Time Management and Goals: A Necessity for Muslims
It is a regular phenomenon that humans set goals at the beginning of every year. They plan, set targets and things to achieve for the year. No doubt, the advent of new planning tools has made effective goal setting and hence, productivity easier than we thought. However as Muslims, should we be concerned with this? Do we really need to set a New Year resolution when every day is a beautiful new day to refresh? Have we learned that we have lesser control of our lives irrespective of any period of time? Or rather, the question should be; How should time management matter to a Muslim?
Time management should be a priority for Muslims, as this would enable them perform acts of worship effectively and likewise ease their lifestyle. As a result, it will enhance a better relationship with their creator and the people around them. But we cannot discuss time management without mentioning our intentions, targets and goal.
Humans are creatures who set goals and then work towards achieving them. Unlike animals, our goals are purposeful but then how do we align these goals with our purpose of existence? Allah says in His Book, “And I (Allah) created not the jinns and humans except that they should worship Me (Alone)” [Adhariyaat: 56]. This means that any goal we set that deviates from the main purpose of our existence is worthless and will only lead to a worthless end. We must endeavour to work our daily lives around the worship of Allah. As said in an article by The Productive Muslim,
“Simply understanding what stage of life you are can help you determine the goals you set for yourself.”
A sincere intention matters when setting goals to be achieved. Intentions are deeply personal and only Allah knows how truthful one can be. This consciousness will make a mindful person to have a consistent purification of intentions and staying grounded and working around time at their best.
Why you need sincere intentions
A simple act of sleeping, made with the right intention will make you feel much better when you have it in mind that you are sleeping to take care of the Amanah that Allah has blessed you with, which is in this case your body. Maa Shaa Allah!
Another factor to consider when setting goals is the time and place. You as an individual should be aware of yourself and your environment, whatever goal you set, you should consider how the goal affects you and your acts of worship, your personal strength and weakness, your psychological and physical well-being, and the immediate environment. There is always time and opportunity to do the right thing in life. Your successes and failure depend on your actions and inactions, within the scope of destiny (Al-Qadar). We humans are blessed with time, and by setting right our goals and working hard, we stand to succeed in whatever we do. The Prophet advised us to take advantage of our time in one of his traditions, reported by Ibn Abass:
“Take advantage of five before five: your youth before your old age, your health before your illness, your riches before your poverty, your free time before your work, and your life before your death.” [Shu’ab al-Imān 9575]
The lifestyle of the prophet is a perfect example to adopt when setting goals and managing time. Mindfulness is a practice of The Messenger of Allah (May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him), who was a leader, a husband, a father, a community member, and receiver of revelations. How blessed are we to learn from this honorable man in the history of mankind!
Below are lessons learned from his ways that may benefit us time management, In Shaa Allaah.
You should not underestimate the seasons mentioned in the hadith above. This will prevent you from setting unrealistic goals or being against natural strength or human cycle. After considering these seasons, your inability to achieve a goal at a particular season does not mean there is anything wrong with you, it only means the time is not right, and you having your intentions well-grounded and “never-say-never” attitude will encourage you to explore other options until you are able to achieve your goal. This will minimize mental stress which leads to depression.
Do not make the mistake of cursing time while you wait. Do your best and TRUST Allah for the best outcome. May Allah grant Barakah in all your endeavors. Working around time matters to you as a Muslim and you are encouraged to make the best use of it.