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7 Ways to Maximize Productivity During Ramadan

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Representing the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, the holy month of Ramadan is the time when Muslims fast from dawn until sunset as a spiritual practice of self-discipline, empathy for the less fortunate, and increased devotion of Allah (God). It is also a time for uniting the community through fasting, prayer and acts of charity.

For employees working in the Middle East, Muslims or not, Ramadan brings a shift in our routines and schedules with the reduced working hours that abide by governmental laws to allow individuals to be part of the spiritual practices. This often results in a decline in productivity and business as people are more focused on their religious journey.

With shorter work hours and different energy levels from fasting individuals, staying efficient and productive can be challenging for an individual but also as a team. It is, therefore, important to adopt diverse strategies and plan to maximize productivity during Ramadan.

During this period, here are seven ways to optimize your efficiency at work.


1. Plan Your Schedule Effectively

With reduced working hours and a focus on worshipping practices, planning your schedule is crucial to organize yourself and complete your intended tasks efficiently. To do so, you can create or purchase a ready-made Ramadan planner. This will help you manage your time effectively and will avoid giving you stress about which acts of worship you’ve completed or not, which work tasks need your attention, and other factors, including:

  • Your daily meetings and work tasks
  • Projects and deadlines
  • Meals for Iftar (evening meal for breaking the fast) and Suhoor (pre-dawn meal)
  • Shopping lists and recipe ideas
  • Prayer and worshipping activities
  • Eid preparations
  • Daily water intake
  • Income and expenses
  • Gratitude quotes and Dua (supplication or invocations)
  • Workouts and wellbeing

These type of schedules or trackers help you maintain and achieve your resolutions and goals throughout the month of Ramadan effortlessly.


2. Prioritize Self-Care

Ramadan is all about self-care. It is a peaceful month during which individuals do not only abstain from food and water, they also  refrain from negative behaviours and thoughts. It is instead a time for self-reflection, introspection, and spiritual growth. Muslims that fast and pray do so to cleanse their minds, bodies and souls to purify themselves from their sins and focus on getting closer to Allah.

This precious time also encourages individuals to make peace with each other and prioritize their well-being in all aspects. Ramadan is a journey that focuses on:

  • Self-discipline by leaving the dunya (materialistic life) and working for the akhirah (hereafter)
  • Gratitude by worshipping God
  • Compassion towards each other by understanding the needy
  • Renewing your sense of purpose, and
  • Inner peace

Thus, Ramadan is the perfect time to self-reflect, repent, seek forgiveness from God and understand your religious relationship with the divine. The first ten days are usually the hardest as our bodies are disrupted from their routines, such as drinking coffee in the morning or having 3 meals a day. It is essential to set a strong foundation during these days to have a seamless rest of the month. To do so, consider the following:

  • Set clear intentions for self-care to guide your actions and focus.
  • Create a daily routine that balances work commitments, personal care, and religious practices.
  • Pay attention to balanced nutrition and hydration. A great tip is to do your groceries after iftar rather than when you are fasting, as individuals tend to buy more and spend more on food when they crave it.
  • Aim for a quality sleep each night to support overall well-being.
  • Incorporate any light physical activity to promote your blood circulation and reduce stress.
  • Seek support from family, friends, colleagues, or community members for guidance.

Most importantly, remember to be gentle with yourself. It is vital to listen to your body and understand what it needs to adjust self-care and make the most out of the holy month.

3. Practice Gratitude

Gratitude is a powerful tool to boost your motivation, happiness, productivity, and overall mental health and wellbeing. According to Harvard Business Review, it also reduces stress levels and increases resilience at work. Being grateful towards yourself as well as your working environment and team members, creates a strong and trusting connection as well as it encourages collaboration ad engagement. Gratitude creates a positive impact at work, for several reasons:

  • It improves team dynamics
  • It boosts overall well-being
  • It increases motivation
  • It reduces turnover, and
  • It improves customer relations

There is no doubt that being grateful boosts your individual and collective morale, as it allows people to recognize and appreciate each other’s contributions, thus, creating an inclusive, productive, and supportive workplace.

Moreover, gratitude plays a huge role in having a growth mindset, it creates a sense of humility and connection which adds to personal improvement.


