Life Hacks

How to identify your Peak Performance Time

How to identify your Peak Performance Time

Have you ever noticed how your energy levels fluctuate throughout the day?

This is because we are all designed differently, and have different productive hours. Some people are able to get more done in the morning. Others are able to get more done in the afternoon. And some people are only productive late at night. This is known as one’s Peak Performance time.

In my book Getting The Barakah: An Islamic Guide To Time Management, I discuss the importance of utilizing your peak performance time for High Concentration tasks. This means scheduling the tasks that require the most brainpower for the times of the day when your performance is at its best.

In this article, I will explain the different types of performance times and how to identify yours.

Night Owls

The Four Types of People

When it comes to Peak Performance types, many people assume that there are only two types of people; night owls and early birds. In reality, there are four types of people: morning people, afternoon people, night people, and all-rounders.

Morning people are at their best between 5 am and 11 am. this is when they naturally get most of their work done. Afternoon people are sleepy in the mornings but are at their peak between 11 am and 5 pm. Night people get more done after 5 pm than during the day. And finally, the all-rounders can go at any time of the day.

It is very important to identify your peak performance time so that you can schedule more most important work for that time. For example, I am an afternoon person. So I schedule my lighter tasks for the morning. And I leave my afternoons for writing, lecturing, recording or working on my next big project. This way I ensure I am bringing the best version of myself to these important tasks.

Identify your peak performance time

How to identify yours

There are many ways to identify your peak performance time, but I’m just going to show you the easiest way. Simply keep track of your energy levels for a week and you will figure it out.

For one week, be alert regarding which times of the day you get an energy boost. If you find a consistent pattern, like every day around 3 pm, then that is your peak performance time.

If you find yourself getting waves of energy boosts throughout the day and night, then you are likely an all-rounder and one of the lucky few who has multiple peak performance times per day.

A night owl in the morning

What to do with this time

Simply put, once you identify your peak performance time, make adjustments to your schedule accordingly. If you discover that you are an afternoon person, and have been struggling to write every morning, move your writing time to the afternoon. (That’s what I did)

If you find yourself wide awake late at night but unable to get much done during the day, then schedule your most important work for an hour or two before sleeping. Not only will you utilize your peak performance time better, but you will use up that energy and help yourself fall asleep faster.

Peak performance time should be used for the most difficult work in your schedule. Anything that requires your full attention and maximum effort should be scheduled for this time. Doing so not only ensures the best quality work but also gets it done faster.

For example, if I write early in the morning, it may take me two hours to write 500 words. In an afternoon, however, I can write 1000 words in 30 minutes! So utilizing your peak performance time wisely benefits you in more ways than one.

To continue learning about peak performance, high concentration tasks and time management, grab your copy of Getting The Barakah: An Islamic Guide to Time Management today.

Getting The Barakah by Ismail Kamdar
Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Life Hacks, Productivity, 1 comment
5 Tips For Effective Self Study

5 Tips For Effective Self Study

Self-Study VS Formal Study

I believe we are entering an era in which self study is more important than formal studies. With almost any subject available online for study in the form of eBooks, online courses, and videos, self study is easier than ever.

But self study is very different from formal classes. And for those of us who grew up accustomed to having a teacher tell us what to learn and when to learn it, self study can feel very daunting. So it is important for us to first learn how to self study effectively.

These five tips will help you effectively study almost any subject you choose.

1. Plan Your Studies

Don’t just grab the first book you see on the topic and start reading. Have a game plan instead. Organize your thoughts on a piece of paper and write the following:

  1. What subject do I want to study?
  2. Why do I want to study it?
  3. What do I hope to achieve from this study?
  4. What do I already know about the subject?
  5. What is the most effective method for me to study it?
  6. What is the best starting point for me?

By figuring out the above, you can choose your first book/online course more rationally and work accordingly.

2. Start at the beginning

It is never a good idea to jump into an advanced book or course if you are new to a field.

I see this all the time in Islamic Studies. New students who haven’t learn the basics of Islamic principles and Arabic grammar yet ask to be taught the highest level academic books.

If you do this, you are setting yourself up for failure.

Everything has a system and an order.

So the wise thing to do is to start at the beginning with the most basic course/book. Find out what is an introductory course or book in a field and study that first.

This is especially important for subjects that have their own language. It is essential to learn the lingo of the subject before studying the subject itself.

3. Make time to study and stick to it

Self Study requires self-discipline.

The reason many of us lack self-discipline is because we are accustomed to teachers and parents telling us when to learn. But you are your own teacher now. So it is your duty to tell yourself when to learn.

