Time Management

7 Time Management Mistakes You Might Be Making

Time Management Mistakes

Time Management Mistakes

7 Time Management Mistakes You Might Be Making

Time Management, like any other skill, requires proper implementation. Too often, we learn a time management tool and implement it incorrectly. We then think that the system is faulty. It isn’t. We just implemented it incorrectly. Here are 7 time management mistakes you may be making:

1. Making your To-Do List in the morning

The To-Do List is the ultimate symbol of Time Management. Every time management book stresses the importance of To-Do Lists. Yet many people struggle with them.

One major cause of such a struggle is trying to make a To-Do List every morning. Mornings are usually busy and rushed, and barely anybody has time to make a To-Do list when rushing off to work. Furthermore, the brain is still tired and cannot recall every task for the day.

What you should be doing instead: Make your To-Do List every evening as you wrap up your work for the day. Get into the habit of making your To-Do list the day before, so that you start the day knowing exactly what needs to get done that day. And so that there is no rush or confusion.

2. Answering emails first thing in the morning

NOTE: If answering emails is YOUR JOB, then this doesn’t apply to you. Please focus on your job.

The latest research indicates that most productive people answer their emails later in the day. This serves multiple benefits. For one, it allows you to get some creative work done before getting bogged down by email.

Another benefit is that your early morning mood isn’t spoiled by a nasty email. Finally, you are not distracted from your core work by unnecessary emails.

What you should be doing instead: Answer your emails in batches at set times, preferably at 10am and 2pm daily.

3. Setting Tasks for the wrong time of the day

Continuing on the same theme, we must choose the best time of the day for each task we do. Generally, our daily tasks include some high concentration work and some low concentration work. Many of us start our days with low concentration work and don’t have the energy (or time) for high concentration work later.

What you should be doing instead: Figure out your optimal times. Do your high concentration tasks only during peak times of the day. Leave low concentration tasks for times of the day when you feel weak or lazy.

4. Overlooking Family Time

Time Management is not about work, work, work!

It is about attaining life balance. This means you need to schedule in family time. Make time for your spouse, your kids, your parents and anybody else that matters.

It is easy to get carried away with new time management tools and to use them to work all day long. However, this is not wise. Make time for family, or you may risk losing them.

What you should be doing instead: Scheduling in family time as needed to maintain balance and keep your relationships strong.

5. Overlooking ‘Me Time’

On the same theme as above, you need to maintain work/life balance. This means making time to take care of yourself. You need time to rest, sleep, enjoy Halal fun, and recharge daily.

Failure to do so that lead to health complications. Overworking also generally leads to burn out and abandoning your goals all together.

What you should be doing instead: Schedule in ‘me time’ especially when you feel your productivity levels slipping. Take care of yourself to maintain momentum throughout the year.

6. Piling on too much at once

We get it. You are excited to have learned some new time management principles and want to accomplish all your life long dreams at once.

But you are not a superhero. You must recognize your human limitations and be realistic about your daily To-Do List. Don’t pile on too much every day, be realistic and focus on what is possible.

What you should be doing instead: Schedule in enough tasks to get done per day, with some breathing room for things that may go wrong.

7. Not having a long term goal

Even if you have learned all the famous time management tools and tips, you may not be able to maintain momentum without a long term vision. Short term goals are good and part of living a productive life. However, long term change requires a long term reason.

If you do not have any long term goals, you may lose momentum and stop applying your time management tactics after a few months.

What you should be doing instead: Decide on where you would like to be in 10 years. Set goals that align with that vision. Your daily tasks should be such that they take you one inch closer to that vision every day.

So there you have it. These are 7 common time management mistakes. Avoid them to achieve maximum productivity!

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Why can’t I manage my time? Here are 4 possible reasons

Why can't I manage my time

Why can’t I manage my time?

Why can’t I manage my time?

Time Management seems so easy for some people, yet so hard for others. I often get frustrated emails from readers asking me “Why can’t I manage my time?”. For these readers, I usually take them through my private coaching program, or suggest they enroll in our Time Management course.

Time Management Course

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However, I have noticed that they tend to have similar reasons. There are four primary reasons why many people are unable to manage their time. Once you identify your reason, it is easier to overcome it and master the art of time management.

1. Lack of motivation/Long Term Goals

This is the common trend I have found among people who are unable to manage time. Changing one’s lifestyle to be more productive requires great effort. Nobody can make great effort at anything without real motivation. Therefore, having motivation is essential for learning time management.

