16 September 2015

Islamic Time Allocation, Tracking & Management + Concentrated Time + Live in The Now!

Note: This is a dynamic post and is expected to be updated again and again so keep checking it regularly. Version 1. Last edited: 11 May 2016

0. To do anything, you have to allocate time for it.

You don't have time for something simply means you don't want to do it.

We hear often, "I am busy", "I have worldly projects", "I have job", "I have family", "I have other priorities". You have time for all these, but no time for Islamic activities? You have time for friends, sports, games, TV, movies, internet, eating out, exercise, social media etc., but no time for Islam and your hereafter level improvement? As you make time for activities like the above, you can also make time for Islamic activities. That is possible, if, you give Islamic activities a priority higher than or at least equal to any of these.

1. Time Allocation:

Allocate a fixed time per week for various Islamic activities.

Make 2 week pairs and divide activities, some in 1st week, some in 2nd and some in both.
The activities may be split into few broad categories:
Islamic Projects 
Islamic Study 
Islamic Websites
etc. 

Sample Example for 2 weeks:
21 hours is allocated budget per week for next 2 weeks by me and may differ from person to person but the more the better.
Week 1= 17 September to 23 September
Qur'an Ayat Navigatior 2 = 5 hours
Revive Arabic Verbal Form IV notes preparation = 5 hours
Arabic Particles study = 3 hours
Arabic Vocabulary study = 3 hours
Arabic Grammar study = 3 hours
PHP programming study = 2 hours

Week 2 = 24 September to 30 September
Qur'an Ayat Navigatior 2 = 5 hours
Revive Arabic Verbal form IV notes preparation = 5 hours
Arabic Particles study = 3 hours
Arabic Vocabulary study = 3 hours
Arabic Grammar study = 3 hours
PHP programming study = 2 hours

Now, to give more time to 1 task at a time, to get more progress done on that in 1 week with more concentration, I combine same activities from both weeks together

Week 1 = 17 September to 23 September
Qur'an Ayat Navigatior 2 = 10 hours
Arabic Vocabulary study = 6 hours
Arabic Grammar study = 5 hours
Week 2 = 24 September to 30 September
Revive Arabic Verbal form IV notes preparation = 10 hours
Arabic Particles study = 6 hours
PHP programming study = 4 hours
Arabic Grammar study = 1 hour

Within weeks, also manage time per day. Plans may vary per day like for Thursday to Wednesday:
3 3 3 3 3 3 3
or
3 3 6 6 3 0 0
or
4 4 5 5 3 0 0
or
2 2 6 6 2 2 1
or
3 0 6 6 3 0 3
etc.

My strategy is to try to get most hours done in earlier days

Note: I started 1st day using 1st day of the year and it was Thursday and so my weeks starting with Thursdays for 2015.

2. Time tracking using stopwatch & tracking sheet:
See below screenshot, and make a sheet to track and note the time. Also use a stopwatch to note exact productive time to the minute. I am using xnote stopwatch that I downloaded a couple of years ago. You can use any downloadable or physical stopwatch.
When starting any activity, start the stopwatch and on any distraction, pause the stopwatch. Resume again when you resume the activity.


3. Time Management
If all 21 hours completed in a week,  continue on with 2nd week activities so that next week required hours are reduced. If in next week also, the time exceeds 42 hours i.e. for 2 weeks pair, consider the extra hours spent as bonus time. From next 2 weeks pair start again.

But if after 2 weeks the hours spent are less than 42, you will have to make up the missed hours in next 2 weeks pair. e.g. if you only managed to complete 40 in this pair, you will have to target 44 in next pair.

Further improvement on above mentioned points
Now above was a 2 week plan, to improve it even further, I made 2 week pairs within 4 week plan to do more on same projects together and in a more focused way.
Click below image:


I have refined the sheet further. Now I have placed windows clock and stopwatch in view. This time, I have also mentioned the 2 week pair allocated tasks, their times and planned goals in Comments and Goals column. I have also put remaining allocated time left for 2 week pairs.

InshaALLAH! :
Below are allocated times for tasks in next 4 weeks

Qur'an Ayat Navigator 2 = 24 hours for 4 weeks
I have allocated all of this requirement in 1st 2 weeks pair, and will try to use most of its allocated time in 1st week as this is highest priority task.
I have set a goal or target to try and finish this project within these 2 weeks.

Arabic Particles Study = 12 hours for 4 weeks
I have allocated all of this requirement in 1st 2 weeks pair, and will try to use most of its allocated time in 2nd week of 1st pair.
I have set a goal or target to try and complete a major portion of study on the particle بِ .

Arabic Grammar study = 12 hours for 4 weeks

I have allocated all of this requirement in both 2 week pairs equally and plan to do 6 hours each in 2nd week of both pairs.
I have set a goal or target to study at least 350 pages of Grammar book in 4 weeks using 12 hours.

Arabic Vocabulary study = 12 hours for 4 weeks
I have allocated all of this requirement in 2nd 2 weeks pair, and will try to use most of its allocated time in 2nd week of 2nd pair.
I have set a goal or target to try and study in detail at least 6 important roots.

Blog post preparation on next verbal form = 20 hours for 4 weeks
I have allocated all of this requirement in 2nd 2 weeks pair, and will try to use most of its allocated time in 1st week of 2nd pair as this is a high priority task.
I have set a goal or target to try and post at least 1 more verbal form detailed notes within these 2 weeks .

Skill which is for now PHP study = 7 hours in 4 weeks
This is not actually an Islamic project but is being used as a skill to learn so that I may become able to make more dynamic Islamic websites.
It is allocated 3 hours in 1st 2 weeks pair and 4 hours in 2nd 2 weeks pair and is planned to be done in 2nd week of each pair.

4. Concentrated Time
The time is being allocated, tracked & managed. Start focusing on improving the quality of this fixed allocated time.  Now make this fixed allocated time a concentrated time. Improve the quality of this time to get more done in same fixed time.
While doing any of these allocated Islamic tasks:
Focus on what you are doing.
Concentrate on what you are doing.
Think only regarding what you are doing.
Try to have big chunks of more than 1 hour to have better concentration.

5. Save more Time to allocate for Islamic activities
Note how you use remaining time and try to exclude the time wasters i.e. what we call لَغْو (that which neither gives any benefit in the hereafter nor does it fulfill any legitimate worldly need) in Arabic.

6. Some Self Awareness Tips to improve your mindfulness and peace. 

Now - This second, this moment, this instant. 
Simple Rule: Try to do the best possible every second, every moment, every instant.
Live in The Now, not in thoughts about past or future. Past is finished and future is not yet here. Since past is finished, no amount of thinking can change what is done. Since future is not yet here, no amount of ideal planning can ensure you will deliver when the time comes. How you act in the moment is important. So put your efforts in the moment, focus on the moment, don't let your mind wander into the past or future. Allocate separate time if you want to ponder over the past or plan for the future, but don't allow wandering thoughts to disturb your focus while you are doing any other task.


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