You’ve seen them from a distance and probably never thought twice about what their lives might be like; mothers out there with their children, multitasking to some degree, all while appearing calm and collected. How do they do it you wonder? What is their secret?
It’s honestly all about timing. There are moments in the day that can be seized as the golden opportunities that they are; productive moments should you choose to utilize them.
It’s really what you do with your time that makes or breaks you. Keep in mind that everybody in the world has the same amount of time to work with in a day — 24 hours. Productivity takes practice and everything starts with organizing your plans and your goals.
Before you go to bed every night, make a list of five things you wish to accomplish the next day and include the time of day you’d like them to be done by. This simple method drastically reduces stress and is flexible enough for professional mothers as well as new mommies. What you don’t want to do is to over-schedule yourself by listing everything that can be done right down to the minute and second. Leave a lot of wiggle room for your “didn’t see that one coming” moments which, by the way, happen pretty often wherever children are involved. New moms: enjoy and embrace your exciting new lifestyle!
There’s nothing you can’t do, now that you have a good goal list. The trick is to schedule these activities around a child’s sleep schedule and independent play time. Some ideas include starting your day after Fajr if your little ones are still asleep. Exercise with your kids for at least 30 minutes in the middle of the day to help them wind down and to give yourself a boost of energy to get through the rest of your day. There are many fun and creative things you can do to engage your child in active mommy and me time.
Scheduling this earlier in the day helps you stay focussed later, especially during your child’s nap time and/or independent play time. There is more baraka (blessings) in a day that starts after fajr anyway. It’s the best time to study too — for all the student moms out there. Human alertness rises at dawn and dwindles around 6pm so utilize the time in between when you are at your sharpest.
Adequate sleep and a well balanced diet are crucial in keeping you energized and focussed. Make sure you are getting your 8 hours of sleep a night and eat healthy.
Reducing your stressors actually helps you have more of yourself to put into accomplishing your goals. Remember that stress is physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting. Give yourself flexibility in your daily schedule; enough where you have personal time to breathe and do nothing of importance. Balance is the key to a productive day and life.
The last thing to remember is to invest time in accomplishing your list of goals. Make sure you get through them, if not completely at least to put a huge dent in that list by breaking huge tasks into tiny more manageable ones.
Finding the time is one thing and then actually using that time wisely – well that is the essence of productivity. Prioritize your five tasks in order of importance and start on the easiest off the top of the list. If ever you feel like you simply cannot do a certain task or reach a certain goal, remember that you are the only one that can limit yourself from reaching your full potential. Keep in mind that sometimes things seem so far out of your reach that the perceived distance discourages you from attempting it. The secret is to do the things you think you can’t do, attempt them anyway despite your fears and you’ll find that your mind made things appear farther from your reach than they actually are.
About the Author
Suraya Mahumed has been writing articles since 1995 and her poems have been featured in the 2000 Muslimah Writer’s Alliance People’s Choice Awards and in the book of Islamic poetry, “Nights Stars.” While studying at the University of Washington, Suraya wrote articles for Muslim magazine, “Our Rising Star.” She is a wife and mother of 2, CEO of Nahda Designs and owner/lead designer of the Nahda hijab brand. She currently lives in Irvine, California and hopes to pursue an MBA degree.