4 Ways to have a refreshing Vacation

Refreshing Vacation

4 Ways to have a refreshing Vacation

This is Part Two of our series on having a productive and refreshing vacation.
Read Part One Here.

In our previous article, we discussed the benefits of a productive vacation. The question that arises from that is. “How do we attain these benefits?” This is what I will address in this article, in four simple points.

Too many people return from vacations even more tired, frustrated and burned out than before they left. This is the result of choosing the wrong time or location, or not planning properly. These four tips will help you feel refreshed after a vacation instead.

1. Plan Ahead

The most crucial step to having a refreshing vacation is to plan in advance. This includes deciding where to go, when to go, how much money to budget for the trip, and how to delegate your responsibilities while you are gone. Each of these points are crucial.

Choosing the wrong destination can lead to unwanted stress when you find the location not conducive to relaxing. Going at the wrong time of the year will defeat the entire purpose of a vacation if it is a busy time at work. You will find yourself bogged down with emails and working remotely, instead of enjoying your vacation.

Not allocating enough money to cover the expenses of the trip will leave you stressed about money the entire trip, ruining the experience. And finally, not delegating your responsibilities back home and at work to someone responsible will leave you worried and anxious throughout the trip.

Take the time to plan these four aspects of your journey months in advance: where, when, how much, and who to delegate to. This will reduce your travel stress significantly, and allow you the time and freedom to enjoy your trip.

2. Choose your timing wisely

Timing is essential when deciding to go on vacation. You want to not only keep in mind busy and quite times at work, but also which times of the year you are most burned out and in need of a break.

For me, the best time to go is immediately after my busiest month at work. The busiest month is usually followed by the quietest month, and I am significantly drained enough to require a break.

Think carefully when choosing the time of the year to take off, in order to maximize your benefits.

3. Cut off all work while on vacation

If possible, completely break from work while travelling. Take official leave, delegate your tasks to others, and put your email on auto-response. Do whatever you need to do in order to make sure you are 100% on break. Your mind, body and soul all need time to completely relax, refresh and reboot.

Remember that you are doing this so that you can operate better at work. So don’t feel guilty about ignoring your emails for a week or two while you recharge. A refreshing vacation will lead to increased productivity for many months, so it is a worthwhile investment.

4. Don’t forget your duties to Allah

Finally, as a Muslim remember that there is no vacation from obeying Allah. We need to follow Islam wherever we are. While Allah has given us some concessions while travelling like allowing us to shorten and combine our Salah, we still have obligations to towards Him.

Salah, Hijab, eating Halal, lowering the gaze, etc. are all still obligations when on vacation, so do not give these up. If you do let go of your worship while travelling, you feel return feeling guilty and regretful for taking the trip, and the impact of the trip will be completely lacking any Barakah.

Simply put: Take a vacation from work, not Islam!


These four tips will help you return home refreshed and recharged after travelling. Remember to plan ahead, go at the right time, break from work completely, and remain vigilant on your practice of the Deen. Do so and you will have a refreshing vacation.

In Part Three of this series, I will discuss the misconception some Muslims have that vacations are prohibited. Coming soon…

Want more productivity tips? Read Getting The Barakah today!

Time Management eBook

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Productivity, 0 comments

Why vacations are crucial for productivity

Why Vacations

Do vacations make you feel guilty?

Many of us feel guilty to take vacations. After learning time management and personal productivity, we feel like we need to be constantly working on something. It doesn’t help when we see some successful people boasting about how they never took a day off in 25 years. All of this adds to our guilt.

I too used to feel this way until I learned something very important: these folk are the exception, not the norm.

The average person needs regular breaks in order to function at 100%. This includes daily breaks, weekly days off, and at least once or twice a year, a proper vacation.

5 Benefits of taking a Vacation

Vacations are not a waste of time if done properly. A proper vacation will benefit you in the following ways:  (and more)

1. They reduce stress

Perhaps the most obvious benefit of a vacation is that your stress levels are reduced significantly. Being away from the usual stresses of life gives you an opportunity to rebuild, recover, and relax. All helping you get back to your chaotic life with a healthy mind.


2. They increase happiness

A proper vacation increases happiness multiple times over. being away from your usual routine, seeing the world, and trying new things (and new food) all help to increase your happiness and overall well being.


3. They improve your health

With reduced stress and increased happiness comes improved health. Particularly, the health of your heart. Studies have shown that a good vacation reduces the chance of heart disease.  This makes sense as stress is a major cause of heart problems, and vacations greatly reduce stress.


4. They help you rethink your goals and vision

One of my personal favorite benefits of a vacation is that it gives me time to reflect on my goals and vision from afar. Away from stress, business, responsibilities, and daily problems, I have more time and clarity of mind to rethink, reorganize and restructure my goals for the coming year.

In fact, I believe the final day of a vacation is probably the best time of the year to sit and organize your goals for the coming year.


5. They recharge your energy levels

Whenever I feel my energy levels dipping, I take it as my body’s natural warning that I need a vacation. Vacations are like sleep and days off, but longer. They allow your body to rest from an entire year’s worth of hard work. This allows you to return to work refreshed, recovered, and recharged.

This is why an intelligent manager will encourage their employees to take vacations when they are not operating at 100%. Because they understand the value of keeping their employees healthy, energized and focused.

