New Podcast Interview – Overcoming Procrastination

Overcoming Procrastination

Interview on overcoming procrastination

This is a link to a Muslim Life Hackers podcast about overcoming procrastination.

I was the guest on this episode, and we discussed many tips on overcoming procrastination, taken from my e-book Getting The Barakah.

“If you are afraid that it is going to take you 5 or 10 years to achieve a goal understand that those years are going to pass anyway and what will you show for it?” – Abu Muawiyah

Questions Asked:

  • Why should our listeners care about time management and in turn being productive?
  • Do you think that because time is not a tangible form of rizq we do not consider it as valuable?
  • So for those of us who have also grown up in the 80s and 90s and have this notion of killing time, overhauling their habbits and starting to think long term sounds very intimidating. Where do we start with that process?
  • How can someone tell if a decision is potentially harmful for them in the future or just an easy short cut? What is the difference?
  • In your book you talk about how not all hours of the day have the same value. How can we use this to our advantage to get more done?
  • The 7 day planner or the To-Do list? Can you explain these two systems and how they suit different lifestyles?
  • What would you say to someone who says they are a procrastinator?
  • Is having managed our time having a full calendar and always being busy? Where does relaxation and fun fit into the equation?

Getting The Barakah – Time Management E-Book

Be sure to check out our Time Management e-book, which contains over 150 pages of tips and techniques, and is available for purchase for only $8.99. That’s 150 pages of Time Management Training for under $10!

Time Management Training

Time Management E-Book

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Books, Productivity, Time Management, 3 comments
Is homeschooling right for me?

Is homeschooling right for me?

This is an extract from latest e-book Homeschooling 101

This is a valid question. I do not propose that the entire world switches to homeschooling in one go. That would be impractical for most and not possible for some. Every human has their own struggles, limits, goals, and opportunities.

I am not here to tell you that homeschooling is definitely for you, or that it is not. I will simply tell you what it is, what it is about, how to do it, and then you can decide for yourself if it fits your vision for your family.

That’s really what it comes down to. In order to know whether homeschooling is for you or not, you need to first ask what is your vision for your children.

It may be something you never thought about. Many of us are so caught up in just following the norm that we don’t think about things life visions and goals. We just have kids, send them to school at age five, off to college once done with that, then work a job until you are too old to work any longer. We take it for granted that this is the only way to live our lives.

But there are many other ways to live, other ways to learn, and other ways to earn. And as the world changes and technology continues to morph the way we earn and learn, the opportunities that your children will have may include things that do not exist yet. Are we preparing them for that reality, or are we still stuck in the twentieth century model of life?

To make it easier, let me explain my vision: I want to raise children who are righteous leaders, people of strong moral character, people with the skills and ability to adapt to an ever changing world and find ways to earn well no matter how drastically the economics of the world shift.

I want to raise my children to be adults in a world that doesn’t exist yet, to be able to deal with technology that doesn’t exist yet, to work at tasks that may not exist yet, and to maintain their religiosity and moral character no matter which direction the world moves in.

The current school system is not adequate in preparing them for this. It is stuck in a twentieth century model that holds back potential, trains blind followers, and prepares people to spend the rest of their lives working for others. I want more for my children and so I decided to homeschool them, even though it comes with many challenges.

That is my vision as a parent. Yours might be similar, or completely different. Whatever it is, it will determine whether homeschooling is right for your family or not.

There are other factors to consider as well. Homeschooling may be more difficult (but not impossible) for single parents, families were both parents work long hours, and families were neither parent feels confident in their ability to teach.

Homeschooling may also be impossible if you live in a country were homeschooling is illegal. Although there may still be ways to do it within the system if you research it thoroughly. These are all things to consider before making a decision.

In each of these cases, homeschooling is still possible if you are open to the idea of doing things very differently from regular schools. There are homeschooling parents who teach their children at night, some who take their children to work with them, and others who have delegated the task to a relative who wants to help.

My point is that you should not allow your circumstances to determine whether you homeschool or not. Make the decision based on your goals and vision. If someone feels strong enough about their goals, that person will find a way to achieve it and make things work.

If homeschooling is not legal in your country, look for other alternatives. There are some loopholes in the system that would allow you to homeschool. For example, some countries may allow you to keep your child at home if they are registered with a correspondence school and assessed over there. In such a case, you can still homeschool without breaking the law.

Speak to local homeschoolers and find out how they get around it and what works best, the solutions are often simpler and more practical than you initially thought.

