6 Daily Habits That Keep Me Productive

6 Daily Habits That Keep Me Productive

Daily Habits that keep me productive

People often ask me how I am able to get so much done every single day. While I have documented my detailed system in my book “Getting The Barakah: An Islamic Guide To Time Management“, I thought it would be nice to summarize for you some of the daily habits that help me stay productive.

Habits are the key to success. Every decent Self Help book emphasizes that good habits lead to good long term results, while bad habits lead to bad long term results. I spent the past half a decade building good habits that take me closer to my goals daily, here are six of the most important ones:

1. I make a To-Do list the night before

Writing out a daily To-Do list is essential for having a productive day. It gives you an idea of exactly what you need to get done during the day and you feel a sense of accomplishment as you scratch each item off your To-Do list.

To take it one step further, I prepare my To-Do list the night before. As I round off my work for the day and scratch off the last item on my To-Do list, I take another five minutes to make my To-Do list for the next day. The benefit of this is that your subconscious mind works on the To-Do list all night, and you wake up knowing exactly what needs to get done that day. From all of my daily habits, this one is most crucial.

2. I stick to a routine

Daily Habits are all about creating routines, and no doubt about it, if I want to work full-time, home-school my kids, blog, write books, do Dawah locally, present Radio Programs, work on my own personal development, and spend time with family then a routine is necessary.

I set certain times of the day for working on specific tasks and get into the habit of working on those tasks during that time, eg: 9am-12pm for homeschooling, 3pm-5pm for writing. Doing so helps me develop a routine which helps get me into a flow that will help me accomplish both my long-term and short-term goals.

3. I schedule my day around Salah and Quran

Reciting a portion of the Qur’an daily with reflection, and praying the five daily prayers on time take precedence over anything else. It doesn’t matter how busy you are, there is always time to pray Salah and recite Qur’an if you make them a priority. The problem is that many of us try to fit Salah into our day, instead plan your day around the Salah times and you will find yourself never missing a Salah and gaining Allah’s assistance throughout the day.

This is why besides praying the five daily Salah, I schedule time every day after Dhuhr to recite Qur’an for fifteen minutes with contemplation, as the needs of the soul are greater than the needs of the body.

4. I start the day with dua

Of course, every Muslim must start their day with Fajr, unless you wake up earlier and start your day with Qiyam Al-Layl. Either way, you are starting your day at a time when dua is accepted, so take advantage of it.

This is why I begin each day with a dua to Allah asking Him to help me accomplish every task on my To-Do list and more. Because with the help of Allah, anything is possible!

5. I focus on one thing at a time

This is critical for getting things done. If we try too hard to multi-task, we end up not doing justice to whatever tasks we are working on. Focus on one thing at a time, and give it your full attention. Doing so will ensure better quality work, completed in a shorter amount of time, and you will still find time to complete the other tasks.

Right now, I am strongly resisting the urge to listen to a podcast while typing this article, because I know I will not give either proper attention if I multi-task right now.

6. I pace myself

Contrary to popular opinion, I do not sit all day and night working. I take regular breaks throughout the day to relax and recharge. I also spend the evenings having fun, and once a week I take an entire day off and don’t do any work at all. The reason is that I believe we function better and get work done faster in this way.

If someone works non-stop for four hours in a row, that person will experience fatigue and the quality of his work will lessen with each passing hour. However, if he works in bursts of 50 minutes, taking a 10 minute break every hour, he will get better quality work done in faster time.

So there you have it, these are six things I do every day to stay productive. If you enjoyed this, read the followup regarding 5 other things I do daily to stay productive!

