If you’re anything like most people, you probably feel like you don’t have enough time, even though you try so hard to manage and organise your time. The Quran emphasises the importance of time but doesn’t directly deal with time management per se, instead, it has a greater solution.

Since I myself struggled with time I decided to find out, how do I manage time without feeling overwhelmed with so many things to do? Islam teaches us through its system that there are some main things that we need to focus on in order to create the life we want and get the best out of the time we have. Time management is not the key, you can’t manage your time like a robot. Instead, Focus is the number one solution. The 2nd thing that will help you is routine, the 3rd thing that will help you is learning how to prioritise, the 4th thing that will really solidify your time is making decisions, and the final thing that will get you the best of your time is to understand the value of today.

Time management is not the solution to getting the best out of life. This may sound a little contradictory to the dominant thoughts but the subject but I have found this through years of research into the topic as well as my own experience with productivity. Insha’Allah I’ll demonstrate this through what we learn in the Quran and the Sunnah. In this article, I will share with you the 5 keys to managing and organising your life. Even if you tried using only a few of them, you’ll find that it has the most amazing impact on your life and you’ll feel as though your life has is slowly but surely becoming what you want it to be insha’Allah.

What the Quran says about time:

Allah says: “By Time, indeed, mankind is in a state of loss, except those who believe and do righteous good deeds.” Quran, Surah Al-Asar

Whenever we talk about time in Islam, we often hear these verses being quoted because the essence of time in relation to your life is defined here. Allah is informing you by making an oath by time itself, that we will be losers in the journey of life unless we focus on 2 things.

1) The first thing that Allah teaches us is that you must focus in order to maximise your time and be of those who win in the struggle against time. The first thing to focus much of your time on is your beliefs as Allah says “Except those who believe”. In practical terms what that means, is that you have to focus on connecting to Allah through your belief system and live according to your beliefs.

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2) Allah then tells us to focus the time that we have on doing actions or good deeds that will benefit us and others in this life, and also benefit you in the hereafter. And what is implied here is that your deeds or actions have to serve you in both the Dunya and the Akhira (Hereafter).

These are the 2 things that Allah tells to you focus on so that you will succeed in life.

5 Keys to managing your time and life.

1.Time management VS Focus.

There are lots of courses and books on time management, and I’ve done some of those in my pursuit to organise life, work, family and worship. Having researched the general sciences and then the Islamic sciences, I found that Allah points us to the 2 things here in this verses of Surah Al Asar. Instead of pointing us to many different things that we could do, Allah points us to the most important of all.

Focusing in on the things that will have the greatest benefit in our lives and our hereafter.

Time management is not the key, but FOCUS is. If you have tried to organise your time and try to fit in every task and responsibility you have into your days and weeks, I’m pretty sure you probably felt overwhelmed, like a robot just trying to execute every to-do list that you have.

What I’ve found was that if I focus in on the most important thing, then I would get a lot more done. You see, whatever you focus on, you will progress in that, develop and grow. If you focus on your health, your health will improve. If you focus on your wealth, then you will increase in your wealth. And if you focus on your relationships, then you can improve and create deeper, more meaningful relationships.

But what if you focus only on one of those leaving out the rest? In the short term you won’t feel it, but after a year or two of focusing only on one or 2 things, you’ll find that your life becomes very imbalanced and you have a lot of problems in those areas that you’ve put no time and effort into.

So, to remedy this, you might try and fit everything into that 10 hours of the day that you have but very quickly, you’ll start to feel as though it’s too much and not manageable.

The solution to this is simple. You must decide on what areas of my life you want to focus on and then focus on only 1 or 2 areas at a time. Create a timeline, a plan which must be written down and scheduled into your calendar. If you create a plan of what to focus on and when, then focus in on only one or two of the areas that are important to you. By doing this you will eventually get round to doing all of the things that you need to do.

Insha’Allah doing it this way will lift that feeling of struggle and overwhelm, and that constant feeling that you’re falling short. Plan what you will focus on and put it into your calendar and then just follow your plan.

But don’t forget what you focus on will grow, and what you don’t focus on will not.

2. Routine in Islam

Allah teaches us through the daily rituals of Islam, routine. Routine is what we are taught through the 5 daily prayers. Routine is what we are taught by fasting Mondays and Thursdays every week. Routine is what we are taught by making the morning and the evening Athkar(remembrance of Allah).

