7 Core Time Management Skills

7 Core Time Management Skills

Everybody has 24 hours in a day, but some people are able to accomplish more in this time than others. When we look at the lives of these people, they all have a stronger awareness and control over their time i.e. they practice time management.

But what is time management anyway?

Time management is simply a strategy or system for using your time more effectively. Any system or strategy that you develop to get more done in a day is effective time management. Over the years, I have developed multiple systems and strategies that help me to manage my time effectively. I have written about these in detail in my best-selling ebook Getting The Barakah.

Today, however, I want to share with you the 7 core skills that I teach in this book.

1. Begin your day at Fajr Time

If you analyze the lives of successful people, you will notice that most of them begin their day early. As Muslims, we know that there is Barakah (Blessings) in the early part of the day, so why not grab that Barakah by starting our days early?

Try this for a week. Wake up every day at Fajr time. After Fajr, recite Quran and engage in some acts of worship. Then exercise, have breakfast and prepare for your day. Finally, get ONE high-concentration task done before everybody else wakes up.

If you keep at this, I guarantee you will find that you will be able to accomplish more in a day than you previously thought possible.

2. Set Your Daily Priorities and Goals

There are different methods and systems of time management. Some use a calendar, while others divide their day into blocks. I prefer a to-do list because it is more flexible and easy to draw up.

The key to a successful to-do list is to draw it up the night before so that you begin your day knowing exactly what you need to get done that day. The list should include daily priorities, personal development tasks, and action items that assist you in working towards your long-term goals. I discuss each of these concepts in more detail in my book.

3. Block off time for High Concentration Tasks

A major time management mistake that a lot of people make is multitasking. Multitasking only works with low concentration tasks, eg: listening to a podcast while exercising. However, trying to multitask when working on a high concentration task will only slow you down and reduce the quality of your work.

Instead of multitasking, block off time (preferably during your peak performance time) for high-concentration tasks. During this time, put aside all distractions and focus intensively on the task at hand. Give the task your undivided attention for 45 minutes to an hour, and it will get done faster with superior results.

I utilize this method daily for writing my blog posts, writing my books, and preparing my classes. It works wonderfully and is a must for anyone who does any work that requires a lot of concentration.

4. Take advantage of delegation and automation

I discuss this in detail in the book, and in even more detail in my newest book Productivity Principles of ʿUmar II. To summarize this concept, anything that can be done by someone else and doesn’t require your personal effort should be delegated to others.

There are essentially two types of tasks that you should delegate, tasks anybody can do and tasks in areas that you do not specialize in. The first could be delegated to anybody competent, the latter should be delegated to experts. Delegation frees up time to get more done every day.

We now have access to something even better than delegation; automation! There are dozens of tasks that can be automated. Take time to figure out what you are doing that can be done by a computer instead, and get those tasks automated!

To learn more about delegation and automation, make sure to read my latest book!

5. Leverage the 80/20 Principle

The 80/20 rule may sound like nonsense at first, but it has proven to be quite accurate. It simply means that a large portion of our results come from a small portion of our effort. Identifying that small portion of effort and doubling down on it helps to get more done faster. This system also helps eliminate tasks from your life that may be simple tasks without any real results.

Take some time to identify what you are doing that doesn’t work, eliminate it! Find out what brings in the best results, and double down on it! This is the best usage of the 80/20 principle in time management.

6. Keep your schedule flexible enough to cater for unexpected problems

No matter how well you manage your time, life will happen. You will need to be flexible so you can make time for all the unexpected tasks that pop up in a day. This is why I recommend scheduling six hours of set tasks in an eight-hour workday, so you have two hours to handle anything else that pops up during the day that you weren’t prepared for.

Do not make the mistake of being so unflexible in your time management that you are unable to get things done when life happens. Because life will happen, so its best to prepare and leave some time for it.

7. Learn to say No!

Finally, learn to say no! It is one of the most skills you can learn. Sometimes, we try too hard to please everybody and end up taking on too many extra projects. In doing so, we do justice to none of them and end up overworked. A simple polite no is far better than a poorly done project.

