My mom asked me to write a blog post about time management. I thought it was so ironic because as a young child, I would procrastinate all the time.
When I was in the 6th grade, students had all week to write out a sheet of the multiplication tables for each day of the week that were due every Monday. (7 sheets of it for 7 days in a week).
What was 12 year old me doing every Sunday night? 7 sheets of the multiplication tables by hand all in one shot!
As a working mom, I don’t have the luxury of procrastination. Moms NEED to get up early, take care of babies, go to work, take care of their homes and hubbies and some like me, also attend to the needs of in laws too.
While it may sound tiring, I have some tips that I learned along the way:
1) Make time for bed time: if you can stick your child to a regular bed time, try to sleep then too. That way, you can wake up early for fajr prayers (or if you are really lucky tahajjud).
Waking up with enough time to eat breakfast and get ready for work or the rest of your day sets the pace and tone for you. No one can function if they are sleep deprived or hungry.
2) Finish the boring stuff first: One of the worst things is having fun after a long work week during the weekend and then realizing on Sunday that you have to do 2 weeks of laundry! Try to do your errands on Friday or earlier in the weekend so that you have time for some fun stuff too. Let’s face it, would you want to do errands when you have the Sunday blues?
3)Always make time for your kids: Yes, a clean house is lovely. However, sometimes I do ignore messes if it means spending time with my daughter after a long day at work. I have her sing the clean up song with me so the house is not terrible and then we laugh and giggle while reading books.
4) Make small changes: As a procrastinator, I used to pledge BIG promises to myself and then set myself up to fail because it’s too hard to change. Small changes add up in impact over time. One small change I did was do automatic online payments of my bills so I never have to worry about being late on my payments.
Small consistent actions are recommended in Islam. Aisha (ra) narrated that the Prophet (saws) said: “The most beloved actions to Allah are the most consistent ones even if they are few.” (Bukhari)
5) Don’t be too hard on yourself: I used to beat myself up over procrastinating, but I realized that it wasn’t helping me change, but it was holding me back. Embrace that you have this flaw by trying to preemptively do things. If you can’t, it’s okay. Things eventually do get done and life does go on. No one is perfect! I can promise you that I don’t procrastinate like I used to, but I still have a ways to go.