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Goal Setting, Time Management
5 Ways To Overcome Failure

5 Ways To Overcome Failure

Ways to overcome failure:

There are many ways to overcome failure. Failing to meet a goal is a natural part of progress. As the old proverb states: “If you aren’t failing, you aren’t trying anything new”. When it comes to our goals, we often are held back by one of two extremes:

1. We are afraid to fail, so we don’t even try
2. We are so sure we won’t fail, that we get disillusioned and give up as soon as we face our first taste of failure

Being afraid to fail is something I tackled in details in my book Best Of Creation: An Islamic Guide To Self-Confidence. In this post, I want to tackle the second issue, dealing with failure itself when it hits us. So here are my five steps for overcoming failure:

1. Expect it to happen

It is naive to think that we can accomplish all of our goals in life without facing any tests and setbacks along the way. Tests and setbacks are a natural part of life, so we should expect them, plan for them, and deal with them wisely. Whether it comes to our spiritual goals or worldly goals, we will be tested, and it is these moments of test that show who we really are inside.

One of the ways to overcome failure is to expect things to go wrong. If they do, deal with them as planned. If they don’t, be grateful to Allah and take it as gift from Allah. This makes it a Win/Win situation for you.

2. Accept Your Qadar

Qadar (Destiny) is a very misunderstood concept, regarding which people swing between a fatalistic viewpoint and its opposite. Islam teaches us the middle way, but this is not the place for a detailed discussion on Qadar.

Related to our topic, if you made your plans, made your best effort and stilled failed to attain your goal, then do not despair or feel angry. There are things which are beyond our control and we must accept that what Allah decrees for us is best for us.

If your goal is noble, keep pursuing it knowing that when the time is right, Allah will open the door to help you achieve it. Accepting Qadar and knowing that Allah knows what is best for us gives us a sense of peace and contentment when we do not get what we want in this world.

3. Have a Plan B, C, D, E….

One of the ways to overcome failure is to have backup plans. The chances of accomplishing your goal at the very first instance is highly unlikely. So as brilliant as your current plan may be, you need to plan for when things don’t go your way. Think about anything that could possibly go wrong and how you can deal with it. Make a backup plan, and a backup plan for that backup plan, so that no matter what goes wrong, you continue towards your goal through alternative routes.

When the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his companions set off from Madinah to perform Umrah in Makkah, they were prevented from entering Makkah. This led to Plan B, signing a peace treaty with the leaders of Makkah, allowing them to perform the Umrah the next year. It meant fulfilling their goal of making Umrah one year later, but they accomplished their goal nonetheless, and so much more too. They did not turn back and give up, they found another way to accomplish the goal later.

4. The Sabr Factor – Keep moving forward

Reflect on the Battle of Uhud. The Prophet (peace be upon him) and his companions faced a huge setback at Uhud and lost many good men. They did not despair or give up, the next day they were back on the march despite being injured. They pushed on towards their goal even when things weren’t going their way, and that is one of the factors that opened the doors of victory for them.

This is the Sabr factor. Sabr is not a passive act of sitting back and doing nothing, expecting help to arrive in a miraculous fashion. Sabr is the active attribute of persevering, patiently planning, resisting the temptation to give up and moving forward in spite of the odds. If we want to accomplish anything, we need Sabr as there is no shortcut to true success in this world or the next. Every goal worth accomplishing requires bucketloads of Sabr, so make sure you stock up!

5. Be Flexible

While pursuing your goals, keep an eye out for better goals, nobler pursuits, greater callings or alternative routes to attain your goals. It may be that the goal you set for yourself at age 20 is not something you want to stick to for life. If while chasing that goal, you are introduced to something even better for you, then consider shifting focus. It may be that the earlier goal was temporary to lead you towards this better goal.

In the early years of Islam, many companions moved to Abyssinia, and settled there. Many years later, many of them migrated to Madinah as it had become a better environment to practice and serve Islam in. Likewise, it may be your goal to move to a certain land or practice a certain profession now, yet later in life better opportunities may open up for you. Consider shifting focus as life is constantly changing, so do not stay too focused on the past, look for what is best for your family and yourself in the Afterlife primarily, and in this world as well.

These are five ways to overcome failure that keep me moving forward whenever I fail to meet a goal. I hope in inspires you to do the same. 🙂

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Self Confidence, Stress Management, Time Management

Time Management: The Sunnah Way

This is a Time Management Video presented by Shaykh Ismail Kamdar. It is based on his best-selling e-book Getting The Barakah 2nd Edition.

