Time Management for busy moms Part 3 – Guest Post by Sr. Bela Khan
Don’t reveal it unless it’s done.
I don’t have any tangible argument to support this, but this is always so true for me. If I am doing a project and I reveal it to others, I feel that barakah goes away from that but if I am doing something and it’s just between me and Allah, there is so much barakah in it and I tend to get it done faster than if I had revealed it to the public. So I recommend, if you are on a project, don’t reveal it unless you get it done.
De-clutter and letting go
An overly decorated house is a sign of wasted life. All the delicate crystal pieces that we beautify our houses with, take so much time and energy to clean and dust. All the stuff in your wardrobe that you hope to wear one day when you lose weight, all the crockery that is lying untouched in your kitchen cabinet, all the books that you wish to read one day, all the toys that your children don’t play with anymore, all these things combined are actually suck positive energy out of your life. Human beings have a hard time letting go. If you want to free up more time for things that you’re really passionate about, focus on the tarbiyah of your kids and perfectly managing the house, then I strongly suggest that you go through a clearing process. Give yourself a couple days and de-clutter. Research says, if you haven’t used it for a year, chances are that you won’t use it for the rest of your life. Once you let go of what you don’t need, you’ll have two-fold advantage,
- You’ll win the reward of sadaqah
- You’ll feel relaxed and lightened.
I’d rather say that words fail me to explain the feeling it gives. It’s just a state of inner peace which you can experience once you let it go. The time saved in managing those clutter can now be used in doing something productive. Remember, cluttering is the antonym of productivity.
Learn to say NO
Chasing your dream with kids and other responsibility take time, effort and energy. If you don’t have enough time and energy to focus on the goals that matter the most to you, you probably have weak boundaries. Do you have a hard time saying no? Do you feel like your time is being wasted or that you’re being taken advantage of? Saying “no” sounds selfish or narcissistic to most people. Remember, people won’t respect you unless you respect yourself. Now imagine, you are a homeschooling mom, you sit down to do daily lessons with your kids and your neighbor comes to have coffee with you. What do you do then? Set boundaries.
Ask her politely if she can wait for 20 minutes so that you can finish the task with your kids first. That’s what your boundary is. It will make people realize what’s more important for you. If that really matters to your neighbor, she will wait for you.
Once in a while might not harm as much but if people know that you are available for them 24/7 chances are that they will take unnecessary advantage of your weak boundaries. The consequences of not setting a boundary when you should be are frequently much greater than you realize. Whenever you say yes to something, you are inadvertently saying no to many other things.
For example, the lady who requested you coffee comes and requests the same again, and you say yes out of habit or a sense of obligation. Then she sits and chats for two hours. So this takes our two hours off your day. These two hours could have been used teaching your kids, writing your book, spending healthy time with your spouse or getting your message out. By saying yes to your neighbor, you were automatically saying no to all of these things.
When your kids are awake, your time is their time
When we talk about setting priorities, remember our kids are our priority. If you have wasted the hours when they were asleep or out in the school, then you have wasted your personal hours. When they are up and around, your prime responsibility is to focus on your kids and their needs. I am appalled at the senses of those who help busy mom schedule their routine by encouraging them to freeze their food and stuff their kids with frozen food and the preach “prioritizing”. Do the health and well being of your child not your number 1 priority? Setting priority will help you to decide if it’s a good idea to give frozen food to your children and work on your personal tasks or give fresh food to them and to never compromise on their health and well being.
Busy and passionate moms are juggling so many balls in the air. Kids, chores, relationships, sometimes finances, physical health etc. Sometimes we think if we keep all the balls in the air, we will be successful. Truth is that when all the balls are in the air and you just touch each of them and not give them the time and attention they deserve, you are not making the best move. It actually comes down to what you need to do at a given time. All the successful people you admire in life also have 100 things to juggle but they know what they need to do at a given time.
The real success comes from
- Knowing what’s the right thing to do
- Doing that right thing
So for example, you have one hour before your children come home from school or your little one wakes up; and you have a pile of dishes to do, vacuuming the floor, laundry and all these chores but you also have to prepare one chapter for your exams. What do you choose to do in that one hour? If you waste that one hour whatsapping, and then complaining that all the time goes wasted after kids then who is to blame?
Setting priorities is important because you won’t achieve anything if u don’t know what u want. In order to be successfully managing all the roles you play in your life, u should know what u want to BE, what you want to DO, and what u want to HAVE – knowing this will help u prioritize. If u don’t know what you want, it’s guaranteed u will never have it.
Let’s learn to prioritize no matter how strong is the urge to whats app or hop on Facebook. Time is something really precious. Let’s not squander it.
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