12 Fantastic Time Management Ideas From These Self-Employed Muslim Women

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I am all about time management and being productive. I believe that as Muslims our time in this Dunya is short and hence we should make the most out of the time we are blessed with. This month, instead of writing a ‘how to’ article on time management, multi-tasking or scheduling your tasks, I actually went out of the box to interview some of the talented Muslim self-employed women to share their tips on how do they manage time while being a mother, wife, daughter, daughter n law and taking care of the home while building their own business. I believe that we can all learn from each other.

Layinka Sanni

Please share the name  and of your company/brand/channel.

I work under my name, LaYinka Sanni, and my flagship brand is Evolve & Emerge, which is concerned with helping Muslim women grow, rise, and soar as exceptional versions of themselves.

What was your motivation behind starting this work?

My motivation comes from my own evolvement and recognising how traversing on the path towards excellence and strength in the emotional, mental, and spiritual realm has benefited myself and my family. Seeing how change has occurred within those around me — relationships and connections — really drives home the ayah in the Qur’an where Allah tells us that He will not change the condition of a people until they change what is within themselves. Through my evolution and emergence from my chrysalis, and seeing so many women holding themselves back, I’ve dedicated myself to helping more women evolve from their chrysalis so they can emerge as exceptional versions of themselves.

What are the regular tasks that you perform every day? What is your busiest day like?

One of my regular tasks — although I admit not always consistent — is sitting with Allah outside of salah to talk to Him. On days I don’t, I feel off-balance because I haven’t grounded myself with my Lord in a deeper way than I do during salah. It’s also my way of ensuring I seek His blessings in what I’m working towards, and gain clarity on where I want to go. In terms of tasks, I like to connect with my 1:1 clients via email if we don’t have a session scheduled, as well as ladies on Facebook and Instagram — my social media platforms of choice.

My busiest day is usually when I have in-person meetings with clients. As I physically need to leave the house for such sessions, I first ensure that my home is in order and Empress II (my almost-2-year-old) is sorted before I dash out. It can sometimes be a scramble if I haven’t planned properly in the morning or the night before, and I find myself running a verbal checklist as I get things done. This is in and amongst responding to emails and any other business-related tasks I need to do that day.

How you do manage your day? Share two ways you manage your time?

As I’m a mother and wife, balancing home and work is indeed a balancing act, and I find I have the most productive days when I stay up after Fajr. On these days, I can find that I’ve responded to all emails, journaled and created new content well before my family begins to stir; these are days where I feel like a true lady boss smashing through goals. 

Google Calendar is almost like another brain for me. If I don’t schedule tasks, meetings, and appointments on my calendar, I usually forget/miss them. So scheduling is key, as well as reviewing tasks for the next day at night. I recently discovered bullet journaling which has been a breath of fresh air, as I prefer perpetual planners rather than dated ones. It gives me a degree of flexibility and creativity in one space.

Aisha Mehmood

Tell me what is your company about?

ANM Global- a Forever Living Products network marketer, business owner and coach.

I am a professional network marketer with the company Forever Living Products. We have a great range of Aloe Vera based and beehive products. Together they are a powerful combination for our products which covers all markets including, personal care, skincare, nutritional drinks, animal care, weight management and much more. We have a simple marketing model which we also coach to other people who may like me, want to earn an extra income part time from home, or even do it full time.

What was the motivation behind starting your work?

I had been in Pharmacovigilance i.e Safety of Medicines before I got married and had my son, Alhumdullilah. I felt like I needed something of my own, and having used the products years before being offered the business opportunity it was the right time and the right company for me. It helped me to feel like myself again and be able to work and not entrust my son who is 2 years old to strangers. I feel my business enables me to have a life where I can give my son time and still be able to contribute financially to my family.


What are the regular tasks that you perform on a day to day basis? What is your busiest day like?

I am my own boss therefore I don’t have someone telling me to get up and do my work every day so I have to motivate myself. For my regular tasks I repeat the same cycle but in different ways. I have become my own best customer to be able to recommend my products honestly and I share my experiences with them, by sharing my products, and sharing the opportunity. In my personal life I make time for my son to spend quality time with him and be able to look after my family too.

A busy day would be dropping my son to nursery, doing a product party with a group of people, going round my neighbourhood offering products to my neighbours to try, taking an hour out to coach my team members or answer queries, then picking up my son and lunch. Nap time for him and cooking for mum, taking half an hour to catch up on team trainings which are mostly conveniently handheld, dinner, prep for the next day and bed!

Share 2 tips through which you manage your time.