I am not talking about short term goals like completing this semester of study, or complete reading this book. I am referring here to long term motivation like “I want to establish a means through wish I can help the orphans in my country,” and “I want to build an Islamic center that focuses on helping young Muslims.”

It is a strong noble long term goal that will propel you to manage your time better.

2. Bad Habits

The second obstacle to managing time are bad habits. In my book, Getting The Barakah, an entire chapter is dedicated to this topic. As overcoming bad habits is crucial for learning effective time management. Here is an extract from the book:

The Habit Trap

As time management is primarily about forming new habits, the toughest thing in the beginning is maintaining the new habits until they become a part of who you are.
Bad habits are hard to quit, but not impossible. The key is to have a clear reason to quit and a good habit to replace it with. In terms of time management, this would mean replacing the habit of procrastination with the habits of planning, chunking and working in advance.

However, without determination and commitment, it is difficult to maintain momentum so it is important to be awareness of this and take measures to avoid falling back into bad habits.
Here are some methods you can use to stop yourself from falling back into bad habits:

(Click Here to Purchase the eBook to read the full chapter)

3. Not realizing the priorities in your life

Another common cause about which an entire chapter has been written in my eBook. Too many of us don’t understand what our daily priorities should be. Here are few examples:

  1. Are the five daily Salah a priority in your life?
  2. Is reciting Quran on a daily basis a priority to you?
  3. Have you made time for your children a priority?
  4. Is personal development a priority to you? 

You know something is priority if you are willing to spend both time and money on it. There is simple proverb in Time Management: “If you make time for the big things, you will find time for the small things.”

4. You just haven’t studied Time Management yet

If this is the case, then you simply need to study one of our time management resources. At Islamic Self Help, we offer two methods to learn time management:

  1. Join our online course for $44
  2. Purchase our eBook for $9.99

But we are making you a special offer today on our eBook.

If you use this link to purchase our eBook Bundle for $13.99, you will get our Time Management eBook and our Goal Setting Workbook, along with two FREE eBooks worth $10! 

Click here to get this special offer now!

Time Management eBook

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Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Time Management, 0 comments

The Two Minute Rule: A Time Management Tip

The Two Minute Rule Two Minute Rule

A popular and effective Time Management Tip is called the Two Minute Rule. This basically means that if you have any task which will take less than two minutes to complete, then do it immediately and get it out of the way.

However, one should be careful not to apply this rule during times when you are supposed to be concentrating on other projects as it will distract you from that work and dull your concentration.

Ideally, the two minute principle should be used in batches like when replying to emails or returning phone calls. Alternatively, when you have extra time on your hand between major tasks then get some of these done.

The benefit of this principle is that it gets the short tasks out of the way, so they are off your mind and done with. This frees up your mind to concentrate better on the bigger tasks. Often, we feel like we have too much to do, but what we actually have is a large list of two minute tasks. Getting them over and done with can boost your moral and help you be more productive.

Examples of when to utilize the two minute rule

  1. When you need to make an appointment via phonecall or email
  2. If you need to pay a bill online
  3. When you need to reply to a short message/email
  4. Whenever you need to file away a document
  5. When you need to move a file from one folder to another
  6. When you need to rename a file on your PC
  7. If you need to delete something
  8. Whenever you need to throw something in the trash
  9. If you need to drink some water
  10. When you need to listen to a voice message
  11. If you need to reply to a missed call (and you know it will take less than two minutes)
  12. Whenever you need to update some software
  13. When you need to complete an order
  14.  If you need to grab a cup of coffee
  15. Right now, because you need to get our Time Management eBook 🙂

The Bottom Line

Sometimes your To-Do list may look overwhelming, but what you really have is a list of two minute tasks. Treating them as such will help you get through 30 items in one hour. Leaving the rest of your day free for more time-consuming and high concentration work.

Make the two minute rule a part of your life and see the dramatic improvements that come along with it.

Interested in learning more about Time Management? Get yourself a copy of our eBook or enroll in our online course today!

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Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Time Management, 1 comment

5 Steps for maintaining spiritual momentum post-Ramadan

The Ramadan Zeal

Ramadan is no doubt a special time of the year. With the devils locked up and the gates of Paradise wide open, people are motivated to go the extra mile in doing good deeds and being our best selves. This high spiritual momentum is temporary and for many people, it is gone the day Ramadan ends.

