Sometimes I get asked how I do it all: school, family and children, managing a project and other social activities, household, garden, hobbies and self-development…
Well, yes, I do a lot, alhamdulillah, but there is also a lot I don’t do.
Over the years I mainly learned two things: setting boundaries and setting priorities. I learned to say “No” to some things and people and I learned to focus on my important goals and values.
For this I regularly (re-)define my values, principles and long term goals, and I plan very detailed the short term ones.
I read a lot on time-management and -organization and I learned to manage my to-do-list and my availability to people and situations. AND I learned (an still learn) to ask for and to accept the help of others.
My days now are well balanced, I have a great team of supportive and involved people, I scheduled my working hours and mostly stick to my program.
I go to bed very early to get enough sleep, I reserve weekends only for family and home (no internet and school-work at all) and I do not stress myself anymore with the ambition to have a super clean house. This helps a lot.
Since several years I established a morning routine which is my key to personal success, subhanallah:
I wake up with the call to morning prayer (when it is still dark – about one and half an hour before sunrise) and benefit of this blessed time when everybody else sill sleeps.
I wash myself, pull oil, clean my teeth and pray; I then very often stretch my body or sit still and reflect on the coming day and my inner feelings; I affirm positivity and think about the things I wish to accomplish that day; I ask for God’s guidance and His wisdom.
Then I often drink a glass of hot ginger-lemon water and then my joy of the moment: a big mug of hot and strong milk coffee – sometimes accompanied by a date or a little treat!
This is my time, alhamdulillah, it is often the only me-time I have during the day.
It is the magic quiet moment that gives me power and energy and helps me to renew myself. Alhamdulillah.
While drinking my coffee, I read most mornings.
I divided my week and dedicated every day to another subject which is important to me; that’s how I make sure that I learn and get the input in all areas I wish or need to. Sometimes I also blog or look for online inspiration, or I plan meetings, design our architectural projects or work on the realization of my wider vision.
Without the discipline to wake up early and to dedicate this time to me and my self-development, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do.
Subhanallah, this really is my “secret” and the most precious moment of my day.