Time Flies!

>> Monday, April 4, 2011

Assalaam o Alaikum. I have a BIG problem, no matter how much i try i can't stop myself from wasting time and so i end up not being punctual. i don't go to classes on time. i miss appointments. i get to them late. I know how precious time is, and that i will be questioned on its use, but i can't get myself to get to placees on time. i drive, and my university is at a 5 minute drive from home!!!! :( :( this is a desperate call, coz i'm beginning to lose trust in myself and so my confidance when making promises.... please help me out with baby steps i should take for me to get punctual.
Also, i usually miss praying Fajr on time. i pray it when i wake up to go to uni. i sleep late, coz im doing assignments and stuff, then i can't or don't wake up for Fajr, and so i pray when i wake up... i get so confused with what to do. i study late into the hight, because i come back from uni in the evening at around 5 or 6.. and then it takes me time to get started on studying, and so i start late, and then end late. which leads to me missing out on fajr!! :( :( :( :( 
Please pray for me, and if there's anything i should be doing, or a certain way i should be thinking PLEASE do let me know! JazakamUllah hu khairun! You ladies are doing an AWESOMMMEEE job! MashaAllah! :) :) :) 

Wa laykum salaam dear sis, 
I'm really glad that you've noticed something in your lifestyle that can be changed for the better, and that you've picked it out to improve, mashaAllah, I think we can all take a leaf out of your book there and do that. :)

You're absolutely right, timekeeping and organising your time is sooo important to become well-rounded muslims who keep control of their life, instead of their life controlling them. Islam teaches us to be punctual- think about how are our prayers are by the 'dot', our fasts also, and Hajj. Everything has a prescribed time and it's so important that we learn to manage our time.

So let's go through this systematically. 

1) Punctuality - missing classes/appointments/meetings:

In any aspect of life, punctuality is key for success. But don't worry, it's not that hard to acquire in your life if you make an effort to do so. Some things you can do to be more punctual for classes etc.;

- Do everything 30 minutes earlier. So, write on your timetable (if you don't have one, make one, but more on that later :P), that your classes start 30 minutes earlier than they actually do. Make this stick in your mind. When you make an appointment, write down the time and place on a calendar or in your phone, but write down the time as at least 15 minutes earlier than the real time. And you know what? Use your cellphone and put 'reminders'. Again, 15 minutes earlier. 

- To get yourself in the habit of doing this, set your watch/phone clock 5 minutes earlier! Remember to keep at least one access to the real time so you pray at the right time. And only do this for about a week! Just to get yourself in the habit of doing things earlier - it's a psychological trick which sometimes, might just do the trick! :P

- Have your friends 'message you'/ 'pass by' you so you can get to class on time. As you start to get on top of your schedule, it's always best to get some outside help. So, since you live sooooo close to your uni, ask your friends to text you/ ring you/ whatever to make sure that you're there on time. 

- Ask yourself: what makes you late? Are you late because you take a long time to plan your outfit? Plan the whole week's outfit during the weekend! Really. It is such a time saver.

2) Confidence in self - making promises

It's understandable that you feel your confidence is taking a bump - but once again, don't think that this is going to be forever! You should do the following; make a list of all the engagements for the following week. If you have 20, let's say. Which includes classes, meetings, appointments and anything else. You must be punctual for at least 75% of them. So if you have 20, you've got to be on time to at least 15 of them. If you are, then treat yourself inshaAllah on the weekend somehow. I personally feel a tub of chocolate icecream is a perfect treat, but do anything which you think you can aspire to build towards. When you make promises to people, make sure you think about it, and instead of saying 'I will be there', you could say, 'I will try my best, and will let you know closer to the time, inshaAllah'.

-Always say Insha'Allah! Even if it's something tiny. Like, 'I'm going to get milk, I'll be 10 minutes inshaAllah' Enforce this habit in your daily life and you'll be remembering Allah a lot more, inshaAllah, and you'll also be saying that whatever you do - it is Allah's will for whatever happens.

3) Fajr! - 'Prayer is better than sleep!'

I can understand it's a sort of knock-on affect, with the source being uni assignments, right. You could try to stay at uni in the library or study areas and plan your assignments there while you're still in the 'working mood'/'atmosphere'. So when you start them when you get home, the thinking and planning is already done, and you can get simply get stuck-in. Planning may take more time, but it ensures you use your time properly - which actually saves time in the long run!!

-Fighting Fajr Fatigue: Set your alarm and hide it somewhere in your room. Under the bed, on the top shelf, in your wardrobe. Be ruthless!  Then, when it goes 'beepbeep!' and annoys you until your hair stands on end, you will have to get out of bed and get to it. By the time you're out of bed, you should be able to fight to keep yourself out and make your way to make wudhu, inshaAllah. 

Get your family involved! Have them wake you up. Or your friends message you. You can even leave some mouth watering amazing chocolate outside of your room to tempt you. Try everything!

This article is GREAT on getting up for Fajr! Check it out here!
Also, it might be an idea to try to change your sleeping habits, another great article here!