Now, to expect to maintain the same level of spirituality outside of Ramadan is not realistic. Ramadan is a special environment and outside of it, we can’t be the same. However, this does not mean we should not try.

The key to maintaining spiritual momentum post-Ramadan is to set realistic ideas of what you can do and to focus on those few things. Here are a few steps to help you figure out what to focus on.

5 Steps for maintaining spiritual momentum post-Ramadan

To keep this as simple and as practical as possible, I will focus only on five steps. These are the five simplest steps to keep our Imaan strong after Ramadan, and also the most important.

1. Continue reciting Quran

The first step to maintaining momentum is to continue growing in your relationship with the Quran. If you were readispiritual momentumng a Juz a day in Ramadan, continue reading at least 2 pages a day.

If you were listening to a one hour Tafseer a day during Ramadan, continue listening to 15 minute Tafseers after Ramadan.

Whatever you were doing, keep it going even if it is less. The key is to stay connected to the Quran. It doesn’t matter how little you are doing, what matters is that you are doing something on a daily basis, so you grow in your closeness to and understanding of the Quran with each day.

“The best of you are those who learn the Quran and teach it.” (Sahih Bukhari 4739)

2. Fast the six days of Shawwal

This is a tough one for many of us, but the rewards are great. Fasting is Ramadan is easier as everybody is doing it. Fasting so soon after Ramadan requires great will power and determination.

The reward of fasting the month of Ramadan plus the six days of Shawwal is equal to fasting an entire year. That alone is motivation. Add in the spiritual benefits of fasting and this will definitely help you stay on track after Ramadan.

“Whoever fasts the month of Ramadan and then follows it with six days of fasting in the month of Shawwal, it will be as if he had fasted the year through.” (Sahih Muslim 1163)

3. Be realistic is your self-expectations

Sometimes we expect too much from ourselves. We expect to be sinless and perfect from this Ramadan onward until the day we die. And when it doesn’t happen, we lose hope and fall back into our own lifestyles. The way to Paradise is not through being perfect. It is through sustained daily growth.

Be realistic and set high goals for yourself. But don’t be too hard on yourself when you don’t always attain those goals. You are human. You will err, you will make mistakes, and you will grow from each experience. Focus on being on your best, not on being perfect. At the end, if you sincerely try your best, Allah will forgive the rest.

Aisha reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Be deliberate in worship, draw near to Allah, and give glad tidings. Verily, none of you will enter Paradise because of his deeds alone.” They said, “Not even you, O Messenger of Allah?” The Prophet said, “Not even me, unless Allah grants me mercy from himself. Know that the most beloved deed to Allah is that which is done regularly even if it is small.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari 6099, Sahih Muslim 2818)

4. Repent Often

We all make mistakes. We all fall into sins. We all have our faults. The difference between a righteous person and an open-sinner is not the lack of sin. It is the concealment of sins and consistent repentance. After Ramadan, you may fall back into some sin or another that you had before Ramadan.

When this happens, do not lose hope. When this happens, do not give up. When this happens, do not let Shaytaan win. Get back up and try again. Repent, and never lose hope. Because you worship Al-Ghafoor (The Most Forgiving), Ar-Raheem (the Most Merciful).

“I swear by Him in whose hand is my soul, if you were a people who did not commit sin, Allah would take you away and replace you with a people who would sin and then seek Allah’s forgiveness so He could forgive them.” (Sahih Muslim 2687)

5. Prioritize the five daily Salah

I left this for last as it is the single most important piece of advice in this article. No matter what happens. No matter how spiritually low you feel. No matter how much you want to give up. Never, ever, abandon your five daily Salah!

These Salah are your connection to Allah. Your means of forgiveness. Your ticket to Paradise. Your daily conversation with your Creator. Your hope during tough days. Your peace during sad days. Your reminder during good days. And your evidence that you believe in Allah. If nothing else, at the very least remain firm in praying five time a day once Ramadan has passed.

“The first matter that the slave will be brought to account for on the Day of Judgment is the prayer. If it is sound, then the rest of his deeds will be sound. And if it is bad, then the rest of his deeds will be bad.”(Al-Tabarani)

These five tips will hopefully help you maintain your momentum throughout the year. May Allah forgive our faults and accept our deeds.

