One lesson learnt from this whole new normal is that I work well on routines. Around seven years ago, immediately when I completed high school and started university, I got a job to teach in a school. Life was so sweet I felt like going to work and studying was too much for me. I left the job because I thought teaching was boring. I thought going to a place where you always do the same thing everyday drains my energy and locks my creativity. I wanted a new challenge everyday.
In 2020, after the outbreak of covid I sat down and sat down and sat down, and now, two months later I realised the things I do are only those that are a routine. Those that I had planned I’d do every Friday, every evening, every month etc. I have not been able to come up with a new challenge or initiate a new area to explore. I have pending jobs [PAID JOBS] but I just cannot figure out how to get back to them.
Today, AlhamduliLlah I woke up to make new mini goals and set routines. If that’s what work for me, because since ramadhan began, I found myself embracing new habits and they’re actually working. my new routines are related to ramadhan and ibadah.
1. READING 100 AYAS OF QURAN AFTER FAJR.
Since most of us are working from home now, we don’t need to wake up very early unless we have very early meetings. That way, I told myself I now have a reason not to go to bed immediately after fajr prayer because it is actually not recommended. I chose fair because it is the only prayer time where the house is silent and distractions are very minimal. A hundred ayahs will help you stay awake till the sun rises so that you can sleep later. This way, you get air from Allah and also feed your brain good words before you start your day.
2.SETTING UP YOUR WORKING AREA WITH THE RAMADHAN MOOD.
The same way you come to the office, lay your chocolate and bottle of smoothie/water, put a Quran or some decorations for Ramadan which will always remind you of the mood and keep you on check every time you are about go do a mistake. Your environment does slot in inspiration and motivation. It always gets to the brain, the same way working in a clean place gives you a peace of mind and a clear mind to think and work, it takes you to the ramadhan mode when everything around you remind you of it.
3. READING A BOOK
This one I started before Ramadan. It was one of my 2020 goals to dedicate one hour everyday, to read few pages of a book. You cannot do this after dhuhr prayer because you will fall asleep. Choose a good time to do this, it can be morning hours before you get to your office work if you have any. This book doesn’t have to be religious, you can read anything even a newspaper or a magazine. There are those who are well with visuals and have really recommendation of infrmative vidoes to watch, maybe of khutbah, religious movies or youtube informative entertainment. Just make sure you do not get out of focus and go to controversial topics. I also read articles by my favourite bloggers/local bloggers that i relate to. If you are lookin for some, check out creative writers leaugue on instagram.
4. LISTENING TO ISLAMIC HISTORY/PODCASTS AS I WORK.
We’ve all been trying to stop listening to music for those of us who work in environments where music is almost the core business. You realise you cannot really work when it’s total silent. You may fall asleep or think about things that may spoil your Saum. I have identified few podcast channels on castbox and groups on telegram that really have interesting topics, which are very informative. You can always listen to them as you work or go by your day
5. WORKING OUT AFTER IFTAR.
Again, you don’t want to fall asleep immediately after eating because there’s ishaa prayers to perform. Also, you need to stay healthy and not just lazy around. Iftar is the first and only meal you’ve had since morning and when you sleep digestion might be slower hence bringing health problems. I have started the habit of either skipping a rope or stretching the body parts and other intensive aerobics for the body and also to pass time.
I hope my routine helps you stick to yours if you have one already, and if you don’t, this may help you start one. If you have any interesting activity that you’d love to share kindly put it in the comment section, I will appreciate it. May Allah bless you all. Ramadhan Mubarak and Saum Maqbul.