I have been busy with my graduation for the Life Coach Certification with Shaykh Muhammad Alshareef, the awesome deal about it was that in order to graduate I was required to coach 50 sisters. Alhamdulillah I was able to make the target successfully with the help of Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala. I was able to speak to 50 sisters from around the world – countries including USA, Nigeria, Pakistan, UK and of course Canada (my home country); on my journey to help sisters around the world while staying home – that was the best part – I came across a common challenge that most of the sisters were facing. Yes we are going to discuss this challenge today, so hang on tight and read on…
“I always wanted to memorize al-Qur’an, but I don’t find time.”
“I have a project that I am working on for past 2 years but I don’t find time to finish.”
“I have been working on writing a course for my university, but I’m short of time.”
“I work full time but when I come home I find myself surrounded by more work, I always find myself rushing and not having enough time…”
“I want to exercise but I find it impossible with three kids.”
And the list goes on… I am sure you might find yourself in one of these situations, because we are all dealing with one common factor – yes you guessed it, “time”. Time which is the most important thing in life but we find ourselves short of!
Time is free, but it is priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back. – Harvey MacKay
We know time is priceless and we know we cannot own it, keep it and when it is lost we can’t get it back; so how are we going to ‘use it’, ‘spend it’ and ‘invest it towards our eternal life’?
1. Ask yourself “Do you?”
Do you plan your day at school? Is there a schedule you need to follow – time for first class, lunch etc? – Yes I do have a plan for my school; it was given to me when I register for the course.
Do you plan your day at work? What needs to be done, a backup plan, extra help? – Yes I do have a plan for my work – if I don’t plan, I will not be productive at work or I am given my schedule at work.
Do you have a plan for your personal life? Do you have a plan for what you are going to cook and how much time you will spend on preparing for breakfast/lunch/dinner, plan for daily activities, a plan for Salah and recitation of the Qur’an in your daily life? – No, I actually don’t have a plan and I never thought of having a plan.
See, we have a plan for school; we follow it and earn a degree. We use this degree to find a job – a livelihood for ourselves. We spend our lives working 8 to 4 bringing benefits to our boss in the process we are neglecting ourselves, our future, and our dreams? So what do I need to do, one might ask!
2. My Life:
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives” – Annie Dillard
Define your life! Ask yourself some important questions – what type of person do you see at the end of your life? What do you want to achieve before you die? What will distinguish you from others and make you, YOU?!
What type of life you want to live? Who you want to give and what you want to give? What you want to earn for yourself and how you want to do that? Which route you want to take to Jannah and how are you going to create your map to Jannah? Salah – Sunnah and Nawafil! Planning to enter Jannah from the door of Ar-Rayyan? Or dreaming of memorizing the Qur’an and being asked to recite the Qur’an and raise your levels in Jannah?  How do you define your life?
Once you define your life you move on to next step…
3. My Life Plan
For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned. – Unknown
We know we want to go from point A to point B – but how are we going to do that! We are going to do it one step at a time – in our situation one day at a time.
Initial planning will take some time, but once you are on the roll it will only take 10 minutes maximum.
- Write down your daily activities as you spend your day
- Sort out and categories these activities – activities that are important and that are not important and wasting your time i.e. watching TV, keep checking emails every 5 minutes etc J
- Make new list – of course you are not going to add time wasters (as mentioned above)
- Write down 3 most important activities (that if you complete you have accomplished big chunk of your daily work!)
- Continue with the rest of your list
4. I can plan for
What are the things you can plan for the day?
Me Time: is important because you give time to your studies, you give time to your job, you give time to your husband, kids, family and friends – but don’t give time to yourself. If you don’t take Me-Time you will not be able to give for long time, you might find yourself getting frustrated at small things, upset, cranky and frowning. In order to avoid this situation, you need to feed yourself with Me Time.
What do I do in Me time?
Well, you can do a lot! You can write a Journal, go for a walk, read a book, grab a cup of tea and look outside the window, make Dhikr, read Qur’an, memorize ayah or two… anything that works for you and you want to do!
Let’s say you like “going for a walk” for Me-Time, go for a walk when your husband is home, let him have fun with kids for 30 minutes while you take stroll down the road J or ask a friend, alternate for each other – you watch my kids I will watch yours! J
How long it has to be and When?
If you are early bird plan it after Fajr and if you are not early bird plan it for night, during the day for 30 minutes? 1 hour? 15 minutes? Whatever works for you!
Cook: You can plan what you are going to cook the next day. If you are going to cook something and need some preparations, do it ahead of time, i.e. marinate and refrigerate overnight.
Activities with Kids: What kind of schedule do you have for your kids – sleeping, eating, playing, and book reading, coloring etc?
Cleaning Schedule: What is your schedule for cleaning, how much time will you be spending?
Special Project: Setup a deadline for your project, divide the project in small parts, setup a deadline for the small parts, divide the parts/tasks into daily activities, one hour, 30 minutes or even 15 minutes a day – be consistent and complete the task.
Memorizing Qur’an: Setup time for memorizing the Qur’an – start with small portions it could be as small as one ayah a day, remember if you memorize one ayah a day you can memorize Surah Al-Mulk in one month. Setup a time of the day, after Fajr or any other Salah – whatever works for you, while driving or riding the bus or subway to and from work.
Remember to keep your focus on your ultimate purpose of Life – how you define your life.
Remember to keep your focus on where you are going and what route you are going to take – [going to Jannah via Qu’ran HWY, or taking Family Route by being a devout mother, sister, daughter and wife]
Remember each day is one step towards your dream, and each day will define your life – so take each day seriously and plan it out.
Remember you cannot keep the time but you know how to well spend it.
Remember you cannot own the time but you can use it to your benefit.
Remember time is priceless but you are blessed with it – so use it wisely.
Remember when you plan your day, you are removing time wasters out of your schedule and making more time for yourself, your family, your life!
Plan your day so you don’t find yourself as a person who always rushed through life, or a person who did not finish a project she always wanted to complete, did not find time to earn some bonus points on her Ibadah. Plan your day, plan your life!
Plan and you will find yourself more productive and at the end of the day, you will be able to measure your success and feel accomplished, because by planning, you can earn some extra time for yourself, you can measure your success and feel more accomplished by looking at the list of things you have completed and look forward to another productive day, Insha’Allah.
Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. – Carl Sandburg
This article is also published on Productive Muslimah blog 🙂
 Al-Tirmidhi (2914) and Abu Dawood (1464) narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “It will be said to the companion of the Qur’aan: Recite and rise in status, recite as you used to recite in the world, for your status will be at the last verse that you recite.” This hadeeth was classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 5/218, no. 2240