Practice saying no to tasks and projects that you can’t handle, or which you feel are a waste of time. Practice polite ways of saying no so that you do not offend anybody. Once you get good at saying no, you will find yourself with a lot more time to work on the things that really matter!

Ready to take your time management to the next level? Grab a copy of Getting The Barakah and get started today!

Getting Barakah Time Management
Click the picture to get the ebook.
Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Time Management, 1 comment
The ONE THING needed to accomplish any goal

The ONE THING needed to accomplish any goal

This article isn’t a pep talk. It isn’t a fluffy motivational article about willing what you want into existence or the power of positive thinking.

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Goal Setting, 1 comment
Why Optimism Matters

Why Optimism Matters

Optimism can seem like such a cliche. It seems like something that the self-help guru tells you to do and you just know it isn’t going to work.

He asks you to close your eyes, imagine your goal, visualize it, and believe you WILL accomplish it. But you don’t do any of that because it seems all cheesy and weird. So instead, you just go about your life as usual, being ‘realistic’ and ‘practical’ about goals and dreams i.e. never chasing them or even thinking you can accomplish them.

But what if there is something to optimism after all. At the very least, something psychological.

The power of optimism

Sure, optimism may not shape the world, bend destiny in your favor, or attract money into your life. Sure, all that may seem like cheesy self-help nonsense, but optimism can do one important thing; inspire massive action.

You see, to accomplish any major goal you need to take massive action and push through all kinds of obstacles and barriers. But if you are not even the least bit optimistic about your goals, you will not be able to muster the enthusiasm to push through and get things done. The more optimistic you are, the more likely you are to actually get things done.

Perhaps that is the purpose of optimism. Not to attract ‘the universe’ into your life. Not to bend destiny in your favor. But simply to give you the inner strength and excitement to take the action you need to get what you want.

So go ahead, give those cheesy optimism activities a chance. You never know, it might just give you the energy boost you need to do what needs to be done to finally to achieve your goals!

Want to learn more about self-help? Check out our Self-Help Starter pack today!

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Positive Thinking, 0 comments
The Value of Time – Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghuddah

The Value of Time – Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghuddah

Shaykh Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghuddah wrote a beautiful treatise on the value of time. This book has been highly influential on my own productivity books like Getting The Barakah and Productivity Principles of ʿUmar II. In this short article, I want to share some key passages from this classic work on time management.

Blessings are Primary and Secondary

Blessings are divided into two different kinds: primary and secondary. Having an abundance of wealth and knowledge, a strong body, observance of the nawafil [supererogatory acts of worship] such as waking up to pray at night, and reading the Quran frequently, and following the Sunnah of the Prophet in bodily cleanliness, perfuming oneself—in the case of men— when attending a gathering and shaking hands with those you meet, entering the mosque with one’s right foot and leaving it with the left, and removing harmful objects from paths and roads, as well as the many other actions performed by the Prophet which are recommended for us to emulate— all of these are examples of secondary blessings, but they are great in the eyes of those who know their true values.

Primary blessings are also numerous and infinite in number, the first of which is the belief in Allah the most Exalted and the Messengers and Books sent by Him and implementing His commands and abiding by them. Other blessings include having a healthy body, eyes, ears and all other senses, which are the fulcrum for man’s essence and the foundation from which he may go forth and benefit from his existence.

The blessing of knowledge is also a primary blessing that is essential for the advancement of humanity and its happiness in this life and the next, for knowledge is a lofty blessing whichever form it takes; seeking it is a blessing, benefiting from it and benefiting others by it is a blessing; preserving it and transmitting it to the following generations are a blessing, as is spreading it to people. There are many other examples of primary blessings, which I will not mention here out of respect for the value of time.

