I know, this probably seems like one of those “how to be productive” articles that somehow pop up every year during Ramadan. However, as cliche as it sounds, the holy month is about more than just fasting. It is a time to reflect on our weaknesses and plan our time efficiently. With this in mind, I’ve compiled a short guide to improve productivity, while remaining realistic.

1. Talk to people, and actually listen.

Learn about Ramadan through conversation! If you want to know something specific, why not ask someone you trust? This works both ways! If you have information to share, start a conversation. It’s important to encourage dialogue among friends, family and even acquaintances. Learning is much more than reading a book. We learn buckets from each other! And I’ve found often the deepest conversations are with friends from different [religious] backgrounds.  Let’s move out of our comfort zones, and dare to ask questions: What is spirituality? What is religion? Who is God to you?

2. Watch videos, but be selective.

We’re so often told that the internet is the enemy of productivity. Most productivity guides tell readers to avoid YouTube, stay off their phones and log off Facebook. But, is that the way of the future? We are lucky to have such easy access to our favourite imams and scholars, all from the comfort of our homes. From in depth and accessible tafseer videos by Nouman Ali Khan, to stories about the life of Prophet Muhammed (PBUH), social media can be a great tool if used correctly.

3. Simply be with people.

As a time often associated with family gatherings, laughter and traditional food, experiencing Ramadan alone can be incredibly alienating. So why not look out for those who may be alone this month? You could invite friends to the masjid, volunteer at a local charity, or even invite them to attend our Open Iftar one evening. Having a friend who encourages you to be productive, makes the experience easier and less daunting.

4. Don’t be put off by the long hours. It’s about you!

The long fasting hours mean two things:

  • You have more time to get things done!
  • “The angels seek istighfar (forgiveness) for the believers(…)”

So, it’s important to keep a balance between spirituality and our own well-being. Remember Ramadan isn’t a competition based on who can give the most money, or how much Qur’an you can read and how quickly. Ramadan is both very personal, and about being part of a community; while everyone’s journey is different, we all have the role of encouraging each other.

Hopefully, following these steps will help us use our time more wisely. From reflecting on our spiritually, to picking up good habits, intention is what will make Ramadan a blessed and beautiful month – inshaAllah.