A Muslim’s life is full of routine that Islam has organised for us. So, Allah teaches us through the system of Islam that routine, a planned and organised way of living ensures that you get the most things done. So, once you have decided what you need to focus on, then create a routine plan for doing the same things every day, every week, every month insha’Allah.

Of course, change your plan according to what you are focusing on, but don’t change your routine because the routine is like rocket fuel in achieving all of the things that we want in life. It will power you to move forward and attain all of the great things that exist in life and in the hereafter.

3. Prioritising is Number one

Allah teaches us in surah Al-Asar that he the Almighty has prioritised these 2 things over all other things in life. Allah prioritised belief, because that is what will get you eternal happiness, and He prioritised actions because that is a manifestation of your beliefs. In this verse Allah teaches us that we need to prioritise, you can’t do everything.

One of the problems I suffered from was that I wanted to do every great idea that came to mind(and I’m still like this). However, I found that, in trying to do everything I couldn’t do anything to the best of my abilities.

So, when you learn to prioritise, what you’re actually doing is focusing in on the most important things of that moment. And once you have focused in on the most important things, and you prioritise them over everything else, then your focus can go to work for you and make the most of your time and energy. Don’t forget Prioritising is key, you can’t do everything.

4. The Importance of Great Decisions.

Let me tell you right from the offset, there are no great decisions. Decisions are just that, just decisions and they only become great when you achieve something great and then look back and say to yourself that was a great decision.

The problem that many of us face is procrastination, and one of the biggest causes of procrastination is that we can’t seem to make decisions, out of the fear that will make the wrong decision. What I’ve learned over the years is that there is no wrong decision as long as you follow the guidance of the Quran and the Sunnah.

If you follow the guidance of the Quran and the Sunnah and you make a decision, you will figure out quickly whether that is a good or bad decision, and that’s okay. What you need to do then is change directions by adjusting your decision to suit your current reality.

Making decisions quickly is very important. However, do a little due diligence, the research needed to give yourself the confidence that this is a good decision. But don’t get stuck in researching and why like to call analysis paralysis, where you get stuck in the research phase forever. Do the research as quickly as possible and then make that the Dua of Guidance (Salat Al-Istikhara) and then make a firm decision and just move forward. If you find that it’s not working, then make necessary adjustments until you find what does work.

Making decisions is taken steps forward. When you don’t make a decision you always remain standing in the same place while the world goes forward as you feel stuck. The only way to change that is to make a decision.

Making decisions is like building muscle, the more you do it, the stronger those decisions become.

5. Understanding the value of today in Islam

Allah made an oath by time. It’s important to understand that the time that you have, is today, not yesterday and not even tomorrow, it’s today.

You do not have yesterday because yesterday’s gone, that’s not time that you have any more. You don’t even have tomorrow because it’s not here, and none of us are guaranteed tomorrow. So, what you have is today. And so you need to focus on today and doing the best that you can today.

To ensure that you do the best you can, you need to follow the steps that I’ve already outlined here. Decide what you want to focus on in life this year or this quarter. Then create a plan, a routine that you will follow daily, weekly and monthly. Make the decisions by prioritising the most important things, and then take action today.

Today’s value is directly connected to the latter part of the verse of Surah Al-Asar where Allah says “and do righteous good deeds”. Doing those good deeds is not for tomorrow, you have to do them today. So, understanding the value of today will push you towards doing those deeds now.

You can’t guarantee tomorrow so take action today, even if it’s the smallest steps. In fact, my advice to you is always start by taking smaller steps because you will actually get going. If you take small, tiny, incremental steps you’ll get there inshaAllah.

In Islam time is relative, meaning that time for you is different than it is for anyone else. What you do with your time today, directly relates to what you have decided to focus on, what routines you have, what decisions you’ve made, what you prioritised, and whether or not you are actually taking action.

The time you have is the only time that you can have and it will pass. So, if you make the most of it. If you get working on this insha’Allah you will see the fruits of it when you need it in this life as well as the hereafter. In Islam, we learn that the day of Judgement, which is one day, will be the equivalent of 50,000 years as we know it. This means that in the hereafter time will change forever. One day will be equivalent to 50,000 years. So if you spend a small amount your time now doing good deeds that will help you, both in this life and the hereafter, then you will find that this small deed that only took minutes in this life with serve you for years in the hereafter.

So choose wisely.

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  • ​Quranic guidance on Optimising Your Life
  • ​Become the Best version of​ your​self this Month
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