We all struggle with Managing TIME! Wether you want to accept it or not! I can literally count on my fingers the few people I have met that really inspired me with their skill of Time Management. I thought it would be nice to share the few things that have worked really well for me. (Alhumdulillah). Since we started to HS, I thought I really need to work hard towards setting clear and achievable goals. In order for us to achieve our goals we have to work on managing our time and get control of it, or at least try to get control of it. The other things that one really has to focus on is "prioritizing".
So, let me begin with some things that I tried to do that have helped me enormously!
- To me the ULTIMATE secret to time management is "Timing yourself". What I mean by this is, for the next couple of weeks make a dairy that you can keep with you at all times. In it you will have to jot down ALL your activities and the time it takes you to get those activities done. Activities could mean anything and everything, from taking a shower to grocery to giving the kids a bath and so on. I did this for about a month! so I would recommend a month but its up to you...whatever is convenient. The benefit of timing yourself for a month is that it gives you more accuracy about how long each task takes you.
- After this is done, then, sit done (AFTER the kids are asleep!) and analysis it... you will most probably notice a pattern of how long it takes you to do a particular activity/task.
- NOW--> prioritize! Make a list of your activities on a normal day. Then look through them VERY CAREFULLY and choose your prioritize. Once you have done that, try to focus on your priortize first thing when you wake up and get them done. (This could include things like...Ishraq/duha, Quran recitaion, kids HS work (if you HS), email, important phone call.)
- Once the priorities of the day are out of your way...you will have SOO much STRESS free time left.
- For the rest of the time you have, go through your list (the activity and time list), and see how long it takes you do a task on average. Once you have done that...try to stick to one time or allot yourself some time. Meaning...lets say it took you 10 mins to vacuum the floor one day the other day it took you 15 and next day it took you 12. Now, what you will need to do is give yourself a FIXED number of mins alloted to Vacuuming! Such would be the case for all other house chores and things you need to do.
- AFTER all this is done, these are somethings I did that have been really helpful for myself..."My time". We all need this time to avoid from going crazy!
- Taking out sometime for myself <3
- This has been so much fun/productive!
- everyday I have given myself 20-25 minutes for doing something I enjoy doing. I love painting, calligraphy and decorating (I take a looong time to finish my projects because I have an obsession to small details and perfection). Since the start of this year I have been doing this, I have done things I have wanted to do for the LONGEST time but never found time to do them. My first project was setting up the kids "Rawdah". Alhumdullilah I have gotten the room in a really good functional children's area, I am still working on the setup (due to lack of resouces it take me longer to do things). I have some other projects I have started as well. I have to add that...since, these things are not priority there were days that I did not touched my projects. You have all heard the saying "slow and steady wins the race"...By the izan (permission) of Allah I have really accomplished/done a lot of things I have been wanting to do. Someone recently asked me: "Does it not bother you if you have somthing in the middle of the livingroom whcih is half done!?!?" I thought for a sec and said: "No, because I have always been a person who does these things for herself(not in a selfish manner). (I went on explaining). If I decorate my house I don't do it so other people say 'o that looks nice' I do it because I enjoy doing it. Or, when I give a gift I like to wrap it well...ESPECAILLY for family...I do it because I love them (and to implement the hadeeth "Exchange gifts and you will love each other"). It makes me soo happy to see that look of there face"
- Talking about gifts (I am going to go of the topic at hand here) I have always loved giving gifts...I have always tried to choose good useful gifts and give them with Ihsan. This hadeeth (above) REALLY works...if you ever have a problem with a family member be the BIGGER person (by action not by age that is) and give a gift and apologize even if you are not at fault...and KNOW that you have indeed planted a tree for yourself in the middle of Jannah for breaking the fight (this is a jest of the hadeeth). Most of the time people are VERY nice in giving gifts to others but when it comes family...they ignore/disregard them in this matter...or if they do give gifts its like a burden for them. You will see that people will give expensive nicely wrapped gifts to others just to gain praise. We should try to do these acts for Allah pleasure and to strengthen our bonds with others.
- Give 20 minutes (including setup and clean) for organizing or reorganizing the house (I mean wardrobes, kitchen cabinets. bookshelves and so on.
- I started organizing one room at a time and alhumdulillah I have covered a lot of things that I was not able to TAKE time out for.
- My goal is not exceed the time limit. I leave the thing in the middle if my time is done and clean up and come back to it tomorrow.
- Reading - Initially this was not something I was intentionally doing for myself...but while doing it I realized how much I am benefiting from it...and how this was the best thing I could have done for myself..
- I fixed 15 minutes everyday to read... this reading was under my gaining knowledge goals of the year. This reading was aside from all the other stuff I read (articles, HS or parenting books). This was the reading about the Life of our Beloved prophet (saw)...reading the seerah after a really long time has been an experience that I just can not put into words...I feel like I am changing in my actions, thinking and living without really making the effort to change! (Alhumdulillah). Reading about the calmaites and hardships the prophet (saw) went through, helped me overlook the petty things of this temporary life the would otherwise affect me!
- Since the beginning of this year I started reading "The Noble life of the Prophet (pbuh)" everyday while I am putting H to sleep for her nap.
I will inshaAllah soon post about how a normal day in our house is.
Before I end I would like to make my intentions clear... I JUST wanted to share somethings that I have found beneficial and productive for myself and my family since we have made this decsion for HSing. These are some ways of Time management that have worked for us to ran a smooth day. Everything here might not suit your way of life... Remember that this tip about timing yourself and allotting yourself a time frame to do a task is what most professional management trainers teach and emphasize!!
Whatever good you get from this post is from Allah and whatever bad you get from this is from shaitan.
Allah knows best! <3