Guest Post by Sr. Bela Khan
Before I really get into these amazing “time management” tips, I want to clearly differentiate between two categories of working women:
A) those who leave their house to work
B) those who work from the premises of their houses
Both these categories might look similar to an onlooker and be mistaken for being the same but there is a clear cut distinction. Any women going outside her house to work, needs to have a critical evaluation of her needs and necessity to go out from Shariah standpoint. Islam doesn’t really require a woman to leave the premises of her house and go to work.
Islam has actually liberated us from this responsibility so that we can focus on what matters the most. However, working from the premises for the home either to support the family or just to living your passion and not ignoring the primary responsibilities do not harm in any way.
Let’s move on to learn some cool time management tips for busy moms.
“To be always intending to make a new and better life but never to find time to set about it is as…to put off eating and drinking and sleeping from one day to the next until you’re dead.” – Og Mandino
The most effective time management technique, ever. Period.
No personal development guru, life coach, time management expert, leadership specialist can ever give you a technique better than that which the Prophet (peace be upon him) taught us. This simple technique asks us to utilize the post-Fajr hours. The after-Fajr hours have a lot of barakah and help us to get things done much quicker than any other part of the day.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Oh Allah, bless my Ummah (in their work) in the early part of the morning,” (Tirmidhi)
Think about it! When your kids are enjoying their happy sleep, you don’t have to worry about what’s burning on the stove, there is no pile of dishes waiting for you in the sink and you don’t have to fret about the laundry. This distraction-free time is perfect to get things done for everyone in general and mothers in particular.
If you can make it, it will make your day. As I write this article, I am enjoying the peace and serenity of post-Fajr hours. It also gives a great boost to our mood and strengthens us emotionally to face the challenges of the day to come ahead.
A recent study from the University of Toronto surveyed over 731 adults. Regardless of their age, waking up early was associated with a better mood. “Earlier risers reported feeling more positive emotions compared to night owls,” explained one of the researchers. The authors suspected that the positive mood was related to the increased amount of sunlight exposure experienced by those who woke up earlier.
Our morning routine sets the tone for the entire day. As busy moms, it’s a great challenge for us to take time out for ourselves and our passion in the daily grind of the day. Enjoy some “ME” time in the morning. Sometimes mothers are so busy being available for their kids, spouse, and in-laws; that they forget to be available for themselves. Remember, when you give to yourself first, you have more to give to the world.
A great metaphor is the oxygen mask on an airplane. Whenever you begin a flight, the flight attendant always coaches you that in the event of an accident, if you are flying with a child, first place your oxygen mask on yourself, and then help your child with their mask. Obviously, you might pass out if you don’t take care of yourself first. Then you wouldn’t be able to help your child or anyone else.
ACTION TIP: Challenge yourself to utilize the post-Fajr hours for the next seven days and experience the barakah.
BONUS ACTION TIP
Adopting new habits becomes way easier if you have someone to hold you accountable. Find yourself someone who has the same goals as you do and request her to hold you accountable every morning. Secondly, sometimes boring journeys become very exciting if you are venturing with someone you like. Get yourself an accountability buddy to track your post-Fajr activities and In shaa Allah, it will not be too hard for you to develop this habit.
What you track, you improve
If that’s not in your calendar, you really don’t want to do it. Tracking your progress is a very powerful phenomenon. You must have a checklist of every habit you are trying to build or every goal you are trying to accomplish. Otherwise, it would be nothing more than wishful thinking. As busy moms, we have a gazillion things to look after. Do you want to do everything in your head? Your head and heart are sacred places meant for love of Allah and His messenger.
Don’t stuff it in with your tracking list. Get it on paper. For example, if you want to improve your post-Fajr time utilization, make a simple tracking sheet and paste it on your wall and track your progress with simple ticks or crosses. With the advent of technology, smart phones have made tracking way easier. If you are a fan of technology, unlike me who actually wants to have it all on paper, then go ahead and get yourself a good app to track your success.
Bela Khan is a certified life coach and speaker. She is also the author of her book “Know Thy Values, Know Thyself.” Her forthcoming books are “How riches come to you” and, “9-Success secrets that Non-Muslims know and you must know too”. You can find more of her work at belakhan.com