Ramadan is the most special time of year for the ummah. This sacred month gives Muslims from all over the world an opportunity to repent, connect to our faith on a deeper level, give back to the community and better ourselves mentally and spiritually.
We are always very excited for Ramadan. We have hundreds of things we want to work on and without proper organisation we can easily get overwhelmed and distracted barely scratching the surface of what we wanted to achieve before the month is over.
In this blog post we want to share with you five practical tips to having a productive Ramadan so that we all can get the most of this beautiful month.
Set Goals for Ramadan
Intention is what truly counts. Just like we set the intention for our fast we have to set intention for achieving our Ramadan goals, but we need to know what they are first. You have to be very specific when you set your goals. For example, ‘reading Quran every day’ is not specific enough, while ‘reading 10 pages of Quran every day’ is tangible and can be easily tracked.
If you want to memorise new surahs, specify which ones and how many, then follow up with an action plan to see if you can actually achieve it and how. If you want to memorise one surah per week then you need break it down to see how many lines you need to learn per day. That way you can easily monitor your progress and stay on track.
The same principle must apply to each goal we set for Ramadan. If our goals are clear and achievable, we set ourselves up for success.
Plan your days
Now that we have our goals in order, we need to create time in our calendar for them. You can use Google Calendar or an average daily planner to schedule the days and tasks solidifying the intention to show up and achieve our Ramadan goals. Pick up the weekly calendar and start time-blocking the schedule. Log in Suhur and Iftar as well as the daily prayers and taraweeh, add work hours in, school pick ups and other non-negotiable life tasks. As soon as we’re done with time-blocking we will see the windows of opportunity in our calendar, that’s when we fill them up with our Ramadan goals related tasks.
Besides having a strong intention to achieve our Ramadan goals, we now have the clarity and set times for each of them. We can schedule for the week ahead every Sunday and revise the schedule every single night before going to bed reminding ourselves of what we had planned for the day ahead and adjust the plan if needed.
Set Limits on Apps
Our phones serve us well in our busy lives, but they can also be a major distraction that often makes us lose the track of time. Social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube suck us into their vortex day in and day out. You can delete them for the month of Ramadan to completely avoid the temptation of scrolling. Unfortunately, for some of us it’s not an option as social media is a part of our work, therefore, the next best thing would be to set daily limits on those apps allowing just enough time for us to post the content and reply to comments and direct messages.
If we are intentional with how we spend our time on social media during the month of Ramadan, we will subsequently free up a lot of time in our day to focus on our spiritual growth instead.
Keep active or at the very least do not turn into a couch potato. We are all aware of the amazing benefits of exercising and living an active lifestyle like good mood, higher energy levels and better sleep. During the month of Ramadan we need them more that ever!
If you are already training on regular basis, do not stop. Carry on with your routine. You can easily adjust it to make it Ramadan-friendly in terms of intensity. You can consider introducing daily power walks, yoga and pilates as well as low impact cardio and light weight training to maintain your fitness level during Ramadan. Work out smarter, not harder during this time.
You can either wake up earlier and get your workout in right before Suhur, alternatively, 1 hour before or after Iftar. Do what feels right for you, but make it your priority to show up even on the days when you feel like vegging out on the couch. You will thank yourself later, because you will feel great and energised, ready to achieve any Ramadan goal you set for yourself.
Eat Well and Stay Hydrated
When our food and water intake is limited it is more important that ever to watch carefully what we are putting in our body. Good quality food equals great quality fuel that will nourish us.
When our Suhur is balanced and nutritious, we will have better energy and alertness throughout the day.
When our Iftar plate is full of fresh and healthy whole foods we leave the table feeling light and comfortable rather than completely stuffed which helps us show up for our taraweeh and post-iftar workout with ease.
Water intake is also very important. Our alert levels and focus suffer significantly if we are dehydrated.
Tip: Whenever you’re not fasting, keep a good size drink bottle next to you and sip on it as often as you can to stay hydrated.
Our sincere intention, organisation, self-control and how we feel determine exactly how productive we are, that's why we have to make it our priority to do whatever it takes to keep our mind focused, time managed and body nourished to boost our productivity this Ramadan.