Make the decision based primarily on your goals as a parent. If time is a factor, there are ways to make time creatively and fit it in.[1] If you are not confident in your own teaching skills, or access to resources, then take a course in homeschooling or read some books on the topic (like this one) and you will realize it isn’t as daunting as it sounds.

Whatever your excuse, there are ways around it if you have a clear purpose and reason for choosing to homeschool. Where there is a passionate goal, there is always a way. So focus on your goals and that will ultimately help you decide whether homeschooling is right for you or not.

Do you want to read more?
Click the link below to purchase the full e-book!

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Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Books, Homeschooling, 2 comments
A warning about Fake Experts

A warning about Fake Experts

What is an expert?

“An expert is an ordinary man away from home giving advice”
Oscar Wilde

The above statement was made in relation to fake experts, people who claim to be experts but if you were to actual inspect their home lives, you will find that they have no clue what they are talking about.

Why am I bringing up this topic? because there seems to be an influx of fake experts in the Muslim community and some don’t even realize what they are doing.

So what really is a fake expert?

A fake expert is someone who reads/listens to/watches something and then feels like he/she is an authority on the topic and qualified to teach it to others.

We see this happening with young people who read a book on Aqeedah then go around pretentiously acting like they are the experts on Aqeedah. Likewise with Fiqh and other Islamic sciences, the Shaykh Googles and Mufti Wikipedias of our generation are many.

Then you have the folk who claim they can teach you how to become millionaires or billionaires, while failing financially themselves. Instead of teaching based on experience, they are teaching based on something someone else experienced.

What’s the big deal with doing this?

There are several problems with claiming to be an expert in a field in which you are not, the primary of which is that it is deception and lying, both of which are prohibited and make doubtful the individual’s income earned from such claims.

Then there is the harm it causes to others. By teaching something you have no experience using, you can’t really know for sure that it will work, and often it doesn’t. Leading to the other person feeling betrayed by your claims of expertise.

On a business level, such claims hurt your personal brand in the long run because clients will eventual catch up that you don’t know what you are talking about, and will abandon you in droves. In short, its a Lose/Lose situation for all, yourself included.

How to recognize a fake expert?

I will give you one simple step for recognizing a fake expert: Find out the qualifications and experience of the individual you are taking knowledge from.

When it comes to Islamic knowledge, you want to make sure you are only taking knowledge from authentic and qualified scholars. Likewise, with worldly knowledge don’t just listen to anybody who claims to be an expert.

There is a huge difference between a best-selling author teaching you how to become a best-selling author, and a struggling author teaching you how to become a best-selling author. The former is far more likely to have something positive and beneficial to teach you.

The same applies to anybody, whether claim to be experts in finance, business, marketing, time management, or confidence-building. Check if they practice what they preach, if they are benefiting from it or not, and this alone will help save you from falling for con-artists and fakes.

Why I am very picky about what I write about?

I am very picky about what I write about. I get many requests to write books on a variety of topics, and I only choose those which I feel confident enough to write about based on my own experiences.

For example, I am often asked to write about parenting and I usually reply that I will write about parenting in ten years time when my kids have grown up and I have seen if how I raised my kids worked or not. Until then, it is too early for me to write about parenting as I am still a young parent making mistakes and growing.

Likewise, when I am asked to write Fiqh books, I shy away from it as I feel I still need years of study and research before I can consider myself an expert in that field, despite my qualifications in Islamic Studies.

However, I have written about Time Management because it is something I have been practicing and implementing for years, and so my writings are based on my experiences, not theory and readings.

Likewise, I wrote about Self-Confidence because I used to lack confidence and learned many tools to help myself grow into a more confident individual, and I wanted to share those tools, experiences and insights with those who are in the same situation I was in.

Finally, I had no intention to write about Homeschooling for many years because I do not consider myself an expert in homeschooling yet. Rather, I am still in the early years of being a homeschooling dad and still gaining experience.

However, I decided to write about the first year of homeschooling because it is something I successfully experienced last year, so I could write about it based on my experienced and not just theory.

The point I’m trying to make is that we should only write/speak/teach based on experience and applied knowledge, and should not claim expertise is things that we are still struggling with and learning ourselves. We should be humble enough to know our limits, yet confident enough to know our true areas of expertise.

This is why whenever I want to learn something new, I always look at the most successful people in that field, and learn from the, because it is through such people that you will gain the most beneficial knowledge in that field.