You will notice that all five of these things are crucial for productivity. This is why I firmly believe that vacations are crucial for productivity.

In Part Two, we discuss tips on how to gain these benefits from a vacation.
Access Part Two here.


Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Productivity, 3 comments

Podcast Interview with Productive Muslim

Podcast Interview with Productive Muslim

Podcast Interview with Productive Muslim

Podcast Interview with Productive Muslim

Check out this podcast interview with Productive Muslim with Islamic Self Help’s Founder Shaykh Ismail Kamdar.

In this interview, Productive Muslim discusses the productivity habits of Shaykh Ismail. Topics covered include:


  • How to discover your interest and use it to benefit the Ummah.
  • The significance of homeschooling children.
  • Keeping yourself motivated to be productive and scheduling lazy days.
  • How to manage stress and deal with a difficult day.
  • How early marriage leads to productivity.
  • The importance of making time for self, family, and worship.

You can listen to the interview here:

Show Notes from the Podcast website

Sh Ismail Kamdar joins us from Durban, South Africa. He is the senior lecturer and faculty manager of the Islamic Online University, the founder of Islamic Self Help and a radio presenter at Al Ansaar foundation. And He is also a homeschooling father of 4 children and has authored over 6 titles, in the areas of Islam, personal development, and homeschooling. He published his first book at the age of 23.

Sh Ismail is our guest today for the Productive Muslim Interview, whereby we speak to individuals from all walks of life, get an insight into their productivity and take away lessons we can implement.

In this episode, we speak about:

  • How to discover your interest and use it to benefit the Ummah.
  • The significance of homeschooling children.
  • Keeping yourself motivated to be productive and scheduling lazy days.
  • How to manage stress and deal with a difficult day.
  • How early marriage leads to productivity.
  • The importance of making time for self, family, and worship.


Connect with Sh Ismail through his website or on Facebook.

Thank You For Listening!

Did you enjoy this episode? If so, please leave a review for us on iTunes or Stitcher Radio. This helps us get the word out there and in turn, give us the opportunity to benefit more people.

To celebrate our launch if you leave a review on any of these two channels, send us a screenshot and email it to kai (at) We will send you an exclusive Productive Muslim Academy gift.


Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Productivity, 0 comments

4 Personal Development Lessons from Surah Duha

Surah Duha

Lessons from Surah Duha

Surah Duha is considered one of the earliest Surahs to be revealed in Makkah. It was revealed at a time which the Prophet (pbuh) faced great emotional stress regarding the future of Islam. The core theme of this Surah is one of hope and optimism. This makes it an excellent Surah to analyze for personal development lessons.

Translation of Surah Duha

  1. By the morning light
  2. And by the night when it darkens
  3. Your Lord has not forsaken you, nor is He displeased
  4. And what is to come is better for you than what has passed
  5. And soon Your Lord will give you and you will be pleased
  6. Did He not find you an orphan, and He gave you a family?
  7. And He found you wondering, and granted you guidance
  8. And He found you in need, and enriched you
  9. So as for the orphan, do not mistreat him
  10. And as for the beggar, do not repel him
  11. And as for the blessings of your Lord, then proclaim

Lesson One: Be Optimistic

This is the core theme of this Surah and as such, it is the primary lesson of this Surah. As Muslims, our approach to life must be one of optimism. We are not meant to be a pessimistic people. Rather, we must live our lives with hope in Allah’s Assistance and Mercy.

Every project we undertake must be fueled by optimism and hope. We must trust that Allah will help us eventually, if we are sincere and if the project is beneficial for the ummah. It is this attitude that should drive us forward.

Lesson Two: Be Grateful

In order to maintain optimism, this Surah also reminds us of the times in the past when Allah assisted His Messenger (peace be upon him). In our own lives too, there are many times in the past when Allah granted us success and turned around a bad situation.

We must reflect on such times, be grateful for them, and use them as further motivation to maintain optimism that Allah will continue to assist us moving forward.

Lesson Three: Be Charitable

A believer’s goals are not selfish and materialistic. Our goals should revolve around the ummah, and one way to build this is to become people of generosity. Generosity fuels the Muslim world and causes everybody to grow. The generous person is blessed by Allah, and his wealth multiples because of it. The one who receives the charity also is blessed and now has some money to move his own life forward.

Charity is a Win/Win situation. Everybody benefits and everybody grows. This is what believers should may for. We must avoid paths and goals that make us selfish and materialistic. Our focus must remain on serving others, and that begins by being generous.

Lesson Four: Contribute to society

Generosity must lead to an ummah-centric personality. A Muslim’s goals should be goals that uplift and benefit the ummah. Every project should aim at benefiting others. If our primary goal is to assist the ummah, then Allah will put Barakah in our efforts, businesses, wealth and time. Service should drive us forward, as we are one ummah and we all want to see this ummah rise up in greatness again.

Bringing it all together

Be positive about the future, remember Allah’s blessings on you in the past, be generous and serve the ummah. These are some of the lessons we can extract from Surah Duha, and these concepts will drive us forward with Ihsaan (excellence) as an ummah.

For more Tafseer, check out our eBook below:

Buy Now

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Productivity, 10 comments