Set a standard study time and stick to it daily.

It could be an hour in the morning or evening, or any time you prefer. Simply choose a time that suits you and train yourself to stick to it. (Hint: Choose your peak concentration time or time with least distractions)

This level of self-discipline is crucial for ensuring that you complete your studies and don’t go off track.

4. Hand Written Notes are key

One problem with online education is that too many of us depend on others for notes.

We like to download notes and email them to each other. We assume that just reading someone else’s notes is enough. It may be enough for short-term study, but not long term learning.

The key is to hand write your notes (not type them). This helps your brain store information in your long term memory and understand it deeper.

Whether you are reading a book, reading an article, studying an online course or watching a YouTube video. Whatever it is, make sure you have a pen and paper nearby. then write down everything you learn in your own words.

That last part is crucial.

Writing it in your own words means you have understood it. It also means you are less likely to forget it.

To study even deeper, rewrite your notes into small summaries. And then write your own reflections on it as well. All of this will help you actually learn deeper.


5. Test Yourself

Testing has a place and purpose i.e. to help you realize how much you remember and understood.

So with self study, it is your responsibility to test yourself. The purpose of such a test is to check if you understood the work clearly. This helps you find the gaps. Then you can then go back and restudy the areas that remain unclear.

How do you test yourself?

There are many ways.

My favorite is to rewrite a summary of each lesson from memory, and then check if I did it correctly.

Other methods could be to make up a self-quiz, get a friend/family member to test you, or to take an online quiz on the topic.

Summary

Self study is highly effective if you do it right.

Plan your studies, start from the beginning, and make a time and stick to it. Then make sure you take down notes, rewrite them for understanding, and test yourself.

Doing all of this will ensure you gain maximum benefits from your self study.

Looking for exciting and life changing self study courses? Check out our online course section and get started with one of our free courses today.

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Life Hacks, 2 comments

4 Productivity Hacks to make you feel awesome

Productivity Hacks4 Productivity Hacks to make you feel awesome

Hacks are awesome. They take things you never thought about and give them exciting new usages. Productivity Hacks do the same thing to our daily practices, habits and goals.

I get it.

Setting long term complicated goals can be very difficult. Accomplishing them can be even more difficult. But you don’t need long complicated goals to feel awesome. You just need to accomplish consistent daily goals, even if they are small.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Allah loves deeds that are consistent, even if they are small,” (Sahih Bukhari)

This Hadith applies to good deeds. Small regular good deeds (like reciting Quran for 10 minutes a day) build up to being more rewarding on the Last Day. Compared to once off big good deeds (like reciting entire Quran in one day then not reciting again for a year).

But we can take this same concept and apply it to productivity. Small consistent goals build up over time to help us accomplish more than once off grand gestures.

What do I mean by small goals?

Try these 4 productivity hacks for example!

1. Exercise for 5-10 minutes twice a day

Do you find it hard to exercise?

Do you get tired when thinking about hitting the gym for 30 minutes?

Try this hack instead: exercise at home in 5 minute bursts. And do it every few hours.

5 minutes may seem like too little, but it is better than nothing. And when done consistently, it builds up to a solid hour or so of exercise per week.

Which, lets face it, is far more exercise than you will get sitting at your desk all day. Not only will you feel healthier, but you feel more confidence and productive every time you do this.

2. Listen to a podcast on the way to work

Multi-tasking is not a good idea…most of the time. But there are times when it is an awesome idea.

If you spend a considerable amount of time daily stuck in traffic, why not use that time to educate yourself?

Download a playlist of beneficial audio podcasts and absorb them while driving to work and back. Suddenly, your mundane daily commute is transformed into an awesome educational experience.

Think about it, with just 30 minutes of podcast listening a day, you will gain around 100 hours of education a year! All without allocating any extra time to do it.

3. Batch all 2 Minute Tasks

In a previous article, I mentioned that 2 minutes tasks can be executed immediately to save time. Now here is a way to use this same tip to make yourself feel awesome: batch it!

Say you have 10 two-minute tasks in your to-do list. You actually just need 20-30 minutes to get all these tasks done. So batch them together and set aside 30 minutes to fly through the list.

Congratulations! You just ticked 10 tasks off your To-Do list in 30 minutes! How awesome does that feel?

4. Start your day with a list of mini-tasks

For this one, take the previous hack and start your day with it. For example, I like to start my day with a set of five simple goals. Each goal takes between 2 to 10 minutes to complete. Yet each is crucial for my daily motivation, mood, and productivity.

I like to start my day by flying through these five tasks. That way I start my day on a high note.

