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Number One Time-Management Tip

Feeling stressed? How about overwhelmed? Are you wishing that you had more time to get everything done? AlhamduliLlah, we all have moments like these; some of us may even feel like it’s a constant daily struggle – that no matter how hard we try, we just cannot seem to get ‘everything’ done.

Time is so tight that we are short of even sparing a few minutes to do a quick google search for advice on how to organize our day better. The problem is that while time seems to be quickly slipping away, our ‘to-do-list’ continues to steadily grow. I know it seems dismal but there is a solution. Whenever time is not on your side, I suggest trying this all-out-winner time-managing tip.

Keep it simple.

That’s it? Yes. It is as simple as it sounds too. For many of us, the feeling of being overwhelmed is definitely a reality because we are consciously stressing ourselves out by unrealistic demands. There are only 24 hours in a day, and part of that is already blocked off for natural physical needs like eating, exercising, and sleeping; social needs like spending quality time with our husbands and children; and spiritual needs like praying and making dhikr. After subtracting the time that it takes to complete all of those things, there will naturally be a limited amount of time to complete what is on our ‘to-do-list,’ but it’s not impossible. Try these tips to help keep things simple:

Focus on MUSTs, not SHOULDs

If you have a 20 item daily to-do-list, then you may be setting yourself up for failure. Rather, when we set small, simple goals, we have a higher chance of completing them. This causes us to inevitably build more confidence because we tend to feel good after we complete something, and this in turn encourages us to keep moving and achieving more. Analyze your list and circle the items that are musts – meaning no matter what, you MUST get these things done today. For some of us, that’s still not helpful because we trick ourselves into believing that we have ‘high standards’ and doing less means that we are less worthy. But it’s time to be honest here: People that have high standards actually accomplish what they set out to do. If you consistently end up drowning in your never-ending list, then in reality it’s either a problem of poor prioritization or perfectionism, which both lead to regrets and a longer to-do-list. Want the remedy? Ask yourself, “What’s the most important thing for me to do right now?” Still doesn’t work? How about this one: “If I was to die today, what would I hope to have finished for Allah’s sake?” InshaAllah this should help you sift through your priorities better.

Ask For Help

It is a common response to want do things alone because it appears more stressful to rely on others, but depending on the task, it may just be easier to ask for help. For example, it is probably a better idea to train your children to help you with house chores; even if your child is three years old, he or she can still help in little ways. By training your children at an early age, they’ll always instinctively want to help you as they get older, which is something that you’ll be grateful for as you get older. Consider asking other people to help you, like your husband (tips on ‘how to’ in later posts inshaAllah), your parents, your best girlfriends, or your close relatives. If you can afford it, hire affordable help, like a local neighborhood kid to weed the garden, to sort out the yard shed, or to run mindless errands that do not require much responsibility.

Pray For Ease

Ask Allah to make things easy for you. Pray the prayer of need (salat al hajah) and beg Allah to put baraka in your time and your efforts. Turn to Him, beseeching Him because you are so incapable. The reality is that success in this life is not dependent upon your capabilities and effort, but upon Allah’s power and tawfiq. With His aid, it is possible inshaAllah. Truly, He answers the call of the one who calls upon Him. Click here for a guide on the prayer of need.

The basic summary is to stop trying to do EVERYthing all at once, and instead satisfy yourself with doing what’s genuinely needed for your circumstance – that’s the real way to keep it simple.

May Allah give us all tawfiq.

© Muslima Coaching, 2016.

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Naielah Ackbarali

Ustadha Naielah Ackbarali is the founder and CEO of Muslima Coaching. She is passionate about inspiring Muslim women by way of spreading the beauty of living an Islamic life. Ustadha Naielah is a trained strategic relationship coach, certified life coach, and a certified NLP Master Practitioner. Combined with her knowledge of the shariah sciences, coaching experience, and personal marriage of 15 years, she also offers faith-based marriage coaching and relationship advice.