[Motherhood Series] New Mothers and Productivity

[Motherhood Series] New Mothers and Productivity - Productive Muslim“O Messenger of Allah! I want to go out and fight (in Jihad) and I have to ask your advice.” He said: “Do you have a mother?” He said: “Yes.” He said: “Then stay with her, for Paradise is beneath her feet.” [Sunan an-Nasa’i]

From the moment we first come to know that we are in sha Allah going to welcome a new life in this dunya to the moment we last close our eyes, the journey is a roller coaster full of laughter, tears and moments of undulated joy.

In sha Allah, this series is aimed at seeing how we women can become Productive Mothers by attending to the needs of our baby whilst preparing for our Akhirah and staying on course during the times when our morale hits a low.

Let’s begin at the beginning… Continue reading

Productive Part-Timer: How to Integrate Multiple Roles

Productive Part-Timer: How to Integrate Multiple Roles - Productive MuslimWorking part-time can make you the envy of your friends. You get to work flexible hours and spend more time at home and with your family. You get to do things on a weekday that most could never dream of, right?

Wrong! The truth is that working part-time can make you more stressed out and possibly feeling more overworked than a full-time worker.

Integrating part-time work and other responsibilities is one of the biggest hurdles faced by part-timers. Shifting from one role to the next takes some doing.

In the book: Work and Life Integration: Organizational, Cultural, and Individual Perspectives, Kossek and Lambert claim that to make part-time employment and role integration work for you, a mental shift  is required, both by you and those around you, and in some cases even your employer. It is therefore necessary that you address the space and time that you need to work efficiently in each role so that you can fulfill your obligations. Continue reading

[Ramadan Series] Rethinking Time Management this Ramadan: Part 3

Major Time Management Considerations

Ramadan Time Management

1. Sleep

As alluded to already, one may have to adjust one’s sleep pattern. The Sunnah of sleeping after Zuhr (qaylula), is practised by many to help them re-energise. For workers fasting, the time immediately upon arriving home is ideal. Sleep can also stave off hunger. Just remember to make an intention before flopping down in exhaustion!

An oft-neglected Sunnah is to talk less after Isha and to sleep early. After a whole day of fasting and the long rakahs of Tarawih, most of us are pretty tired and so should be able to take advantage of this practice. Consequently, one should have more energy in the day. Continue reading

[Ramadan Series] Rethinking Time Management this Ramadan: Part 2

Ramadan’s Inbuilt Time Management System

Despite the plethora of time management systems, methods, organizers and techniques, the best have been often the simplest. Being able to schedule all your activities is actually the most efficient way of utilizing our time. That’s why schools, colleges, universities, businesses and countless other institutions do it. When you have a set programme to follow, you get things done. The problem is that we simply lack the self-discipline to programme our personal lives in the same way as our work/studies Rethinking Time Management this Ramadan: Part 2

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He), through the guidance of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and his inheritors, has created within Ramadan such a schedule that automatically promotes the discipline to get a lot done.

The Ramadan Schedule

The recommended daily practices of Ramadan thus provide a structure within which we can plan our day accordingly. Below, I give some ideas for how we can utilize these times.

It is not the purpose of this article to give religious guidance. The suggestion of acts of worship is based on my own practice and limited knowledge. For further details, clarification and specific knowledge of the most praiseworthy acts of worship to be performed, please consult trustworthy qualified scholars. Continue reading

[Ramadan Series] Rethinking Time Management this Ramadan: Part 1

The Time Management Imperative

Before we begin, it’s worth reminding ourselves why Ramadan has a time management imperative. David Allen, creator of the world famous GTD Rethinking Time Management this Ramadan: Part 1system, has explained that when we want to do anything at any given moment, there are four criteria which should determine our choices: context, time available, energy and priority. If you think carefully, all four are quite dramatically altered in Ramadan.

Since it is the holiest of all months with many required rituals (the least of which is rising earlier for Suhur, fasting and the Tarawih prayers) the context is unique. What can be achieved in Ramadan is necessarily different to other months (notice I didn’t say less than other months). Continue reading