Sometimes I miss prayers because I oversleep due to tiredness. It’s very difficult for me to pray, read the Quran, do zikr and study for my exams at the same time since there’s a lot of syllabus I need to cover up on. I get tired doing all this in one day.
I have to study because my father wants me to be good at my studies and become a doctor. I want to make him proud and happy since he works hard to get all his 4 children (including me) a good education. He has been betrayed by his family a lot. I don’t want to disappoint him.
So, my question is: how can I manage my studies and my prayers along with reading Quran while not getting too tired either? When I miss a prayer due to over-sleeping, I feel guilty. Please help. I want to become a doctor and want to study hard.
In this counseling answer:
• Do not feel guilty as long as you do your best to ensure that you live a life that pleases Allah.
• Napping for 20 min will help you remove your fatigue and will increase focus and productivity.
• Schedule blocks of hours for a certain task.
• Be clear and comprehensive about what exactly you wish to get done.
• Exercise to feel energized.
• Find yourself a passion and a hobby.
As-Salamu ‘Alaikum dear sister,
Thank you for placing your trust in our ability to propose a sound solution.
Dear sister, by no means, you are the only person who feels such a way. Everyone, including me, goes through fatigue after a hard day at the university, work, etc. Although apparently many people have perfected their prayers and school/university work, don’t believe it.
Everyone struggles to balance, and this struggle brings you the reward. Therefore, do not feel guilty as long as you do your best to ensure that you live a life that pleases Allah, and you work hard to make your parents proud.
However, dear sister, you must take a few unwinding and de-stressing steps in order to ensure optimum productivity. Everyone feels tired after working hard, but you must find ways to reduce fatigue, and not constantly worry about what needs to be done.
We invest a huge amount of focus and effort at school. We use up most of our mental energy and stamina by the time we come home. Therefore, you might want to take 20 min – 30min. power naps.
However, if you go beyond this duration, it will be hard to be awake and alert after as the mind will enter a deeper sleep past the 30 min – 35 min mark.
Napping for 20 min will help you remove your fatigue and will increase focus and productivity. A work that may take one hour without napping, you might finish within 25-35 min. once you nap as your mind and brain is recharged.
Dear sister, it seems you worry too much about your school. You shouldn’t. Over-stressing yourself will render you more tired relative to actually getting the work and the prayers done. Therefore, I suggest that you start avoiding stress by using a simple block scheduling method.
Check out this counseling video:
A block list is the easiest and perhaps the most efficient and stress-free way to organize your time. If you decide to organize tasks hour by hour, you will feel pressure and stress at each hour! Instead, schedule blocks of hours for a certain task.
For example, if you get home at 4 pm, you schedule 4pm-6pm for prayer, snacks, relaxation. During this time, you forget school exists.
I understand this is easy said than done. However, your mind needs to unwind. Overburdening will not yield in productivity and you will feel tired and unproductive as a result. Therefore, schedule 2 hours once you get home to eat, pray, snack, and even a 20 min-30 min. nap. Afterward, you can schedule 4-6 hours of straight study time, during which you should avoid all sorts of distraction. This will take you all the way to 11 pm if you start studying at 6 pm.
However, after having spent two hours completely free of academic stress, you will find it easy to attain the focus and the mindset. This ensures the work gets complete and the syllabus is covered.
Create a Comprehensive List of Work to Be Done for Academic Work
Personally, I don’t feel that simply making a “to-do” list is effective. For instance, don’t simply write:
-work on math problems
-biology practice questions
Instead, be clear and comprehensive about what you exactly you wish to get done. For example, write down:
-Math unit 2 problems 3-16,
-English Essay Rough Draft, 2 pages + edit
-Biology Unit 3, pages 30-45.
When you are clear and detailed about the work you need to get done, your brain will easily transition and feel less crowded. Your thoughts are now on paper, and you have a clear idea of what exactly should be done for the day.
Make sure to make a doable, realistic list!
Exercise to Feel Energized
Although this may sound unreal, exercising can relax you. The workout routine needs to get your heart pumping and make you feel energized. Start with simple stretching routines and fun exercising activities such as skipping rope, jumping jacks, etc. Simply 20 min – 25 min 4-5 days a week.
Many people often overlook the importance of exercising. They simply consider it to be a waste of time or energy. However, when you study the science behind it, you will see that exercising does quite the opposite. Exercising increases brain cell development, improves mood, relieves stress and increases concentration and focus.
Pursue a Hobby
I understand that education is very important, but as students, we also need to invest time in doing activities outside of school, such as reading, watching TV, sketching, etc., to let our creativity flow and find inspiration.
Therefore, I highly suggest that you find yourself a passion and a hobby. I understand that you are very much passionate about medicine. However, even doctors have passions and hobbies they enjoy on at least a weekly basis.
In conclusion, do not think too much about praying; simply pray at the time. When you make a certain task feel hard or overburdening, you will not be able to put in proper effort into the task. As a result, you will certainly feel fatigue.
Here is an excellent article that will further help you to make sure you do not miss your prayers.
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.