exist yet.
I found this exercise relatively easy, however, I felt seriously out of the loop. This exercise made me realise that Facebook for me, is my one stop shop for everything. News, laughter, events, ‘woke’ posts and connecting with friends and family.
Although I didn’t post anything, I did go onto to Facebook once, because an organisation I was interested in didn’t have a website only a Facebook page (yes I was annoyed). I also had a peak on Instagram now and again, and I have to admit I did like a few posts. I also gained 25 new followers even though I said nothing. Go figure.
Being offline didn’t make people call me more, so the connection was totally lost. I, therefore, called two people a week, they were people I hadn’t spoken to in a while and/or do not have a social media presence. So I got connected and re-connected that way. Calls were limited to 30 minutes, because 30 minutes can be full of quality as opposed to three hours of quantity. I found this so refreshing because I don’t call people enough due to how easy it is to connect on social media.
I made a conscious decision to reject anything that wasn’t a positive or nourishing contribution to the start or end of my day. As a result, I banned the news and soap operas. If I wanted to see what was happening in the world, I chose to go online to read it, as opposed to being informed by brash Piers Morgan at the start of my day.
As a result, I banned the news and soap operas. If I wanted to see what was happening in the world, I chose to go online to read it, as opposed to being informed by brash Piers Morgan at the start of my day.
The notion of ‘passive’ TV, such as soap operas, no longer made sense to me, as I couldn’t justify the exchange. I was using my time, but getting nothing from it. Instead, I chose to watch only things that were nourishing and that I enjoyed. Don’t get it twisted though, me and Power were firm friends. I got a lot of nourishment watching James St Patrick (*grins like a Cheshire cat) Banning TV freed up so much time because it is so easy to switch on relax and sit there. I chose what I wanted to see from Ted Talks and Netflix which I placed into my work structure. Anything I wanted to watch had to be carved into my time.
Banning TV freed up so much time because it is so easy to switch on, relax and sit there. I chose what I wanted to see from TED Talks and Netflix which I placed into my work structure. Anything I wanted to watch had to be carved into my time.
I felt more connected to myself and refreshed. I left work on time, I was in bed by 10:30 pm and slept the full 8 hours. I believe this is because each night I had a relaxing bath with essential oils to soak away the day, and rubbed lavender oils on the soles of my feet and pillow. My phone was also on flight mode
I booked myself into a lovely hotel in London for two nights to further create the space for laser focus that I needed to complete projects. It’s amazing what a different environment can do.
“Reclaiming my time” became my mantra for discipline. As I result in 31 days I achieved everything I set out to achieve which really wasn’t difficult, but the distractions were making it so. Once I identified what they were for me, I cut it out.
So, what do you want to achieve, and what do you need to let go off or sacrifice in order to achieve it and move forward? Don’t make what you currently do wrong, just find a better, productive way to get the result you want.
Good luck on the journey towards your best self!
Connect with Lisa @Iam_LisaBent