Key Productive Habit 7 – Have a night routine

If you want to have a good night sleep, you need to adopt the following key habits:

  1. Avoid all screens before sleep: This means no TVs, laptops, phones, tablets for at least 3 hours before sleeping. Avoiding these screens helps your brain release the necessary hormones to help you sleep better at night. If you keep your eyes glued to the TV, or any screen, your brain will find it more difficult to sleep and you might even face insomnia.
  2. Read something beneficial before sleep: Ideally, you should read the Quran before sleeping, especially Surat Al-Mulk and Surat Al-Sajdah as recommended by the Prophet. However, you could also read anything beneficial. (P.S. make sure you read using a physical book and not a screen.
  3. Follow the Prophetic Sunnah before sleep: This means making wudhu, using miswak, making the dua before sleeping and if you’re not sure you’ll wake up to pray at night, then pray witr before sleeping. This adds a spiritual dimension to your sleep and helps you sleep better.

With that, we end this series on 7 Key Habits to jumpstart your productivity and have a super productive day, quick recap on the 7 habits we shared so far:

  1. Start your day at Fajr
  2. Be a constant learner
  3. Start your work right
  4. Eat, Pray, Nap
  5. Get closure for your day
  6. Spend quality time with family
  7. Have a powerful night routine

Thank you!

Source : http://www.productivemuslim.com

 

Key Productive Habit 6 – Spend Time with Family

Allah SWT has blessed us with our families so that we can have mercy and love for them. Unfortunately, many so-called “productive” people tend to take their families for granted and either take work home and blur the lines between work and life OR are physically present with their families but their mind is elsewhere.

If you want to reap the maximum benefit of energizing yourself by the social energy we humans need when we spend time with those we love, you need to do three things:

  1. Be Present: Don’t be distracted with your phone, tablet, or the TV. Be truly present for your parents, children, and spouse. Listen to them carefully, find out about their day, share hopes and fears, and simply be alert with them.
  2. Get Involved: Follow the Prophet’s example and get involved in helping your family with house chores, taking care of the children, taking care of your clothes and ironing them, don’t be a bystander in your family’s activities.
  3. Plan: Plan how you’ll spend quality time with your family. If you don’t plan, it’ll be easy for you to revert to your TV and smartphones and get disconnected from your family. Plan family outings, plan family gatherings, plan activities or charitable donations as a family. The more you plan, the more you’ll be engaged with your family.

Spending quality time with one’s family is an important key habit to leading a productive lifestyle. It gives balance, purpose, and a renewed dose of love, mercy and compassion which we need in our daily lives.

Key Productive Habit 5 – Bring Closure to Your Day

It’s 5.00pm and you’re tempted to just shut down your computer and beat the rush hour traffic.

Before you do, I recommend that you spend 30 minutes doing the following:

1. Clean Up Your Workspace (5 minutes)

A cluttered desk equals a cluttered mind. Researchers have found that those with cluttered desks are easily distracted and are more stressed and anxious than those with clean workspaces. Cleaning up your workspace before you leave, ensures that when you arrive next day, you arrive to a clean environment that will make you eager about jumpstarting your day on a fresh slate. (Want to learn about Focus? Check out our Focus Management Class Here).

2. Reflect on your day (10 minutes)

You’ve had a long day, and a lot has happened that day, from meetings to phone calls to debates and maybe arguments with your colleagues. You need to get closure for that day, by reflecting on what went well, what didn’t go well, and how can you do better next day. These few minutes of reflection are important to your constant development and growth as you’ll become more self-aware about your weaknesses, strengths, and areas of development. (p.s. you can reflect in a simple notebook that you carry around with you – doesn’t have to be on the laptop).

3. Plan Your Next Day (15 minutes)

Now that you have a clean workspace and you’ve reflected on your day, it’s time to look ahead and plan what you’ll do the next day. Look at your schedule, skim your e-mails, and think about 3-6 to dos you’ll focus on next day. This helps you arrive next morning and hit the ground running instead of wasting time trying to figure out what to do.

Adopting this key habit (along the previous two we shared with you on starting your work in the right way, and taking back your lunch) and you can truly transform your working days and catapult you into the forefront of high performance workers in your company!

P.S. I knowthat the above examples mostly relate to office workers, however, these

key habits can apply to a working mother, a busy businessman, or even a

stay at home mom. The principles and habits are the same, even though

the settings may be different.

Key Productive Habit 4 – Eat, Pray, Nap!

Assuming that you’ve followed my advice (and I hope you do!), for your lunchtime 1-hour break, follow this regiment:

  1. 20 minutes – Lunch
  2. 20 minutes – Dhuhur
  3. 20 minutes – Nap!

(Heard of the book “Eat, Pray, Love”? Well, this routine is Eat, Pray, Nap!)

Tony Schwartz, founder of the The Energy Project and the campaign “Take Back Your Lunch” conducted a poll online about people’s habit regarding their lunch hour break. He found out that about 50% of respondents said they either never left their offices OR they spent less than 20 minutes for lunch. Tony emphasizes that “leaving the office for lunch is an opportunity to relax, let go of whatever stresses you’ve accumulated during the morning, and return to work feeling more energized, more focused and more engaged in the afternoon.”

