Five simple, but super-important, strategies towards a more productive and fulfilling life, insha Allah. These strategies can be implemented immediately by anyone willing to increase productivity in their lives.
For years, I marvelled at how certain people could be so productive while others only dreamt of such productivity despite all their efforts.
Along my quest towards super-productivity, I figured out five simple but important strategies to upsurge my productivity. And in this blog post I’d like to show how each of you could increase your productivity by implementing these simple strategies, bi’idnillah.
What Is Productivity?
Before I delve into the five strategies, I do want to make clear what productivity means to me, so that you can understand where I am coming from.
To me productivity means that I can focus on one thing at a time with all my energy and motivation.
It’s not about how much I get done; it’s about how well I go through my daily life.
Whether I’m eating, playing with my kids, walking in the woods or working, I like to focus and spend all my energy into the one thing I am doing! Focusing on the present and indulging in what I am doing momentarily, gives me so much happiness, feeling of accomplishment and control over my life. And that’s productivity for me! Alhamdulillah!
So to me productivity isn’t about the end result of my work, it’s about the quality of my work. As a firm believer in ihsan (excellence) I know that the results come from Allah and He will put barakah (blessings) in my end result, as long as I focus on the quality of my action.
Two Focus Areas
Hence I believe, in order to increase one’s productivity, one has to focus on the following two areas:
- Your relationship with Allah
- Your relationship with your body
As for improving your relationship with Allah, you’ve 100s and 1000s of, resources on the web as well as other various authentic Islamic books.
As a nutrition and exercise coach, my focus today is to show you how you can improve your relationship with your body by implementing following five simple strategies.
5 Simple Strategies
1. Sleep: Get a regular good night’s sleep, at least 7 hours a day
I don’t know of any other simple strategy that can boost your vitality and productivity like sleep. Sleep isn’t just about resting and recharging our body to get ready for the next day, rather it helps rebuild our body, improve our memory and increase our learning capabilities. So don’t think you can become productive while cutting down your sleep.
And learn to have a nap during the day, as it’s one of the important Sunnahs of our beloved Prophet (SAW). Anas (RA) reported that the Prophet (SAW) said: “Take a nap, for the shayateen do not take naps.” (Reported by al-Tabarani, Al-Saheehah, 2647).
Just a 20 minutes nap after your lunch can rejuvenate you for the rest of the day.
2. Exercise: Do some physical exercise every day.
In whatever form, make sure you move, daily, for at least for 20 minutes. Exercise is the single most important thing when it comes to oxygenating every cell of your body. When your cells are happy getting enough oxygen and energy, you feel energized and that helps you to be more productive.
I would suggest you do strength workouts for three days a week and to focus on cardio for the next three days. Take once a week rest from exercise.
3. Hydration: Drink plenty of water, strive to get 2 litres a day
Since our body consists of at least 70 per cent water, water is indispensable for all efficient body functions. For instance, 85% of our brain tissue is water. So if we’re dehydrated, both our body and our mind become stressed.
Therefore hydration throughout the day is quite significant for a healthy body. Moreover, hydration helps us to eliminate the wastes from our body, while energizing the body to be more productive.
In order to kick-start your day, I strongly recommend you to start your day with two glasses of warm water. For more benefits, squeeze the juice of one half lime or lemon into the warm water.
4. Positive attitude: Maintain a positive attitude
Positive attitude generates positive energy, which in turn helps you to be more productive.
Negative thoughts tend to drain your energy. Positive thoughts replenish your energy. Though attitude is not something that just happens, you still have the choice to look at your status quo in a positive light.
The Sunnah of our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is filled with such examples, where he always chose to be positive regardless of his situation. Even in the hardest of situations, such as in the story of Ta’if, he didn’t lose hope in himself or in others.
He (SAW) was pelted with stones, to the extent that his entire body was bleeding, and even then what was his (SAW) answer when the Angel of Mountains offered to crush the people of Ta’if by bringing together the two mountains?
“Even if these people do not accept Islam, I do hope from Allah that there will be persons from among their progeny who would worship Allah and serve His cause.”
This is positive attitude. Verily we have the most beautiful example in our beloved Prophet (SAW).
5. Eat healthy and high-energy foods.
As a nutrition and exercise coach, I can assure you that what you eat has a huge impact on your physiology and psychology. To put it bluntly, you are what you eat.
High achievers in any area are very careful about what they put in their mouth, because they are aware that the choice of their food can make or break their day.
So in order to increase your healthy and high-energy foods, follow these four simple steps:
- Eat at least 5 servings of green and colourful vegetables a day
- Eat some protein at every meal
- Add some healthy fats such as nuts, olive oil or coconut oil to your meal
- Replace your simple carbs, such as white rice, sugar, white flour etc. with complex carbs, such as sweet potato, Quinoa, whole wheat rice etc.
That’s it. These five simple strategies help me to be highly productive everyday. And this productivity helped me to quit daydreaming and become an entrepreneur, Alhamdulillah!