This is Part 3 of my series on Time Management for Ramadan 2015, click the above link if you haven’t read Part 1 or 2 yet.
8. Avoid Multi-Tasking
This is a general time management tip that applies outside Ramadan as well. In my book “Getting the Barakah” I have the following to say about multi-tasking:
Recent studies have proven that multi-tasking actually slows down productivity and causes sloppy work. When we multi-task, our brains are unable to give any task full attention and as a result, we end up with not much to show for it.
Modern time management experts all agree that focusing on one task at a time gets the task done faster with better quality than multi-tasking. If you are talking to someone, stop everything else you are doing and give them your full attention. If you are writing a book, close everything else and focus on the book and nothing else. If you are preparing for a meeting, focus on that alone and nothing else.
Do this and you fill find yourself accomplishing the task in record time and producing really high quality work too. Then you will still have plenty of time for all the other things you were supposed to do while multi-tasking. (Getting The Barakah, p. 84)
The way this applies to Ramadan is that for each goal, take out time to focus on it and devote proper attention to it. Don’t try to recite Qur’an, while browsing through Facebook and taking care of a child all at the same time. You are unlikely to benefit from a Qur’anic recital unless you are giving it your full attention. The same applies to studying Tafsir or making dua. Choose a place, time and situation in which you will have the least distractions and give the act of worship your undivided focus. This is why I recommend doing the acts of worship during the early parts of the morning, as it is the time when life is least busy and the mind less cluttered.
9. Fast from excessive socializing
This includes both social media and physical socialization. Ramadan is the month of Itikaf, one of the goals of Itikaf is to take a break from our social lives so that we can focus on our relationship with Allah. Even if you are unable to make Itikaf, you can still get this benefit in Ramadan by cutting down on socializing and dedicating more time to Ibaadah. Attend a few less Iftaar parties, log into Facebook and Twitter for shorter durations and excuse yourself from unnecessary gatherings. Doing this will free up more time for worshipping Allah.
10. Stay Healthy
You cannot accomplish your goals if you are feeling lazy, weak, agitated or sleep-deprived. Some of us do too much during the first few days of Ramadan and end up without any energy to push on for the remainder of Ramadan. Don’t let this happen to you this year. Pace yourself and take care of your body by getting enough sleep, eating healthy and staying hydrated.
The average person needs between 6-8 hours sleep a night, so make sure you are getting it, even if it means going to bed a bit earlier. Avoid sugary and oily foods and eat wholesome foods for both Suhoor and Iftaar. Research the types of food that give more energy and consume more of those. Drink a lot of water at night before bed as that will keep you hydrated during the day.
Staying healthy includes taking care of our emotional health, but I will tackle that topic in details in a separate article inshaa Allah.
This concludes my list of time management tips for making Ramadan 2015 productive and beneficial. If you have any more tips on this topic, feel free to share them in the comments section.
Shaykh Ismail Kamdar is the author of Getting The Barakah: An Islamic Guide to Time Management, available exclusively via this link.