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Since September has started, many of us will be starting school or work again after summer break and as modern Muslims living in the 21st century, it can be hard to juggle all of our commitments when it comes to work/study, family, hobbies, and our deen. Hopefully these 4 tips will help you to balance your life along with being a good Muslim and striving towards our common goal of doing the best we can for our hereafter.
- Don’t put off obligatory acts of worship
It’s easy to get caught up in life and put off things like Salah for later, or just not do them at all. However we must remind ourselves of what our true purpose is and ask ourselves where our priorities lie. If our priorities are in something besides Allah, then it is clear that we have to reevaluate what our main concerns are in life. Know that with Allah as the first priority, the rest of our affairs will simply fall into place.
If you find yourself with little to no time for worship ask yourself: ‘Am I really going to do better at this task if I didn’t pray my salah?’ or ‘Will I perform better on this test if I don’t spend five minutes reading Quran today?’
When we continue to carry out our obligations, Allah paves the way for success in our other endeavours.
“And the forerunners, the forerunners, those are the ones brought near [to Allah]” (56: Verses 10-11)
2. Have a strict routine
Everyone has been told to get a routine at some point but it’s only when you stick to one regularly that you realise how much easier it is to manage your time. Start off simple with techniques such as time-blocking, where you dedicate certain hours of the day to get particular tasks done. An example is below:
6am-8am: Fajr and Islamic studies (Quran, reading)
8pm-10pm: Family time
By time-blocking in this way, we can allow ourselves some leniency in getting side tracked into other things, but can still make sure that by the end of the block the task is completed.
Let’s say your boss gives you a task to do, and even though it takes effort to carry out, you still do it because they’re your boss. In the same way, when a teacher asks you to do something, even if you don’t feel like doing it, most of us will respect their authority and carry it out anyway. This is because we see the legitimacy of their authority over us.
So when we tell ourselves we’re going to start going to the gym, start that essay, or run that errand, why do we decide to procrastinate and tell ourselves we’ll do it later? It’s because we don’t see ourselves as having legitimate authority over our own decisions, but discipline is all about respecting yourself enough to take action to push yourself outside of your comfort zone.
Choose to do small tasks everyday to prove to yourself that you are capable of discipline. This could be forcing yourself to eat a fruit and vegetable everyday, setting your alarm for an hour earlier in the morning, or turning your devices off before bedtime. Accomplishing small everyday tasks will convince your brain that you have the ability to discipline yourself, so that when bigger commitments arrive you no longer find them to be a burden.
Remember, staying in your comfort zone doesn’t lead to growth. Disciplining yourself to go outside of your comfort zone is where real change happens.
4. Don’t doubt yourself
Our minds are more powerful than we think. Our thoughts lead to words, our words lead to actions, and our actions become our life.
If you doubt yourself from the beginning, you will not be able to accomplish your full potential. But by acknowledging your power, you pave the way to success by accepting that you’re capable of the opportunities that come your way. When we find ourselves entertaining self doubt, it’s essential that we change our mindset into something that’s accepting of the challenge, but still willing to attempt. In this way, we can move forward without being held back by the limits of our mind.
We ask Allah to make our affairs easy for us and to guide the way for us to do what’s halal and liked by Allah, while staying away from what he dislikes.
With love and du’as,
Shakila, United Kingdom