4) This isn't directly to do with anything you asked, but I think it might help. Like you know, organisation is key. Apparently, organising can even drop stress levels! This is what you can do to organise your tasks and life more effectively, inshaAllah.
-Write things down!; It's been proved that when you write something down, it becomes more embedded in your mind too. Also, it gives you the chance to look over things, so you don't forget and also can give a sense of achievement when you tick it off. (: So my advice to you, would be to invest in a simple notebook. Keep this solely for planning. Every morning (after fajr, inshaAllah!!), write down all the things to do. Here's an example from my life;

Things to do:
Qur'an translation
School Council Meeting (Print notes)
Ask about homework
Buy Science revision book
Physics homework
French speaking preparation
Make mindmap on History topic

Try to write all the tasks for the day in chronological order, slotting in prayer times too. That's an easy way to embed Salah in your lifestyle if you have trouble with doing it on time.

Now, on the other side of the paper, write down a timetable for the day. So from my tasks list I would take everything and put it in like this:

-Fajr and English Quran (until 7am)
-School (until 4pm)
                              -Meeting (print notes)
                              -Ask about homework
                              -School shop (for revision book)
-Get home and pray Asr (until 4.30pm)
-Relax/Write/Snack (until 7pm)
-Maghrib and chores(until 7.30pm)
-Homework and school work (until 8.30pm)
-More homework and school work (until 10pm)
-Sleep routine (bed no later than 11pm)


Keep the paper/notebook with you during the day and look back to it. Give yourself deadlines, but make them flexible enough for you to follow them.

If you can't follow your plan, don't worry, adjustments can be made to fit circumstances and that's fine. 

Lastly, this technique of the 5s' can be useful too!

Look at this technique too;
Stephen Covey writes about prioritising. For every task, put it in each of these quadrants. You want to avoid all quadrants except for Number 2. Covey says to spend most time in this quadrant so not to be driven by the tyranny of urgency!
When things become 'urgent' it means you've left them too late. So an assignment in for tomorrow would fit into Quadrant 1. But it shouldn't have become urgent in the first place - it should have been done earlier.
Quadrant 3 is doing things such as watching the new episode of your favourite series. It's urgent because it's on right now! But it's not important.
Quadrant 4 is where you don't want to be treading! It's doing things which aren't important, nor do they require urgency.

It's just something to think about when you're doing something. Ask yourself these questions, just to make sure you're using your time with the right tasks inshaAllah.

Lastly, if Allah wills, you will. Don't lose hope, just try again and again and again - and even again, inshaAllah.

Pray to your Lord for more productive habits, and keep praying. You'll get there eventually if you keep praying even when it seems there is no hope. There always is, so smile (:

8 wonderful sprinkely thoughts:

Asma Khan April 4, 2011 at 7:53 AM  

An other nice writing... :)

Ghadeer April 4, 2011 at 11:49 AM  

I think Stephen Covey's matrix works wonders!

Layla April 4, 2011 at 4:59 PM  

Asalammu Alaykum! :)

I just wanted to say that this blog is really, really helpful! I hope Allah [SWT] rewards you in Jannah for making an advice blog like this. :D

Anyway, this question isn't mine, but it sure helped me! I love to sleep!! I just cannot wake up any earlier than 9:30 PM. Even on school days, I am tired! I wish I wasn't. I am learning to read Salah, but I am excited on reading Fajr soon! Soon, I will have the Salah memorized, Insh'Allah. [I am not a revert, but a born Muslimah. It just took me a while to realize the True Path to life. I fear Allah Taa'la more than ever now!]

I will be using this advice. I like the one where you "hide" your alarm clock. LOL! I'll definitely be using that hint!

I just realized how lazy I am! :P

Little Auntie,  April 6, 2011 at 1:33 AM  

Layla, I'm thrilled to have you here. Ma'shaallah, for getting back on the right track, alahmdillah.

I thought I would include some links here for you- just to help you- as you learn how to pray properly, insahAllah :)

This YouTube clip is in 7 parts, including how to do Wudu/Ablution .


Another 2 very good links, the first one includes prayers in written form and audio. The second is with the Arabic Transliteration; again with audio and showing you the movements you need to make during your paryers:



You can do it :)

Layla April 6, 2011 at 5:06 PM  

Thanks so much! :) I am following what you say - set deadlines! :D I'm setting deadlines for when I should have Salah memorized by, etc.

Unknown April 8, 2011 at 7:36 AM  

First I have to say a major big thank you to TheSisterWhoSmiles for introducing me to that uber-fabulous website!! I am officially in love with Productive Muslim! *beams*

Next, masha Allah, great post as usual. Lol at hiding the alarm clock. Yeah, we all go through phases, especially during hectic assignment days when we miss Fajr. It's really irritating.

One of my tricks is to keep the alarm clock right at the door of the bathroom. If I keep it anywhere else, I always get back in bed for some snooze time, but now since I'm already at the bathroom, I stumble in instead of going to bed :P

Uri Fatimah,  June 1, 2011 at 11:14 PM  

Masha Allah..
You gave such a clear and effective tips...! It will help me greatly. Jazaki Allaho khairan.sisterwhosmiles:)

the taskinators in productivemuslim.com will also helpful. Making objectives must go along with check the result.


Anonymous,  May 13, 2012 at 11:40 PM  

Assalamu'alaikum dear sisters, Thank you so much. I have learned from your website alhamdulillah. May Allah reward you all. Ameen.:)

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