For us as Muslims, we’ve a powerful routine for our lunch breaks which incorporates not only eating, but praying and connecting to our Spiritual selves, as well as napping which was from the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).

Some people ask me, does it have to be in that order: Eat, then pray, the nap. Not necessarily. You can mix it up however you want, as long as you stick to them each lunch time.

Key Productive Habit 3 – Your First Hour at Work

For most people, when they first arrive at work, they jump straight into their e-mails and voicemails and spend the first hour or two reacting to whatever is inside their inbox. This is not how you should start your working day and it’s totally unproductive! Why? Because when you start your day with reading and answering emails and returning phone calls, you’re essentially giving up your most precious hours of your working day to other people’s demand and you lose control over your day.

Consider changing this slightly: when you first arrive, do not check your e-mails or any other inbox that you normally check (including social media, voicemails, etc) and simply spend 10-15 minutes planning your day, and then an hour or so getting an important work done, e.g. writing a report, brainstorming for an upcoming meeting, or finishing off a presentation. After you’ve done this, then spend 10-30 minutes checking your e-mail and responding to people, but do not exceed that amount of time!

Starting your working day this way has a huge impact to the productivity you’ll experience in your day and how much you actually get done in a day.

“What if my job involves checking e-mails and/or my colleagues bother me in the morning with their requests?” This is where you need to start coming a little bit early to your office and getting that quiet time for yourself to plan and work on an important task. This small sacrifice would make a huge difference to the start of your day and your overall productivity.

Key Productive Habit 2 – Be a Constant Learner

Key Productive Habit 2 – Be a Constant Learner

By the time the Quran was about to be revealed to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), mankind was plunged into darkness and no revelation was sent by Allah for five hundred years. After all these centuries, don’t you think it’s powerful that the first word Allah chose to reveal was “Read!”

Scholars have spoken extensively about the choice of this word as the first word to be revealed by Allah to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and one of these explanations is that since this was the last message that will ever be sent to mankind, Allah SWT wanted to emphasize that humanity needs to reach a new maturity and instead of waiting for visual miracles to happen to believe in Him, they should be learning and understanding His signs in order to become closer to Him.

Therefore, as part of being closer to Allah (and to be productive in different areas of our life), we should be constantly looking for ways and means to learn and develop.

You might wonder, “what should I learn about?” Simple answer: Learn about anything that would make you a better Muslim and a better human being. If you’re struggling in your marriage life, learn about marriage. If you’re struggling to raise your children, learn about parenting. If you’re struggling at work with your boss or employees, learn about management and being the best employee out there. Learn according to the needs of your life and what would make you a better person.

The next question you might ask: “How should I learn?” Here are 5 practical tips:

  1. Invest in a kindle (<–Disclaimer: affiliate link) or tablet that can carry lots of books and always carry it with you so whenever you have time, you can read a few more pages.
  2. Sign up to Audible.com (<–Disclaimer: affiliate link) and download audiobooks to listen to while you commute or when doing house chores.
  3. When you get to work, before you check your e-mails or get any work done. Spend 10-15 minutes reading in your field per day.
  4. If you’re interested in a topic, watch educational YouTube Videos or TEDTalks about the topic. You’ll be surprised what you find on YouTube these days.
  5. Complete an online course about a topic of interest. There’s practically an online course about many topics these days. Check out Udemy, Coursera, and edX for some amazing courses for free.

Hope the above tips help you become a super learning powerhouse!

Key Productive Habit 1 – Start Your Day at Fajr

Key Productive Habit 1 – Start Your Day at Fajr

One of the most important productive habits you need to master in your journey to a more productive self is waking up early. However, the challenge that most people face with waking up early is that they have no incentive to wake up early and it’s purely through self discipline and intrinsic motivation that they force themselves to wake up early if they want to.

As Muslims, we’ve been blessed with the beautiful obligation of Fajr prayer, which not only forces us to wake up early but it also jumpstarts our day with the powerful positive actions of Salah and remembrance of Allah.

I understand that not everybody finds it easy to wake up for Fajr prayer even though it’s an obligation from Allah – and for some people, they think it’s alright to wake up close to when they need to get to work and pray Fajr as Qadaa (i.e. outside its appointed time).

I’m here to tell you that not only are you missing out spiritually by not waking up early for Fajr prayer, but you’re also missing out on the most blessed hours of the day, as Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: “The early hours are blessed for my nation” [Tirmidhi].

How can you wake up early and stay awake after Fajr?

We’ve extensively covered this topic at ProductiveMuslim.com and you’ll find lots of free resources on our website, here are my top three picks for you:

  1. How I Consistently Wake Up (By Allah’s Permission) 45-minutes Before Fajr Athan?
  2. [Doodle] How to Wake Up for Fajr?
  3. 7 Tips on How to Stay Up after Fajr

If you’re interested to go a step further and learn the nuts and bolts of early rising and having a productive morning routine, I recommend that you sign up for our “ProductiveMuslim Guide to Never Wake Up for Fajr” video course. It’s a super practical, easy to implement, online video course that would help you master one of the keys to a more productive life. Sign up here.

 

Source: ProductiveMuslim.com