By: Rasha Dewedar
Muslims all over the world start counting down for Ramadan with unprecedented motivation and high hopes to do many things and to get the maximum of this holy month.
However, intentions are not enough!
Muslim women like everyone else have high expectations for the blessed month, as well as more loads and duties.
Achieving what you want in Ramadan is strongly related to time management and realistic plans.
Women have more duties in Ramadan, especially if they are working, however, they still have several opportunities for getting rewards, which makes it even more important for them to arrange and coordinate diversity of activities only in one month.
Charity is a widely open door in which women can participate by different ways. Cooking food for needy people, collecting money from relatives and friends for charitable reasons, among other activities.
Women have also a very important and crucial role in helping their children understand what Ramadan is all about, and in organizing activities and entertaining activities relevant to the holy month.
Ramadan is considered an excellent opportunity for kids to live 30 days in a comprehensive experience that includes fasting, praying, playing, and helping others either physically or financially.
Time management is not only how you manage your time in Ramadan, but extends to how you manage to decrease your tasks and duties during the holy month.
Everyone has different priorities, abilities, and circumstances, nevertheless, you can tailor the following tips to your life style.
Pray that Allah grants you Baraka in your time.
- Don’t go to one of the extremes; don’t put very high expectations that you are unlikely to make, be always sure you are not a superwoman (no one actually is). You are not helpless as well, you can achieve a lot if you put realistic plan that goes along with your abilities, responsibilities, and circumstances.
- Make it simple, don’t overwhelm yourself with lists of food items you should prepare everyday on Iftar, just make sure meals are nutritious and have all necessary elements.
- Get your kitchen prepared; prepare different ingredients for meals before Ramadan, so that in Ramadan, you just do the final steps.
For example, prepare in your fridge a good amount of onions, garlic, and tomato sauce.
Get meat and chicken washed and spiced.
Prepare some homemade drinks like hibiscus, and leave them in the fridge.
- Keep your home organized; this way you can get things easier and save time of searching for items.
- Set your priorities; Put your plan starting with basic tasks followed by less important to ‘you’.
Don’t schedule what you think less prior, just focus on more important things and get them done efficiently.
- Put a schedule to your appointments and visits; avoid unnecessary outings, and put definite dates and times if you can.
Make it clear to your family and friends that Ramadan is a very special time to you and that you’d rather give more time to prayers and related activities and you can postpone gatherings and errands and do it afterwards.
- Be smart when you invite; inviting guests to Iftar no doubt has a great thawab, and spread happiness to both you and your guests, and it can be a great load as well, unless you have a good plan for it.
Cook simple meals that do not need much time or effort. Prepare some or most of the dishes one day before if you can, so you don’t have all the work on the same day.
Get someone to help you with preparing, lifting, and washing the dishes if feasible, and if you have kids, let them help you as well.
Dish parties are an excellent choice in this case, where everyone gets a dish and you all share cooking and you also share thawab.
- Make a checklist in which you put basic duties as well as extra activities, and make one for each child, this will act as a good reminder as well as an alert if you put too much or too less tasks.
Don’t say tomorrow, if you have a task, do it immediately, this will even give you a push to do more.
- Take some rest; enough sleeping hours are very important for you to be able to complete the whole month with the same pace.
- Eat well; healthy food will give you the energy to work, pray, and do all your duties.
Avoid eating junk food and food with big amount of fats as much as you can, this kind of diet will make you more sleepy and lazy in addition to its health hazards.
After managing your time a way or another, help others to do the same, especially family members.
- Exercise; many people think Ramadan is absolutely the wrong time to exercise, this is not true. You can have few minutes of stretching or any kind of work outs that makes your body stronger and make you feel better.
For Working Women:
Needless to say that working women have a harder job that need more care and control.
The good news however, is that working women are mostly used to time management, checklists, and arranging tasks beforehand.
- Working efficiently is an important gate to Paradise, so be always sure that you are doing a great job which will essentially reflect on your psychology in a positive way.
- Set your schedule carefully, according to your working hours so that you have adequate time to sleep, work, and good time to spend with your family.
- Make use of the time of breaks and transportation in reading Qur’an and Dhikr.
- Help your Muslim colleagues make the most of the holy month by exchanging information, and encouraging each other.
- Get your family involved; you can get the help of your family members in household responsibilities.
You should always know that time management is not a tool for more duties to accomplish. It’s rather a system that helps you having a clear vision of what you want to do, identify your responsibilities, feel productive, which will finally grant you control over your life with a sense of empowerment.