Why Muslims should manage time efficiently (2)

By Onike Abdul-Azeez   |   22 January 2015   |   11:00 pm  


HAVING known the value of time, there is need for people to be conscious of the common time wasters in our environment and day-to-day activities, it’s after knowing this that one will able to manage the time properly. 

  Time wasters as enumerated by Jim Hennig and other motivational speakers are: 

Failure to have ‘To do list’: What are the things you set out? Our creator has not created us without purposes, goals and objectives. “Did you think that We had created you for nothing, and that you would not be returned to us.” Q23:115.

Lack of time analysis: Our highly revered second caliph, Umar bn Khatab was quoted to have said “Self-examine yourself before you are examined.” An individual will only appreciate what quantum of his time has been wasted by carrying out, each day, time analysis before going to bed: what he does hour to hour throughout the day. With this kind of exercise, one will be able to score oneself accordingly. And if he is not proud to show his analysis to either his child or anybody for that matter, there is cause for concern.

Lack of time scheduling technique: Not appropriating time to activities correctly and properly by concentrating on the non essential. To overcome this however, the following strategies are recommended:

Apply 80:20 Rule by concentrating on a 20 per cent activity that will give you 80 per cent values. For example, if you have a lot to do and you know of a particular task among the list that once it’s done, the remaining task value is just 20 per cent.

Use of perfectionist principle: Reduce the normal time to do a task into half. A job that is to take one hour, assume that it will take 30 minutes.

  Avoid un-necessary interruptions such as telephone calls, drop -in-visitor (e.t.c.) by taking the following steps: close the door to your office when you need to finish a task on schedule; re arrange the furniture in your office, don’t provide many chairs; delegate responsibilities (this is different from giving instructions); fix meeting outside your office; control ‘have you got a minute to spare me style’ by saying NO; have someone to interrupt, when there is somebody with you wasting your time; stand up when you have to discuss with someone; use your schedules.

Other time wasters are lack of quiet time; unproductive meetings; and procrastination.

  Charles Dickens and David Copperfield described procrastination as the thief of time. Mention is made of this great time waster in the Holy Qur’an thus: “Until, when death comes to one of them, he says: ‘My Lord! Send me back so that I may do good in that which I have left behind’… (Q23:99-100).

  Even Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) usually prays against laziness nay procrastination, he would pray often: 

“O Allah! I seek Your protection from anxiety and grief, from incapacity and laziness, from stinginess and cowardice, and from the burden of debt and domination of people.” (Bukhari)

  And to guide against procrastination, prayer, using the above stated prophetic prayer and employ the following:

Get to do the work immediately it comes to your mind, even if it’s just to make a phone call, do it straight away. Do the task first. Take the task in small bits. Commit the tasks to others, delegate and then follow up. Promise and reward yourself. Simplify the complex task.

  It is important to bear in mind that “yesterday is history, tomorrow is mystery, today is a gift”, perhaps that’s why it’s called the present. We should also avoid discussions harping on personality, way of life, grouses, styles, conducts and behaviour that have tendency to consume enormous time without helping with attainment of defined goals. 

Imam Abdul-Azeez is the Deputy Chief Missioner, NASFAT Headquarters, Lagos

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