Narrated Abu Hurayrah (RA), a man came to Allah’s Messenger and said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Who is more entitled to be treated with the best companionship by me? The prophet said, “Your mother.” The man said. “Who is next?” The prophet said, “Your mother.” The man further said, “Who is next?” The prophet said, “Your mother.” The man asked for the fourth time, “Who is next?” The prophet said, “Your father.” (Bukhari 8:73)
This hadith goes to show the extremely high status granted to mothers in Islam. The role of a mother possesses an unparalleled honor, which remains unmatched, hence, Islam places great emphasis on being dutiful to one’s parents, to always being kind to them and to honor and respect them unconditionally.
A mother is not only responsible for catering to a child’s physical needs i.e. feeding them, looking after them etc., but she is also responsible for building her child’s foundation of a strong character, good mannerisms, and religious beliefs. This, in no way, disregards the role of the father which is essential as well, but the main upbringing is usually in the hands of the caregiver who spends more time at home, which, the majority of times, is the mother. Hence, balancing between her child’s needs, household chores, job deadlines (for working mothers), social needs etc., a mother needs to function with a certain set of rules and regulations that can help her prioritize and organize her everyday schedule and attain maximum efficiency and productivity without missing out on any sphere of her life.
Here are a few handpicked tips for mothers to help them manage time:
1. Make daily/weekly schedules
Every mother has an endless list of daily tasks and responsibilities that cannot be ignored. Hence, it is important to plan effectively and organize your days instead of aimlessly spending your day without proper organization. Make To-Do lists your best friend – you can either make weekly schedules or make daily To-Do lists (basically whatever you find more convenient). Plan ahead, so you start off your week/day with a solid plan in mind, where you have your week’s/day’s goals outlined and identified – it will really help in maximizing your productivity and bringing about greater efficiency in your tasks.
2. Begin your day at Fajr
Make it a point to wake up for Fajr, offer your prayers and start your day from there. Sleep early if you have to. Starting your day at Fajr will give you a head start and you will find yourself having a lot of time to go about your daily business at your own pace. It will boost your day’s energy and motivations, helping you achieve all of your daily tasks in an efficient and timely manner. Do not go back to sleep after offering your Fajr prayers and make use of that opportunity. You can recite the Quran after your prayers to rejuvenate and then start your day accordingly – that is my honest, tried and tested advice.
3. Plan your schedule around the 5 daily prayers
No matter how busy or congested your schedule may seem, plan it around your five daily prayers – make no excuse to miss them! If you make a conscious effort to plan your tasks accordingly, Allah (SWT) will help you achieve your day’s goals in a better and more efficient manner. Set Salah reminders on your phone so you do not forget to take out five minutes from your day to attend your daily meetings with your Lord.
4. Prioritize tasks
Prioritization is key. Prioritize your tasks, prioritize your duties and prioritize the different spheres of your life, such as your family, your household, your work, your friends etc. Know what needs your maximum attention and know when it is required. Make it a point to put the needs of your family above all other tasks – that is a mother’s first and foremost duty.
5. You are allowed to take power naps
Remember: you are not superwoman. Give yourself a break and take power naps if need be. As a mother, you owe yourself some rest after the hustle bustle of the day and between running after your kids, your husband, your house chores, your job requirements and what not. Chalk out a time in your day when you can take out 15-20 minutes where you can just relax, take a nap or just have your cup of tea in peace and silence – it will help you get going through the rest of the day.
6. Designate a part of your house as your ‘work’ space
If you feel you cannot get any work/studies done while you are home, create your own ‘working space’ for yourself in a silent and secluded part of the house where you can get some peace and quiet (away from the kids); you will be able to concentrate much better and find yourself to be much more productive.
7. Use productivity Apps
In today’s day and age, the world has come up with an endless list of apps designed for every single thing we can possibly think of. In relevance to this article, you, as a mother, may find the following apps helpful in increasing your daily productivity:● Intuition: Plays the role of a personal assistant (created by mothers, by mothers) to get things done
● EverNote: Allows you to make quick notes, scribbles, keep track of your engagements and categorizes all To-Do lists and files.
● Athan: Get Salah reminders, prayer timings, Qibla direction etc. to stay on top of your prayers
● Google Calendar: To keep track of all your appointments, birthdays, meetings, engagements etc.
8. Do not waste time on irrelevant tasks
Identify your time-wasting activities throughout the day and work towards eliminating them so you can achieve more goals. For example, be conscious of how much time you spend mindlessly scrolling on social media apps such as Facebook, Instagram, etc. and set time limits for yourself so you do not waste too much time dwelling on irrelevant tasks. Another example could be your addiction to the TV or Netflix. Cut down on mindless tasks and work towards becoming more productive.
9. Take time out to just bond with your children
Amidst busy schedules, we tend to forget the value of the time we spend with our children and spouse, with no other intention but to JUST be there with them, in that moment. At the end of the day, take time out to just bond with your children and build a connection with them. You can play games with them, read to them, bathe them, or take them out for a walk – it could be anything – and trust me, that in itself is most rewarding and it will go a long way.
10. Do something for yourself once you achieve your day’s goals
Being a mother is one of the most challenging jobs in the world! So at the end of the day, step back and think about all that you have achieved in your day (no matter how small the task) and acknowledge that you deserve to reward yourself. Be it by reading your favorite novel, getting a manicure, taking a long and relaxing hot bath, buying yourself a nice top that you liked for yourself that one time – you deserve to pamper yourself!
I hope these little tips and tricks help you become more organized and productive in your daily lives. Good luck!
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