4. Incorporate Regular Breaks

As fasting can cause individuals to feel fatigue, headache, or dehydration throughout the day, it is essential to take frequent breaks or power naps to ensure you are physically fit enough to continue your day. Additionally, taking enough time to rest will make you more focused when doing tasks, specially for people with more laborious jobs or those who need to commute often. Consider:

  • Taking rest breaks of 5 to 10 minutes
  • Having a walk and stretch
  • Implementing deep breathing exercise
  • Sitting in the shade for individuals that work outdoors
  • Chatting with your colleagues for a few minutes
  • Enjoying screen breaks if you work digitally

Moreover, utilize time management techniques, like the Pomodoro Technique, to maintain focus. Work for 25 minutes, take a five-minute break, then repeat the process.

Alternatively, take a power or coffee nap, which consists of setting a timer or alarm and taking a 15 to 30 minutes nap in a quiet and dark place. Power naps are best to:

  • Reduce fatigue
  • Increase focus, and
  • Improve performance, memory, and heart health


5. Set up a Peaceful Environment

There is a strong connection between mental health, well-being, and the environment. In fact the environment people live and work in affects our overall quality of life, impacting our overall well-being.

Working in an environment with plants or nature around, for instance, promotes access to clean air and a healthy surrounding which creates a sense of tranquillity, renewal, and serenity.

Working in a healthy environment goes beyond appearance and comfort, it not only impacts our physical health, but it also influences morale and well-being creating productivity and increasing concentration and creativity. Consider remote or hybrid working to increase your focus and performance. To enhance your working from home experience, set up a peaceful and motivating environment by:

  • Placing plants or natural elements in your workspace
  • Utilizing natural window lights
  • Keeping a clean and organized environment
  • Setting boundaries between work and personal life

Whether working remotely or in a hybrid setup, it is crucial to prioritize self-care and optimize your surroundings to make the most of this sacred month.

6. Utilizing Extra Time Wisely

Having reduced working hours is the perfect opportunity to enrich your skills and knowledge. Extra-time gained during the month of Ramadan, if managed correctly, can help you grow personally and professionally. For instance:

  • Use this time to learn about trending topics or refresh your skill set by enrolling an online course or a professional qualification, such as a CMI Diploma in Management & Leadership .
  • Read personal development books to self-reflect.
  • Attend workshops and webinars hosted by industry experts and leaders.
  • Experiment new skills and new approaches on projects.
  • Connect with mentors for guidance and support.
  • Track your progress and achievements.

Utilizing the additional time to focus on self-improvement will undoubtedly enhance personal growth and facilitate the way for greater success within your industry.


7. Building Unity and Cultural Understanding

During Ramadan, it is important for individuals, communities, governments, and organizations to create a respectful environment for both Muslims and non-Muslims.

To support this, spreading cultural awareness and educating individuals is crucial. This fosters an inclusive as well as supportive environment where everyone feels respected, valued, and empowered to practice their beliefs.

Overall, creating a respectful environment for everyone requires collective effort and commitment from individuals, employers, community leaders and governments. Here are some key actions to foster respect and support:

  • Stay mindful of the impact of your actions and words on others
  • Take the initiative to learn about the holy month of Ramadan, its purpose, and its practices
  • Refrain from public eating or drinking during fasting hours to show respect
  • Be understanding that fasting may affect the energy levels and productivity of fasting individuals
  • Offer support and assistance to fasting individuals, such as offering to help with tasks or responsibilities that may be challenging during Ramadan
  • Participate in collective iftars (breaking of the fast meals), charity events, or other community initiatives organized during Ramadan
  • Encourage open dialogue, cultural exchange, and mutual respect among all members of the community to promote inclusivity


Unity in the Festivities

Ramadan is not only a time of spiritual reflection and worship for Muslims, but it is also an opportunity for everyone to come together in unity and understanding.

Maximizing productivity and honouring the significance of this sacred month creates a healthy environment of diversity, equality, and inclusion.

As we embark on this journey of self-discovery and growth, may Ramadan bring blessings of peace, joy, and prosperity to all. Ramadan Mubarak!

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