Despite doing everything- from applying tactics in books and videos to using apps, time management is still a dream for many.
Which begs the question- is it even possible to manage your time or is it just theory and vague concepts? That’s what I used to ask myself when I was desperately trying everything to make more time for my Deen. I felt lost. Confused. Overwhelmed.
So today, I’m going to share with you 4 different approaches to time-management. And by the end, you’ll know exactly which one will work best for you. So let’s boogie! 🙂
Time Management in Islam – 4 Ways to Manage your Time
1. THE CLASSIC TIME-MANAGEMENT MODEL
- Getting Things Done by David Ellen
- Stephen Covey’s time management grid (Author of 7 Habits of highly Effective People)
- ABC method
- Pareto’s principle- 80/20 rule.
- Eisenhower Matrix for prioritizing.
- Pickle Jar theory for prioritizing between goals. (rocks, sand, pebbles and water)
- Parallel Programming method
- ALPEN method
- Maslow’s Theory (showing the hierarchy of human needs)
- Eat the frog by Brian Tracy
- And many more…
The only problem is- NOT A SINGLE ONE of the systems is targeted specifically for Muslims.
Although the methods in this model can actually help us prioritize better and become more productive but not a SINGLE one is designed specifically for Muslims.
Let’s have a look at the second approach…
2. THE WORK/ LIFE BALANCE MODEL
Work/ life balance is a term commonly used by people who work 9 to 5, originally coined in the late 1970s.
“Work/life” balance is at best an elusive ideal and at worst a complete myth, today’s senior executives will tell you.” (Boris Groysberg and Robin Abrahams wrote that in a March 2014 Harvard Business Review article)
In other words, the work itself is at the center of focus and weighs equally or heavier than the “rest of the life”.
And what of work-from-home entrepreneurs? Or people with 2 jobs and debts to pay off? And housewives who are technically not working a 9 to 5 job? Who can clearly measure their level of productivity?
Then later there appeared this newer version of the work/ life balance model, this time called…
3. “Work/life-integration” model.
That’s why ALL of these secular time-management models are faulty at SO many levels. They compartmentalize work and life. And WORK takes the bigger compartment while everything else (family, self, social) gets shoved into LIFE. *As if!*
What about Ibadah? And learning about Deen? These models can’t work for us Muslims because there’s a HUGE area that’s missing from all of the above models: IBADAH.
We can’t ignore our Salah during work nor can we ignore the fact that we have to fast during Ramadan, even if that means fasting while work.
We have to make time for Allah S.W.T and Quran regardless of our work-situation.
Which is why all of the above are INCOMPLETE models of time management that don’t fully solve the problems Muslims are facing today.
This brings me to the fourth and the final model…
4. The Barakah Model
“And have you seen that seed which you sow? Is it you who makes it grow or are We the Grower?”. [Quran 56: 63-64]
Barakah completes the time-management model. When all the rest of the models are so adamant on improving your task-management skills and getting your prioritization methods right (both of which are undeniably important), barakah covers the spiritual aspect of productivity. It brings more “soul-elements” to the concept of time-management.
Besides the Barakah approach, no other model is designed specifically for Muslims. All the rest of these secular time-management models completely cut off the Quran and Sunnah limbs from time-management.
Plus, all the strategies in these secular approaches are rationalized by the psychology of ‘the mind’ with no concept of Nafs/ Shaytan. Meh.
Also, notice how all these secular time management methods talk about how to ‘manage’ time. Management implies ‘full control’. And our belief system shuns that idea because the complete control of everything is only for Allah S.W.T.
So let’s start by doing this first- THROW AWAY the idea of “managing” your time.
Time can’t be managed. Accept it. TIME IS NOT MONEY. Move on.
You can think about managing it and in the time you’re thinking- you’d have lost 30 seconds of your time. Those 30 secs are never coming back. So much so for “managing”. It is how it is.
Second, let’s allow time to manage itself.
I mean, why doesn’t anybody talk about what TIME should do itself to help you not the other way round…?
Because last I checked, time could grow on its own…?
The Quran talks about it. The Sunnah proves it. YES! Attach Barakah to time and it WILL grow on its own!
Barakah is an Arabic word and experts break it down into 3 parts.
Above and beyond measure, unexpected, constant, everlasting and stable INCREASE in our time.
Sounds heavenly! But what does that even mean in day-to-day life?
Here’s what it means for you and I:
What do you see when you look at the clock? The exact time.
4am, 10am, 3pm…
Everything about time appears to be right in front of you in the shape of a clock.
But what if it isn’t?
Imagine there’s a hidden Barakah-hand on that clock that moves time besides the visible hour-hand and minute-hand. This ‘barakah-hand’ is furiously working behind the scenes to increase the hours and minutes of your time.
So on a typical day, after finishing 3 important tasks… you look at the clock. Only 2.5 hours have passed and you’re already done with all the major tasks of the day?! How is that possible??
Before, you couldn’t even finish ONE major task in an entire day. This is so UNEXPECTED. It’s BEYOND what you imagined.
Now imagine if that happened… not once, not twice… but every single day. Whenever you look at the time, it baffles you. You end up doing way more than you’ve been doing in the past.
That is how REAL Barakah is. That is how POSSIBLE it is to enjoy the everlasting rewards of barakah.
Let me tell you- there’s no HACK in the world… no productivity SECRET TACTIC that can promise those powerful results. Trust me because I’ve tried almost everything out there. NOTHING that secular time-management gurus teach you even remotely compares to the Barakah-approach.
And get this- unlike the ‘common time-management methods’, Barakah is centrally focused around the RESULTS of your efforts.
So by attaching barakah to our efforts, we can give the best chance of success to the results of our hard work—
I know what y’all must be thinking right now. BARAKAH IS SO COOL, where do I get some? 😀
Sources of Barakah
Download the Sources barakah in Islam
At this point, our minds are already brimming with so many questions:
- But I feel so lazy and waste so much time procrastinating…
- How do I discipline myself to follow through and do what I plan?
- I don’t even know where to start…
RELAX. Let’s take one step at a time.