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Books, Business, 3 comments
What is a S.M.A.R.T. goal?

What is a S.M.A.R.T. goal?

S.M.A.R.T. Goal Setting

Most Self-Help books offer the S.M.A.R.T. Goal setting formula, because it is simple and effective. It covers the five main criterion to consider when setting a goal. The acronym S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound.

Let’s take a look at each of these criterion in details:

Specific – This means that your goal shouldn’t be something vague. You should know exactly what you want to work towards. “I want to be an author” is a vague goal, but “I want to write a book about self-confidence from an Islamic perspective” is a very specific goal. The second is much easier to work towards, the key here is to be as detailed as possible.

Measurable – This means that your goal should be something you can keep track off to measure how close you are to completing your goal. Goals are generally long term projects and without any form of measurement, it is difficult to know whether you are closer to accomplishing it or not.

An example of a measurable goal is setting a goal to write 100 pages a month by writing three and half pages a day. This way you know daily whether you are making progress towards that goal or not.

Attainable – This means your goal should be something you can work towards and attain. If your goal is to build a multi-million dollar Islamic Centre and you don’t have the resources to do so, then this is not an attainable goal and should either be left for later in life or tweaked to become more attainable.

Realistic – This means your goal must be something you have the ability to do and something you are willing to do. If you hate writing, then making it a goal to write a 500 page book is not realistic, even though it is attainable. Being realistic means knowing what you are good at, what you are willing to sacrifice for, and making your goals in line with that.

Timely – Finally, a goal must have a time limit. As long as you leave something without any time limit, you will not feel the urgency to work on it. Saying that “Someday I want to write a 300 page book” is not going to help you write it. Setting a goal to write the book within three months by writing four pages a day is a timely goal, and creates the sense of urgency needed to get things done.

These five qualities help us make our goals achievable by creating the kind of description, pattern and system necessary to make sure we get it done. When setting your goals, weigh each goal in light of all five criterion to fine-tune it until you have a concrete plan to work with.

The benefits of setting goals in this manner are many. By setting specific goals, you know exactly what you want to accomplish without any ambiguity. By setting measurable goals, you are able to keep track of your progress and how close you are to attaining your goal.

By setting attainable goals, you are focusing on is possible right now and working on those goals first. By setting realistic goals, you are focusing on your strengths and gifts, leading to an increased chance of meeting that goal. Finally, by setting a deadline or time limit, you are forcing yourself to make time for that goal and complete it within the given amount of time.

So this is what a S.M.A.R.T. goal is. Go ahead and try redefining your current goals using these criterion, and let me know if it made a difference.


Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Goal Setting, Time Management, 0 comments
Compete against yourself

Compete against yourself

In the world today, there are many people who are jealous of others. We are always looking at those who have faster cars, bigger homes, fancier jobs, and better salaries than us, and as a result, we feel inadequate and not content with what we have. This leads us to compete with them in things that don’t really matter.

On the flip-side, many people choose to avoid this competition and embrace a life of apathy and mediocrity. They do not have any goals, aspirations, or desire to do well in this world or the afterlife. They just coast through life taking each day as it comes.

In the middle as always lies the balance. The balanced approach to life is to compete, but to compete in two ways:

  1. with others, compete to be the best servant of Allah for the sake of Allah
  2. in this world, compete with yourself

The first point is one that many people understand, we must compete in good deeds to earn a higher status in the sight of Allah and a better home in Paradise, but what does it mean to compete with yourself?

This means that whatever you are today, you should strive to compete against yourself and be better tomorrow:

You may be a good Muslim, but there is always room for improvement, so strive to be a better Muslim every single day.

You may be a good spouse, but there is always room for improvement, so strive to be a better spouse every single day.

You may be a good student, but there is always room for improvement, so strive to be a better student every single day.

You may be a good employee, but there is always room for improvement, so strive to be a better employee every single day.

You may be a good person, but there is always room for improvement, so strive to be a better person every single day.

This is all part of the Islamic concept of Ihsaan (striving for excellent). The true believer is not complacent about life, because there is always room for improvement and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “Definitely, Allah has ordered Ihsaan in every thing,” (Saheeh Muslim)

This Hadith means that in every single aspect of our lives, we must strive for excellence every single day.

So embrace this concept and live a life of Ihsaan. It will only bring you Khair in both worlds.

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Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Self Confidence, 0 comments