1) Write Out Your Love List + Gratitude List
First thing in the morning. (Or before you go to sleep). For your love list, write down 10 things that you love about yourself and your life right now. Here’s what makes this really powerful: make it about you. Not about how amazing and proud you as a gorgeous mama. Not about how wonderful you feel for being the happiest wife. Not about your precious past memories, that you cherish and hold so close to your heart. But about now. About you. Watch how your self-love and inner worth grows when you take those few minutes to actually acknowledge what you love about yourself.
The second part to this is a daily gratitude list. Write out the heading ‘Thank You Allah For…” and list at least 5 things you feel super grateful for. You know what’s pretty incredible about this? Using both the love list + gratitude list, I’ve written down things which end up happening again and again. Because what you give thanks for, grows. The ayah in which Allah says: ‘If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favour]…” Surah Ibrahim [14:07]
A heart full of gratitude and joy is a magnet for miracles.
2) Find Your Feminine/ Masculine Energy Rhythm
My personal mantra is about 80% feminine and 20% masculine. That’s the way I like to go about my productivity (+ life). Play around with these energies and find out a) what gives you results and b) makes you the happiest.
When we talk about the hustle and being productive, we’re usually in a very heavy, masculine energy. We’re in this go – go – go, result orientated state. Sounds great, right? Except that usually ends up in exhaustion, feeling stressed and burnt out. (Oh hey adrenal fatigue!)
You can be lovingly feminine and still get work done. That’s where the ‘20% masculine’ energy comes in for me – that last push and discipline to continue doing the work. Where as everything before that – getting organised, staying inspired, brainstorming ideas, writing my blog posts etc. comes from a feminine place.
The key is to find what works best for you.
Too much into your masculine and you become aggressive with others and fixated on the outcome. You’re getting things done more than ever but deeply unfulfilled. Busy is your middle name. You’re craving happiness and ease.
Too much into your feminine and you get nothing done. You’re enjoying this moment but deep inside you’re yearning to step into your strength and girl power. You’re craving purpose and meaning.
3) Put In A Day’s Worth Of “Work”
At the end of the day, only you’ll know if you gave it your all. Look, I can happily watch YouTube videos for ages + somehow convince myself that mopping the floors because there’s a tiny little foot imprint is soo urgent and necessary and wayyy more important than getting work done! But deep inside, you know when your procrastinating even if you’re doing something else that’s useful (like mopping floors!).
The yearning in your heart never dies out. That quiet voice that nudges you to do better than this. That calling to stop wasting your life away.
A day’s “work” is not restricted to employment or career. It’s doing all the things that fulfil you. It’s making a conscious effort to live your happiest life. Your “work” is loving and nourishing your children in the best possible way. Your “work” is taking care of your body, making your happiness and self-care a priority. Your “work” is fulfilling your responsibilities to others, taking on projects that light you up, showing up for work with purpose and drive. All those things that weave your life into this beautiful, intricate masterpiece.
4) Think in Weeks + Months
You don’t have to do it all in a day. One of the best time management tips I’ve ever learnt was to plan in alternate days and weeks. In a perfect day, you have a list of all the habits and rituals you’d love to do. Instead of cramming it into one day, start thinking in alternate days and weeks.
For example: every second night you might read to your child before they sleep. Every third day you might schedule a Pilates workout session. One weekend you might go swimming and the next leave it free to see what comes up. Think beyond daily practises and see the bigger picture. Reading a book once a month, reading Quran every few days or weekly, trying out a new family activity once a month is better than nothing at all.
5) Focus On Feeling Really Good
Here’s the thing. The biggest reason why you’re not productive (as much as you’d like) is most likely due to procrastination. Spending your time on the wrong things. Being lazy is like this illusion of momentary, low level joy… it’s such a fleeting moment of joy, that leaves you feeling empty and shallow, very quickly.
You know what feels worse than procrastinating?
Going to bed and feeling like crap because you’ve wasted an entire day… again. Or not spending quality time with your children because you’re too tired… yet again. Feeling like crap because you’ve give up on yourself and on your dreams.
Once you know how good it feels to be alive (actually present and fulfilled) you can’t go back to numbing yourself with hours of Netflix. You can’t go back to watching hours of crappy T.V every night. You can’t go back to missing days of Salah’s and not thinking much of it. You can’t go back to just pretending that everything’s okay.
To stay productive throughout the day, focus on feeling really, really good – that sweet, luscious feeling of knowing that you gave it your all today. That you loved fully and showed up wholeheartedly. Connect with that end goal of feeling really good about your life and let that drive you to stay focused.
Now that we’ve covered the 5 golden rules to have your most productive day yet, I’m going to share a few quick productivity tips that you can easily implement inshaAllah:
+ Keep a pretty planner that you love:
It doesn’t matter if you do the same thing, day in – day out – write it down. It doesn’t matter if it’s the same basic tasks like cooking/ cleaning/ organising/ playing with your kids etc. Write it down because that’s how you begin to value your time and value what you bring to the table.
+ Allocate time/ days to batch tasks together:
You’re much more efficient and focused when you batch similar tasks together instead of spreading them out through the day or week. I.e. batch cooking to cover a few meals, answering your emails in one go.