“Reclaiming my time” is a phrase commonly heard in the House of Representatives to get the floor back when another member is speaking. Maxine Waters made it famous when she cut off Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchen as he tried to bullshit his way through testimony before her committee until the allocated time for questioning ran out. He was wasting her valuable time and she wasn’t having it. Getting away from politics, maybe reclaiming our time is an effective way to improve our lives? Not allowing the precious gift of time to be wasted by people and things of little or no value.
Social media is a huge time waster. While it arguably connects people in many ways. The entire time spent on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc., replaces in-person interaction with real people. As an aspiring writer trying to market a book to literary agents, I’m required to “build a platform,” measured in Twitter and Instagram followers and Facebook friends. While I need to put in work on social media, I don’t owe it my life. I’ve found more productive things to do than see what’s trending.
Get some exercise. As someone who has pounded his feet flat over a lifetime of playing basketball. I can attest that there’s some kind of exercise everyone can do that will improve your health and is a far more valuable use of time than posting selfies.
Turn off the damn TV! I’m getting better at this. An avowed political junkie. When news breaks I might watch different takes on the same event on multiple consecutive shows. I’m still hooked on Rachel Maddow although I’ll walk away from a guest host in a minute while she’s taking some of her well-earned vacation days. I generally prefer to read my news anyway. It tends to be more factually oriented and logically presented although exceptions abound.
Speaking of reading, I have rediscovered a lost love. In grade school, I almost burned down the house by falling asleep with a lamp under the covers. Reading past my bedtime. If I once loved reading enough to risk my life. It’s certainly worth spending time doing now. Reclaiming my time.
Reclaiming your time is the end result of examining your priorities and making a change. Whether it be your career, relationships, or how you spend your free time. I challenge everyone to recognize those ways you waste your time and reclaim it. Substituting what you were doing with something better.