15 AYAAT. 15 PRODUCTIVITY POINTERS.
“But whoever desires the Hereafter and exerts the effort due to it while he is a believer – it is those whose effort is ever appreciated (by Allah)” [17:19].
The Power of Execution
We all have the desire for the Hereafter, but to actually attain it we have to DO something. The ayah mentions one who ”exerts the effort,” which means simply having desire isn’t enough. You have to make the effort as well. Having every intention to do something is part of our deen, but it doesn’t get things done. There is a certain power behind having intent: The Power of Execution.
Intention is invisible and it’s the difference between motivation and inspiration:
Motivation means you get hold of an idea and you don’t let go of it until you make it a reality.
Inspiration is the other way around: an idea gets a hold of you and you feel it carries you along. Think of an inspiring lecture. It gets you on this ‘high’ of wanting-to-dos, but in most cases there is a delay when it comes to execution. Perhaps doubts kick in: “Can I even do that?” or “That’s nice if you have time, but I’m too busy at the moment.”; or even abandonment: The next day you forget about all the action points mentioned in the lecture.
Intention is noble, but it is not heroic.
Execution, which Islam beautifully and efficiently attaches for us to intention, is the formula of getting things done. It involves the grand idea of “shipping” ideas. When it is coupled with intention, you not only create really great work – you deliver it. It is thus by following this great Islamic concept that you can realize the true essence of productivity – You unleash what started inside, and that execution serves to feed intention once more, which you then couple with execution again. And the cycle continues.
So why do we often feel we are all over the place? In our acts of ibadah, at our workplaces, in our households?
The reason is that we are executing without a planned intention. Yes, our intention is to please Allah (glorified and exalted be He) only. But this means we need follow these steps: intention, willpower, execution. While forming your intention, you should already think how YOU can execute it AND motivate yourself to actually make that effort. That is PART of pleasing Allah (glorified and exalted be He), and that is exactly where many of us go wrong. No point waiting for others! This goes for EVERYTHING we want to attain in this life. When you execute without a clear intention, your ideas or jobs aren’t focused when delivered. You put them everywhere, hoping for them to catch fire somewhere. That’s not being productive!
So how do you attain this willpower? Here are some practical tips:
1. Know what your goal is. Keep that goal in mind all the time.
2. Think about all the benefits you will attain when completing the task.
3. Think of all the disadvantages when not completing the task.
4. Start small and build it up from there. If you have a large task, break it up in smaller sections.
5. Reward yourself when completing a task or punish yourself when not doing it.
Our daily intentions are like a power that can carry us toward what we really want to do and who we really want to be. But without the power of execution, intention can only carry us so far. ‘Inspired’ by a lecture, conversation, or a sign of Allah in the universe – without taking charge we miss the meaning of this ayah’s powerful advice.
Show Allah (glorified and exalted be He) your willpower in all your daily tasks, big or small, and take your intentions to the next level!
THE AYAH JOURNAL, Qur’an & Productivity; is a global project with the exciting goal to inspire every Muslim worldwide to open the Qur’an every day, pick one ayah and apply it to your own life by making acting on the ayah your mission for the day. Let’s bring back the message of the Qur’an to our daily life! Follow us on www.facebook.com/ayahjournal for vibrant Qur’an & Productivity tips.