This time management video and its contents are based on our exclusive e-book Getting The Barakah. The ebook is available at this link below.

Time Management Video

Are you ready to overcome procrastination and get things done?

Introducing Abu Muawiyah’s #1 Best-Selling E-Book, Getting The Barakah!

With this e-book, you will:

  • Learn a 6 step process for effective time management
  • Learn how to gain Barakah in your time
  • Discover dozens of effective and tested Time Management Tips
  • Understand the importence of time management in Islam
  • Discover practical examples of time management in action
  • Over 150 pages of time management tips

Don’t procrastinate! Begin your journey towards effective time management Now!

What our readers are saying:

“Getting the Barakah is a personal narrative, which puts our deen at its forefront. Abu Muawiyah’s writing style is laconic and crisp, his tone is objective and emotional and his approach is simple and pragmatic enabling him to connect with his readers.” – Umm Bilal, Sisters’ Magazine

“Br. Kamdar’s book is full of specific ideas on how to control your time and accomplish your goals…I also love how his book reminds us to take care of ourselves and to even reward ourselves for our small victories! He also urges you to “invest in yourself” by learning new skill” – Sheima, Islamic Online University

“There aren’t many books in English aimed at helping Muslims with time management. Getting The Barakah changes that… this book is highly recommended for any Muslim who is looking for a way to improve his/her time management skill and to live a more fulfilling life.” – Shamsiyyah, The Ideal Muslimah

Purchase your copy of Getting The Barakah today and also receive 4 Time Management templates.

Don’t procrastinate! Begin your journey towards effective time management Now!

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Books, Time Management, Webinars
Ramadan Verse of the Day Series

Ramadan Verse of the Day Series

Ramadan Tafseer series:

This Ramadan I am writing a Ramadan Tafseer of one verse every day and posting it on my other website at this link. You can check that link daily for the latest Tafseer. The Tafseer will focus on spirituality and verses that discuss how we can get closer to Allah. Alternatively, you can subscribe to my mailing list and you will receive my Tafseer daily via email. Follow my Ramadan Tafseer series above to benefit this Ramadan.

I have also published an ebook containing my Ramadan Tafseer from 2014 which focused on the Themes of the Quran. This Tafseer can be purchased by clicking here.

Ramadan Mubarak to all my readers!

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Books, Inner Peace
Be Yourself as long as being yourself is Halal

Be Yourself as long as being yourself is Halal

Be Yourself!

This is my personal motto: Be Yourself as long as being yourself is halal! I spent my teenage years in a Darul Uloom whose culture was such that everybody was bullied into dressing alike, speaking alike and pretending that we are all the same, stripped of any individuality. This environment made me grow rebellious and I would upset the status quo with small attempts at being different.

As I studied Islam more deeply, I was amazed at how Islam has room for so many different personality types. The companions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) were diverse in their personalities. They included scholars, warriors, leaders, businessmen, farmers, strict people, funny people, thinkers and followers.

This led to me formulating my motto: Be yourself as long as being yourself is halal. Allah does not ask us to be robots: looking alike, dressing alike and behaving like we don’t have any unique attributes. At the same time, we all have evil within us that needs to be suppressed, and that part of us should be controlled.

Be yourself. Do not worry about what people say, just be yourself whether that means being strict or humorous. Don’t pretend to be strict because others are, and don’t pretend to be funny because other people want you to.

Let your natural personality flow and you will feel confident and happy. If you need to change anything, change it for the sake of Allah to grow closer to Him. Base your life changes on pleasing Allah, not on pleasing people.

Be your genuine and best self and not only will you grow in confidence but people will appreciate your honesty and courage and will eventually follow in your footsteps.

Best Of Creation: An Islamic Guide to Self-Confidence, pp. 166-167

Click on link for download and purchase details

Be yourself

Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Books, Self Confidence