I am terrible at time management. I feel things are just flowing around me. I work, but I also work on building up my own business in addition to the family, house chores, my exercise routine, cooking…and so Ramadan makes me scared each year: how am I going to do all the things?
I feel Ramadan is kind of an additional burden on me, unfortunately.
How can I attain peace and that increased faith and spirituality in such chaos? I usually end Ramadan exhausted. I usually just go with the flow, feeling guilty about the things I wanted to do but I did not get the chance to do it. Please help!
In this counseling answer:
•Having a written schedule can be especially useful when you have many things to do.
•Having a simple routine to begin with can be a useful place to start.
•Structure your day around prayer.
•Break things down into manageable chunks.
•Set smaller, realistic goals that move you towards building your business.
•Eliminate the things that are not useful.
•Also, if there are any tasks that require minimal time, say less than 5 minutes, get those out of the way first too so that all the small things don’t pile up.
Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,
Let me first reassure you that you are not alone in this battle. Most people feel this way, brothers and sisters alike, especially with Ramadan fast approaching!
Improving time management skills, especially at this time, can be very beneficial in many ways, especially in significantly reducing the stress associated with having so much to do and so little time. It is a feeling that you don’t want to experience during Ramadan of all times.
Since Ramadan has not commenced yet, now is the best time to start making plans ahead of time. This plan can include the things that you would normally do, as well as the extra things that you hope to achieve during Ramadan, such as reading the Qur’an.
Having a written schedule can be especially useful when you have many things to do. With so much to do, it’s easy to forget something and then get stressed because you can’t catch up. Literally, write down all you need to get done each day and tick them off as you achieve them. This will help you to monitor what you have done and what you need to get done. As you see the things being crossed off, you will get the sense of achievement that will keep you motivated to keep moving forward.
When the tasks are pretty similar each day, having a routine can also be useful. That is, for example, doing chores at a set time each day, exercising a certain time each day, etc. it may require tweaking along the way, or adjusting to accommodate other things at times, but having a simple routine, to begin with, can be a useful place to start.
Structure your day around prayer. Not only does this help to maintain a routine, but it ensures that at the very least you attend to your spiritual needs and obligations.
Break things down into manageable chunks. For example, if you plan to read the whole Qur’an during Ramadan, read 4 pages after each prayer and you will accomplish this goal. 4 pages each time seems a lot less burdensome and manageable than when you think of the entire amount of pages you need to read.
Alternatively, if you are not necessarily planning on finishing the Qur’an, but want to connect with it, just reading a page after each prayer instead can contribute to this goal.
Check out this counseling video
You can use similar techniques to reach your business goals too. Set smaller, realistic goals that move you towards building your business. Note that these goals should be realistically manageable. As eager as you may be to get things moving, trying to push things too quickly and do too much too soon could lead to your own burnout and the detriment of your own health and your business too.
Plan ahead. Many sisters feel overwhelmed with cooking in Ramadan and a common solution suggested for this is to batch cook. When making something, cook more than normal. Eat some and freeze some. This way, in a few days’ time when you are to eat the same dish again, you will not need to take all the time again to cook as it is already prepared.
Planning ahead with a schedule is also a useful way to help you to be sure that you are balancing everything in your life; home life, business, spirituality,..etc. and affording each their due right and time.
Eliminate the things that are not useful. You’d be surprised at the amount of time we all spend doing things that are not useful, especially in this day and age of social media and the internet. Cut these things out, or at least reduce them to a minimum and this will buy you extra time.
Similarly, priorities are the most important things. Skipping these things or leaving them until the last minute will only contribute to your level of stress. Also, if there is any task that requires minimal time, say less than 5 minutes, get those out of the way first too so that all the small things don’t pile up. It will also add to the sense of accomplishment as you cross these tasks off you to do list.
Combine tasks. If you need to commute somewhere, put an Islamic lecture on, or listen to the Qur’an Sn that you can experience a sense of spiritual enlightenment during a time that would otherwise just be pretty redundant aside from getting you to your destination.
May Allah guide you during this time in such a way that not only will you achieve success in your family and business life, but that you will experience spiritual growth during this blessed month. May He reward your desire to reach this state and support you in doing so.
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.