How to be a productive Muslimah in 2019
Sometimes I feel like time is slipping away and I’m not putting it to good use. Do you ever feel like this? Productivity is a huge issue with me as there’s just too many distractions that take me away from what I should and want to be doing.
The key to being productive, is to be organised. I’m a really forgetful person and that often makes me disorganised because I forget half the things I need to do! So I have to make lots of lists or I just won’t function. I feel like my brain has ten tabs open simultaneously, which can become really mentally straining.
There’s so much to do all the time and I find it hard to compartmentalise or switch off. As all the mothers out there know, being a mother means constantly having your children depend on you even if they’re not with you. Their next meal, their next activity, appointment, homework etc etc. With three children at three different schools, the admin is a lot to handle. On top of their stuff, I have my stuff. Cooking, cleaning, keeping fit, praying, Quran, grocery shopping, working and not to mention blogging.
Often I have so much to do that it overwhelms me and I end up doing nothing. Does this happen to you? I’ve learnt to break things down and I find this has helped me to be a productive Muslimah.
As it’s January this is a good time to set some goals, personally or professionally. I think setting targets like Ramadan 2019 or by the summer holidays are more useful as I can visualise it in my head. I have some blogging goals which I have set. My goal is to double my readership by Ramadan 2019 Insha Allah. I also have some personal goals too, so let’s hope I can achieve those too.
How much time do you spend on social media? I had NO idea how much time Instagram & Facebook were taking from me. The inbuilt Screen Time setting on the iPhone is fantastic. (You can get Screen Time for android phones too). Not only does it give you weekly reports on how much time you’ve spent on the phone but it breaks it down into categories like social media, entertainment, reading etc.
But best of all it enables you to put limits and downtime on your phone usage, even for grown ups not just kids! For example I can set my phone on a two-hour social media limit per day and after that I can’t use it. Obviously I can override it but some willpower needs to be exercised here! Put a limit on if you spend too much time on social media or set some downtime so you can’t use your phone at certain times.
To do lists
I’m not ashamed to admit that the idea to use a to-do list notebook came from the one and only Mrs Hinch. Funnily enough before I could buy one myself, one day my husband came home with this things do today pad and asked if I wanted it. Yes please! From small little mundane tasks like cleaning the kitchen cupboard to writing a blog post can be put on this. The feeling when you tick ‘completed’ is so satisfying and really gives you a sense of achievement.
There are so many bloggers out there who just blog about being organised. There’s unlimited resources on the internet where you can download printables about anything from meal planning to homeschooling your kids. There’s something for every aspect of your life. Here’s some to get you going from The Organised Mum and Organised By Fatima.
This is a great little app which I also put in my Top 5 apps for Muslims. If you want to read Quran every day but can’t find the time or forget (like me), then Muslim Pro will help. It notifies and reminds you to read a particular few verses everyday. It’s random but not completely random if you know what I mean. I’m sure there’s a thought process behind which verse is recommended. But all you do is click when it pings you and it’s there on your screen. No excuses!
Fajr & Isha
I don’t know about you but Fajr and Isha are the prayers I struggle with the most. During the winter they aren’t as difficult to do so make the most of it. If that means waking up earlier than usual and then staying awake after Fajr then so be it. Use that morning time before everyone else gets up to catch up on anything or just having some quiet time to yourself.
If you read the Isha prayer when the time begins — in January that’s around 6pm, then not only do you get more reward for reading on time but also the fact that you’ve done it mentally helps you get on with other things. You therefore don’t need to worry about being too tired later on. In a house full of children 6pm can be a busy time but the point is not to leave it until you’re half asleep. (Guilty).
We all know about ‘me time’ but do we really adhere to it? Make some time, fortnightly or once a month to spend on yourself and doing something you love. Whether it’s playing a sport, reading a book, meeting a friend for coffee or dinner, going for a massage or just having a long soak in the bath…just do it. Our bodies and minds need recharging regularly. The amount of stress we put ourselves under without realising, is immense. De-stressing every now and again is an essential part of modern life. Putting yourself last isn’t going to benefit your job or your family in the long run, so remind yourself to look after your physical and mental health on a regular basis.
That’s all I’ve got for now but do you have any advice to increase productivity? If so please leave me a comment as I would love to hear from you!