One of the primary blessings or the loftiest and most precious of all primary blessings is that of time, for the discussion of which these pages have been assembled, particularly its value for students and people of knowledge. Time is the substance of life, the sphere in which man exists, the citadel of his spirit, and his subsistence— him benefiting himself and others. (Value of Time, pp. 11-12)

Allah Reprimands Disbelievers for Wasting their Lives

Allah the Most Exalted addressed the non-believers reprimanding them for wasting their lives, spending them in a state of disbelief, and not leaving their state of disbelief to a state of belief despite the blessings of long lives that Allah bestowed upon them, as He, the Most Glorified, said: Did We not grant you a life long enough for him who reflected to reflect therein? And the warner came to you? Now taste [the flavor of your deeds], for evil-doers, have no helpers.

Hence, He, the Most Glorified, has made the blessing of a long life a reason for one to reflect and ponder, and has made one’s life as proof against him, as He has made messengers and warners proofs and witnesses over him as well. Ibn Kathir said in his tafsir [exegesis] of this noble verse: “It means: Did you not live in this life and have such long life spans that had you been of those who benefit from signs and who follow the truth you would have done so in your lives?” Qatada said: “ Know that the length of one’s life is a proof against him, so we seek refuge in Allah from being mocked and blamed due to our long lives.”

Al-Bukhari narrated in his Sahih on the authority of Abu Hurayra that the Prophet (s) said, “Allah will not accept the excuse of any person whose instant of death Allah had delayed till he is sixty years of age.” Imam Ahmad narrated in his Musnad on the authority of Abu Hurayra that the Prophet said: “ Whomsoever Allah grants a life span of sixty years, then He will not accept any excuses from him relating to the shortness of his life.”

Meaning that Allah has removed any excuses he might cite and he will have no possible excuses, for Allah had granted him such a long lifetime. (Value of time, p. 13)

The Total of Ibn Jarir’s Writings is 358,000 Pages

Ibn Jarir was born in 224 AH and died in 310 AH, and if we subtract the period before maturity estimated to be fourteen years, it would leave Ibn Jarir seventy-two years in which he wrote fourteen pages every day. And if we count the days in those seventy-two years and multiplied them by the fourteen pages written daily, the total written by Imam Ibn Jarir would be around 358 thousand pages.

His [books on] history and tafsir [Qur’an exegesis] were each around three thousand pages long, making them together a total of around seven thousand. His “ History” was printed in eleven large volumes and his tafsir in thirty large volumes. If you consider the rest of his writings, 351 thousand pages, you would realize the extent of the writings of this imam, who was like an encyclopedia in his knowledge, like a publishing house in his writing, while he was but an individual, writing with his own pen on paper, and spreading his knowledge and thought to the people as purified sweet honey, and that would not have been possible were it not for the fact that he used his time beneficially and knew how to manage it and use it effectively

The judge Abu Bakr ibn Kamil-Ahmad ibn Kamil al-Shajari, the student and companion of Ibn Jarir, said, describing how he, may Allah have mercy on him, ordered his times and activities: After eating, he used to sleep in a short-sleeved shirt, rubbed with sandalwood and rosewater. Then he would get up to pray Zuhr at home and would write until ‘Asr time, and would go out to pray Asr, then would sit teaching the people and correcting them until Maghrib. Then he would sit to teach Fiqh until the last Isha prayer, then he would go home. He used to divide his day and night between his personal interests, his religion, and people, as guided by Allah, High and Glorified be He. (Value of time, pp. 21-22)

To learn more about Time Management from an Islamic Perspective, grab our self-help bundle today!

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Time Management, 0 comments
Webinar: Lessons from the life of ʿUmar II

Webinar: Lessons from the life of ʿUmar II

In this webinar, I discuss the life of one of my favorite heroes, ʿUmar II aka ʿUmar bin ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz (RA). We do a deep dive into his life covering various accomplishments of his and extracting a lot of important lessons from his life.

To continue learning lessons from the life of ʿUmar bin ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz, get the eBook that this webinar is based on here: https://gumroad.com/l/umar2

The eBook is also available at Amazon in both Kindle and Paperback format.

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Islam, Leadership, 0 comments