Many of us may not associate being productive with familial roles or responsibilities. Some may think that spending time with family is a waste of time and instead something more constructive can be done. But what if I told you that with a few handy tips, you’ll insha Allah become a productive family member. You’ll also find fulfilling familial roles hassle-free, exciting and stress-free as oppposed to it being boring, unstimulating and time-consuming?
Plan, plan, plan
Spending time with your family should not be dismissed and thought of as ‘unimportant’. Rather it should be planned just as you would plan for other important factors in your life such as your work schedule and studies. By planning to spend time with your family, it will let you see what you need to get done (work, studies, etc.) to ensure that when you are with your family – you are spending quality time together and your mind and efforts are focused on spending a good time with them and not on the deadline you need to meet.
Reminders are extremely useful
Technology has revolutionized the way we plan our time. We should use it to organise ourselves, including the way we are productive with our family. Set reminders on your phone for ‘Family time’ for daily reminders or maybe ‘Family fun day’ for weekly/monthly time with your family. Reminders can also be set, not only for the time needed to be spent with family, but also for responsibilities that may need to be fulfilled. I like to set a reminder on my iPod for when I need to do certain chores – that way I don’t forget and I get it done.
Alternatively, for chores you can make a list of things you need to do each day. This allows you tick off the chores you have done, and also feel a sense of accomplishment when you see a list of ticks all the way down the page!!
As with anything we do we must remember Allah (glorified and exalted be He) and remember that we should do everything for His sake. It’s amazing how, when your intentions are with Allah, He makes your affairs easier for you! Begin what you want do for your family, or anything for that matter, with Bismillah. If you begin to struggle, remember the advice of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) to Fatimah (may Allāh be pleased with her) about the use of ‘Subunallah, Alhamdulillah, Allahu akbar’ – never underestimate it, because it really does work Subhan Allah!
Spending time with family is as important as any other work; so give it equal time and right. Quite often we forget that our family has rights over us- especially our parents – and our service to them can fluctuate with time. When it comes to helping around the house, set yourself a daily deadline e.g. hoovering and dusting must be completed by 9:00am.
Wake your senses and be aware
Sometimes we are so engrossed in our studies, work and da’wah projects that we forget about our family members like our aunts, uncles, cousins etc. Keep a tab on how everyone is doing by calling those you can every week or fortnight, or even monthly – whenever you can but set a time for it.
Perhaps you can make use of email and text too. Drop them a text while you’re on the bus or train (it doesn’t take long) or an email to see how they are. Use social networking sites to help keep in touch with your family, close members as well as the distant ones. Allocate time for your phone calls to your grandparents – it shows you care and Allah (glorified and exalted be He) will be pleased with your efforts insha Allah.
Often we forget that our parents and family have more rights over us than we think. Did you know that serving and obeying your parents is a fardh upon you, whereas reciting Qur’an and giving sadaqah are nafl? Therefore, when you know that there are things to be done for your parents and you would prefer to recite or do extra salah, remember that serving your parents is more important and more rewarding.
Being a productive member of a family is as easy as you want it to be. Realise that people will leave us one day and we will regret not having had spent time with them but also the fact that we missed an opportunity to gain reward. Your family are such an important part of your life, realize it now before it’s too late._
Are you an active member of your family? What have you done lately to bring closeness among your family members? Share helpful tips below.