As much as we are short of time in this life, the more complacent we are about what we do with it. According to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH):
‘There are two blessings which many people lose: Health and free time for doing good' (Sahih Al- Bukhari 76:421)
Contrary to what this hadith suggests in terms of the preciousness of time, Muslims today find themselves weighed down by sheer laziness and endless procrastination; both of which are detrimental to our general productivity geared towards achieving success in not only this world but the hereafter as well.
People in this day and age, are usually found wasting their life’s minutes lost in trivial and meaningless pursuits, and at the same time, harbor complaints of not being productive in life. What they often lose sight of is the fact that productivity aimed towards gaining success only in this life, will eventually lead to a dead end. The road to real and purposeful productivity is by seeking Allah’s (SWT) support and guidance and remembering Him in our everyday tasks, for He is the only one who can lead us to true efficiency and success in both worlds.
Here are the 4 tips that can improve your productivity:
1. Say your Tahajjud prayers:
People find waking up for tahajjud a constant struggle as if those few moments of sleep are somehow going to make their upcoming day at work more efficient and productive. However, the reality is quite the opposite. Sacrificing those few minutes of sleep for Allah (SWT) and turning to Him for all your upcoming tasks the next day, is one of the core ingredients of achieving productivity. Our Holy Prophet (PBUH) said:
"Satan puts three knots at the back of the head of any of you if he is asleep. On every knot he reads and exhales the following words, 'The night is long, so stay asleep.' When one wakes up and remembers Allah, one knot is undone; and when one performs ablution, the second knot is undone, and when one prays the third knot is undone and one gets up energetic with a good heart in the morning; otherwise one gets up lazy and with a mischievous heart." (Sahih al-Bukhari 1142)
Once you get into the habit of saying your tahajjud prayers, your body clock will eventually mold into your spiritual clock, giving a kick start to your day.
2. Plan your daily activities and make a checklist of your daily tasks
You should have your day planned beforehand and start off your day with clear goals in mind. To aimlessly wander throughout the day is not fruitful. Some people tend to wait and see what the day brings without setting any personal goals. Having a hectic schedule and being ‘busy’ all day not necessarily indicate productivity. Having direction is key in being productive. Without having a set goal in mind, one cannot possibly have a clear and certain direction. Hence, planning your day is essential. Make a checklist if you want- they can prove to be really helpful. Once you have a list, you can focus on checking off the different tasks throughout the day and be assured, that with every tick on the list, you will feel invigorated and efficient. So plan ahead, and you will see your daily productivity levels rise.
3. Dhikr – Remember your Lord
In order to manage your daily affairs more efficiently and finding ease in your work in general, engage in Dhikr- remembrance of Allah (SWT); it spikes up your overall productivity like nothing else. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) said:
“When you go bed, say: Glory be to Allah” thirty-three times.”Praise be to Allah” thirty-three times, and “ Allah is most Great” thirty-four times. That will be better for you than a servant” (Sunan Abi Dawud 5062).
Make it a habit of engaging in Dhikr every night before going to sleep. Use those last few minutes before falling asleep to remember your Lord and you will find ease in your daily tasks. Remembrance of Him and reliance on Him is what makes productivity possible.
4. Read and memorize a few Quranic verses every day
Even though we download certain Islamic applications on our phones and tablets to remind us to carry out our daily Islamic duties like offering our daily salaah and reading the Quran, we tend to do it with a mundane flair, without actually absorbing the true meaning of carrying out those tasks.
Amidst our busy schedules, we tend to forget the power of Allah’s (SWT) perfect book and its influence on our daily lives. The Holy Quran translates its positive effects into not only the big things in our lives but showcases its benefits in the small, mundane tasks as well. So memorize a few verses, maybe even just one or two in the beginning, and just wait and see its effects seep into your life, and enjoy its beneficial outcomes. There is no need to set impossible goals for yourself, start with baby steps and eventually work your way up. You will notice, your everyday productivity level will go up immensely through this practice, InshaAllah.
In essence, put your heart and soul into everything you do it life, make sure it is dipped in good intentions and hard work, and then leave the rest in Allah’s (SWT) hands. Follow these simple tips and you will feel a remarkable change in your everyday productivity and efficiency in your daily tasks and your overall sense of contentment in life.