Aimen: Walaikum Assalam Warahmatullahe Wabarakatuhu sister Umm Sumayyah.
Aimen: I sure am excited to be here! JazakAllah for having me. I am doing good alhamdulilah.
Aimen: Let me take you some time back before I started blogging. I have graduated as a M.B.B.S Doctor and now I’m on the post-graduation road of my medical career. I fell in love with Medicine when I was in my
third year of Medical School but no matter how much I loved it, I knew there was more to life.
I knew that as a Muslim, my true purpose of life was to serve Islam. But how? That’s a question that nagged me all the time until it hit me in the final year. I had to help young Muslims like myself, during these times of
Fitnah. My Deen Islam, had suffered so much while I was in Medical school. And I thought I was alone in my misery. But when I looked around, I saw the other young Muslims suffering equally, if not more.
Long story short, Allah opened the first door to mypurpose, my website. This website was born only recently in December 2017. Now I work during the day as a Doctor, and the rest of my time writing articles and designing and creating tools for young Muslims on their journey of self-development.
I particularly mentioned the part of my life in search of purpose so that all of our dear readers start living with purpose, if they aren’t doing that already!
Aimen: Productivity has a different meaning to many people. Most believe it’s getting “more” work done in “less” time.
Personally, I believe productivity is working efficiently and doing what you are supposed to do, when you are supposed to do it. Allow me to elaborate…
If you took an hour to write an article that was mediocre, you are focusing on “quantity”. On the other hand, if you took 10 hours to write an article that’s amazing but you missed the deadline for submission, you are focusing on “quality”. Finding a delicate balance between quantity and quality to complete a task within a set time-frame is being work-efficient. And being work-efficient is being productive at work!
There are so many aspects of productivity that I’m afraid I won’t be able to define all of them here. Productivity covers all aspects of our lives including personal, family, social, spiritual and health-related productivity besides the work-related productivity mentioned above.
Aimen: I am not a fan of the word “perfect”. In fact, I think it should be removed from the “human” dictionary haha. But a highly productive day for me is when I wake up early, spend 10 minutes to plan the day on my Muslim Productivity Planner, follow my morning routine and manage to complete all the tasks for the day written on my planner, especially the most important ones. On such days, the feeling of self-achievement is beyond words, honestly.
Aimen: If there’s a task that requires long-term commitment (for e.g.; a task that will take months or years to complete) that I want to achieve, I simply divide it into bite-sized pieces. I usually take my time planning it all out on my weekly and monthly planner. Sometimes it takes DAYS to plan it out. Yep, days! You might say that’s such a waste of time because things might go differently than your plans. I agree life doesn’t go according to our plans. But the quality and quantity of work you do in a day is highly dependent on your efficient planning. And a small goal-centered achievement everyday will eventually lead to the completion of the long-term goal, right? And besides, planning takes half the burden of doing the monstrous task off my shoulders. It gives me a practical realistic idea of when I will be able to complete my mission. It also helps me stay focused on the daily project task, so that I walk step by step towards my end-goal.
Aimen: I couldn’t agree more, sister. The internet is a powerful tool, both in a good and a bad way. As difficult as it may be to digest, the only way to be most efficient while working, is to make your phone silent, put it on flight mode or keep it away from yourself. I personally get active on social media at a defined time. I try my best to keep my phone away from me while working or studying.
I use short breaks of 5-10 mins after working for about half an hour (Pomodoro technique) and in my short breaks, I enjoy networking on social media or cruising through the internet. As for emails, I have set an hour or two, daily, to answer all my emails at one time. This way I don’t spend all day replying to emails and still manage to reply to my readers every single day.
Aimen: This is a tough one y’all!
The ONE thing that works wonders in helping me achieve balance in my life, is waking up early and spending the early morning hours to do the most important tasks of the day. The early morning time is golden time. There’s a special aura about it. It’s super-charged with a strange energy and Barakah! It’s your “personal” time. You should go for a walk, breathe the morning air, clear your thoughts, have a detox drink, read Quran, take a shower, plan your day and then start your work. Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?
All throughout the day, we are busy either working/ studying or taking care of our children/family. The only time when we are free from responsibility is the early morning time, when almost everyone is sleeping .
The earlier you wake up, the more time you have to enjoy ME-Time and do important tasks ahead of time.
Aimen: Alhamdulilah, that’s great, sister. Yes, without a doubt the most productive time for me is the morning time. It’s when my brain is loaded with energy and ideas.
Another time that’s also productive for me is when I wake up from a
short power nap after lunch with my brain fuelled once again, ready
Aimen: I work almost 8-10 hours (sometimes more), in the mornings as a doctor
and in the evening as a part-time blogger. But my schedule is not
fixed since as a postgraduate doctor, I have to sit for multiple exams
on and off. During such difficult times, I take a rest from blogging and take a
short leave from work near my exams. After all, as humans, we have limited potential and limited time. We shouldn’t overburden ourselves to the point of burnout.
Aimen: Ameen. Of course, I do! Sometimes when I haven’t achieved much and the
tasks on my planner are untouched, I stress out and don’t feel satisfied with myself. A smart way to deal with such unhealthy stressful thoughts is by writing the pending asks in tomorrow’s priority list. If you wasted time on social media, or by procrastinating, make a note to yourself to NOT repeat the same mistakes tomorrow. OR the work will pile up! Before sleeping, you just need to assure your brain that you will get those tasks done by tomorrow Insha’Allah. If there is a legit reason for which I am unable to follow the plan for a particular day, then I don’t lose sleep over it. Guests come by, friends or family might need you, etc.
There are numerous genuine reasons why your day might not work out the way you planned. And guess what? That’s ALRIGHT .
Aimen: I think the answer to that is highly subjective. I personally believe that in today’s times it’s way easier for women to achieve what they want to in life as compared to older times. Today women can work from the comfort of their homes because of the Internet. Connecting with other Muslim women in different walks of
life and helping each other grow has not only become possible but really easy too.
Aimen: That’s a very difficult question sister, since I have so many quotes popping on the top of my head asking me to be the “chosen one” haha. But this one wins today:
Personal quote: Live purposefully, spend mindfully and work hard to grow every single day.
As for the Islamic Quote, I have to mention these life-changing ayahs.
“When you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allah” (Quran – Surah 2: Ayah 159).
“And [He] will provide for him from where he does not expect. And whoever relies upon Allah – then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set for everything a [decreed] extent.” [Quran- Surah Al-Talaq : Ayah 3]
Aimen: The greatest advice for any Muslim is to hold on to your spiritual connection with Allah because at the end of the day, NOTHING matters. Only your relationship with Allah matters. If there’s anything you want to do in life, make sure it doesn’t compromise your spiritual relationship with Allah. If it does, then STAY AWAY from it since nothing is worth compromising your relationship with Allah Subhana wa Ta’alla.
Aimen: There is one more thing I would like to add, sister. I want all the young Muslims today to know that they are not alone in their struggles. The only way to prevent ourselves from falling repeatedly is to lean on lean on each other. There is nothing in life that we can achieve alone. We need Allah and we need each other.
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