Within one hour of starting my day, I have knocked five tasks off my to-do list. And that way I start each day feeling awesome and motivated to take on the bigger tasks on my list.

Try it. Make a list of short, yet important, to-dos. And start your day by getting them all done. That way you begin each day feeling awesome!

To summarize

Our minds want to feel good. Yet often work makes it feel the opposite. You can trick your mind into feeling awesome while working by simply changing the way you work.

These four tips, all small yet powerful, can transform your daily routine. Try adding these to your routine today and experience an increase in awesomeness today!

Read this if you want more tips…

In 2014, I wrote a book dedicated to helping Muslims become more productive.
That book is entitled Getting The Barakah. It has sold 1000s of copies worldwide since.
But it is possible that you haven’t purchased and read it yet.

If so, you need to ask yourself why.
Why would you deny yourself access to all these awesome tools for improving your own self?

Don’t procrastinate any further!

Purchase your copy of Getting The Barakah today by clicking the link below.
Doing so will transform your life in more ways than you can imagine.

Purchase it now, and thank me later. ūüôā

Buy Now

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Life Hacks, Productivity, 0 comments

7 Awesome Study Hacks You Don’t Want To Miss!

Study Hacks

7 Study Hacks

7 Awesome Study Hacks You Don’t Want To Miss!

Studying for anything is a major cause of stress for most people. Too many people stress, study all night and still perform poorly. But have you ever noticed that some people rarely study, yet still ace their tests? What study hacks do they know that you don’t?

As someone who rarely needs to study anything twice, I’m going to share with you just a few of my favorite study hacks. These are things I’ve been doing all my life that help memorize and remember things fast.

Here are my seven favorite study hacks!

1. Watch a YouTube video about it

This simple technique has helped me understand remember things much faster than cramming over a textbook. I used this technique especially when studying psychology. Whenever a new theory is covered, I would simply watch a short YouTube video about it. YouTube videos tend to be short, colorful, fun and memorable.

This helps you understand and remember a new concept much faster!

Commonly used for: Summary Of Theories, Practical Demonstrations, Book Recaps.

2. Make Your Notes Exciting

Notes don’t have to be boring. Find ways to spice them up. Use a variety of colors. Use mind-maps. Draw pictures and diagrams. Write in multiple languages. There are so many ways to make note taking more exciting. The more fun you have taking down notes, the easier it will be to remember and recall those notes when needed.

Next time you are taking down notes, get creative and spice them up!

Commonly used for: Terminology, Theories, History

3. Teach It To Someone

This is my personal favorite method to remember anything. As soon as I learn something new, I find someone to explain it to. This serves three purposes: If you can explain, it means you understand it. Explaining something out loud actually helps you understand it better. And once you teach it, it is difficult to forget it.

Having a tough time remembering a new concept, try teaching it to a friend or family member!

Commonly used for: just about anything!

4. Reward Yourself

Treat yourself! Tell yourself if I learn this, I will treat myself to ______ (insert your favorite thing here). This has a huge psychological impact and will motivate your brain to remember it faster!

Just be careful not to treat yourself too often to unhealthy snacks. You want a big brain, without a big belly to accompany it!

Commonly used for: subjects you hate studying!

5. Take A Nap

I love this tip because it is so completely opposite to what most of us expect!

I discovered this when studying psychology. Sleep helps solidify information in long term memory. So if you nap straight after an intensive study session, your brain will transfer the information from your short term memory to your long term memory where it could last a lifetime!

Finding it hard to remember something, literally sleep on it.

Commonly used for: any subject you have a hard time remembering

6. Study in 20 minute Sessions

One key reason you are not remembering your work is because you push your brain to study for too long. To remember things faster, simply break up your study sessions into 20 minute blocks. Each block followed by a short 5-10 minute break to do something fun (or nap!).

This applies to work as well, by the way. Work in 20-50 minute blocks to keep your brain functioning optimally throughout the day.

Commonly used for: intensive study sessions

7. Never cram or pull an all-nighter

We’ve all experienced it. We stayed up all night studying for an exam, only to go blank the minute the paper starts.

What happened?

Cramming stores information in our short term memory, so it may last until after the test or just before it. Either way, you are not going to remember it a week later, leave alone for life.

Cramming also affects our brain’s capacity by not giving us enough sleep. Without enough sleep, not only is information not transferred to long term memory, but your brain doesn’t get enough rest. Leaving you not functioning optimally exam time.

Avoid cramming. Studying for 20 minute sessions with naps and reward breaks over a one week period instead. This will help you remember things better, not just for the exam, but for life.

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Life Hacks, 7 comments