Don’t waste time. Learn time management the Islamic way with our bestselling eBook:

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Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Productivity, 5 comments

Time is Rizq – A Different Perspective

Time is Rizq (An Extract from Getting The Barakah)

In order to truly appreciate the importance of time management, we must understand and acknowledge that time is a part of our Rizq. It is a resource that Allah has provide to us, just like our health and wealth. There are two special qualities about time that separate it from the other types of Rizq we receive:

  1. Every human is provided with the exact same amount of time in a day.
  2. Time is the only resource that is not renewable. Once it is used, it is gone forever.
Time is Rizq

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Each of the above points has a direct repercussion on the way we think about time. The following three points should make us realize how precious a resource our time really is:

  1. As every human has the exact same amount of time per day as another, there is nothing we can do to increase our time, but we can have an edge over others is how we manage our time.
  2. As time is not renewable, it would be foolish to waste it or kill it. Why waste a precious resource that you are never going to get back?
  3. As we don’t know how much time we really have on this earth, can we really afford to waste time now and wait until later in life to do things that are important to us?

The Hadiths[1] related to time become very clear when we analyse them from this perspective. Reflect on the following Hadiths in light of the above:

Hadith 1:

عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ لِرَجُلٍ وَهُوَ يَعِظُهُ اغْتَنِمْ خَمْسًا قَبْلَ خَمْسٍ شَبَابَكَ قَبْلَ هَرَمِكَ وَصِحَّتَكَ قَبْلَ سَقَمِكَ وَغِنَاكَ قَبْلَ فَقْرِكَ وَفَرَاغَكَ قَبْلَ شُغُلِكَ وَحَيَاتَكَ قَبْلَ مَوْتِكَ

“Take benefit of five before five: Your youth before your old age, your health before your sickness, your wealth before your poverty, your free time before you are preoccupied, and your life before your death” (Narrated by Ibn Abbas and reported by Al Hakim)

Author’s Reflection:

  1. Everything mentioned in this Hadith is a type of Rizq: youth, health, wealth, free time and our life as a whole
  2. Therefore we must be very careful in how we utilize each of the above
  3. Notice that the Hadith mentions free time and not time as a whole. Due to the necessities of life, there are times in the day that we have to do certain things (Work, Salah) and we can’t use that time for anything else, so it’s really how we utilize our free time that matters.

Hadith 2

عَنْ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمَا قَالَ قَالَ النَّبِيُّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ نِعْمَتَانِ مَغْبُونٌ فِيهِمَا كَثِيرٌ مِنْ النَّاسِ الصِّحَّةُ وَالْفَرَاغُ

“There are two blessings which many people lose: (They are) health and free time for doing good.” (Bukhari 8/421)

Author’s Reflection:

  1. This Hadith focuses on two resources: health and free time.
  2. Both of these are necessary resources for doing good deeds. It is difficult to do good deeds without good health or enough time to do it properly.
  3. These are two things that most people take for granted. For some reason, we don’t appreciate these blessings from Allah until they are taken away from us.
  4. The best way to show appreciation to Allah for a blessing is to use it as a tool for good. Therefore, our free time must be utilized and we cannot allow it to be wasted.

Hadith 3

قَالَ اللَّهُ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ يُؤْذِينِي ابْنُ آدَمَ يَسُبُّ الدَّهْرَ وَأَنَا الدَّهْرُ بِيَدِي الْأَمْرُ أُقَلِّبُ اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ

“Allah said, ‘The son of Adam wrongs me for he curses Ad-Dahr (Time); though I am Ad-Dahr (Time). In My Hands are all things, and I cause the revolution of day and night” (Al-Bukhari)

Author’s Reflection:

  1. In this Hadith Al-Qudsi[2], Allah says that He is Time. The scholars clarify this to mean that time is controlled and provided to us by Allah. It is a blessing from Allah and so cursing it is like cursing Allah.
  2. When we feel that time is slipping away and that we don’t have enough time to accomplish what we want in life, don’t curse time because you were given the same amount of time in a day as everybody else. Rather, take that moment to analyse how you spent your time and what you can do differently.

The above Hadiths all indicate the same thing, that the true believer understands the importance of time and refuses to waste it. It is a precious asset that is deteriorating every second, and so an hour wasted is an hour that we can never get back.

[1] Hadith: A narration containing information about what the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said or did

[2] Hadith Al-Qudsi: A Hadith narration quoting Allah directly. It is considered a separate category from a Hadith quoting the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)

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Posted by Ismail Kamdar in Time Management, 1 comment