I have been coached well and my biggest weakness is procrastination. For this I do a weekly plan at the end of every week and plan out my time into slots of time so I can see what needs doing. If I don’t manage to achieve all I set out to do that day then I will catch up on it the next day.

A great way I manage my time is I have folders which I record all details into so I can go back and see where I am at. If I don’t do this then my time is wasted looking for information which by taking a little time to be organized I save time. I have learnt from experience!

I also do a monthly plan at the end of each month, and I have a goal board up on my wall so I know what I am working towards, which include short term goals like days out for the family, weekends away. Longer term goals of being able to afford to move back home and buy our own house, qualifying for the companies incentives for travel, car allowance and the ultimate is chairman’s bonus. I have a time schedule for how and by when I want to achieve my goals in the time I am able to give to each day and that in itself drives me forward.

I work closely with my team and my mentors even though this is my own business I have support like I have never known and I am making lifelong friends through that. It also gives me a chance to work closely with friends and family and see everyone achieve their reason why they started their business, which in itself is rewarding and drives me forward.

Papatia Feauxzar

So I have been seeing a lot of hype created about your work. I’d love to hear it directly from you.

My company name is Djarabi Kitabs Publishing. The sister brand or company to it is Fofky’s; an online Muslim bookstore with a coffee and tea shop. Normally, when we think of drink shop, it’s brick mortar. Mine is ground breaking because it’s virtual but can still provide almost all the essentials a regular coffee shop serves with a twist; halal and tayyab eatery.

What made you come up with this work?

I wanted to change the status quo. An African proverb says that if you think that you’re too small to make a difference then you have not spent a night with a mosquito yet. The writers of the ummah have been using and posting the hashtag #muslimshelfspace, all over social media. I decided that I was tired of complaining about the state of affairs and ready to make a change! We all can. I believe I could dream that big because I never put limits on myself. And Alhamdullilah I made the decision to follow through with my insane dreams by tying my camel and Allah came through with support Masha’Allah. I try to keep my feet on the ground otherwise, my ego sometimes wants to take over the tiny human being that I’m and cast a huge shadow on others *laughs*.

Describe your busiest day.

*Deep breathing* I’m an early riser even with going to bed late every day Subhan Allah. I’m usually grateful for the fact that He calls the adhan in my heart every morning Alhamdullilah making an alarm useless for me unless it’s for suhoor. So to get to the point, when I wake up, I pray fajr and make several laps of dhikr around my rosary. I read a couple pages of Qur’an too. When I’m done I always ask Allah to make me be productive daily and I start catering to the baby needs and see the husband off to work. Then I sit to check emails and work. While I do all this, I pray that Shaytan stays away from me around the clock because forgetting that he is always busy will contribute to being idle and waste time walaye. *Eyes on the prize* Sorry, I can come off gangsta sometimes…

My regular job days are Monday, Wednesday and Friday. My businesses’ days are Tuesday and Thursday. All my work is online Alhamdullilah so it’s ordering this and that. Researching edgy products and coming up with new ideas to stay original and avoid nasty competitions war. Truly, everyone has a specific rizq and there is plenty of sun for all of us to shine!

On my busiest days, I have to work at home for a couple hours and then run errands around town. They usually include going to the post office to mail things, checking the P.O Box, going to the grocery store or the wholesale store, doctor appointments for the toddler, cooking, cleaning, taking the kiddo to the park so I can unwind for a little bit.

How do you manage your time?

First, I plan in my head while I’m in the kitchen cooking or preparing a meal, what needs to be done right away the minute I sit. 

Second, I repeat several times to myself because while I’ll tell you I have a flawless memory, many times this ‘flawless mind’ goes amiss! *laughs*

So I don’t go sitting in front of the computer for things to hit me. I brood over ideas to be efficient while I’m busy doing other things. I cherish the quiet times with the husband since I’m the talker of the two of us. While he thinks that I have finally shut up to let him breathe, I’m pondering on ways I can deliver my tasks better! 😛 Ha Ah!

Ayeina

Please share the name of your company and what it is about?

AYEsha (AYE) and SamINA (INA) 

Founders of AYEINA – Two Muslim mom bloggers, countries apart, with hearts as one. Sisters by birth and best-est of friends who are commonly known as the “twin-ninjas”.

AYEINA as a whole is an online space for Muslims to reflect – a community of people trying to strengthen their Islamic identity through positivity and gratitude while making the best of both worlds.

Ayeina is also an Urdu word that means “mirror” hence the tagline – believer is the believer’s mirror 

What was your motivation behind starting this company?

Sadaqah jaariyah! To leave a legacy that continues even when our bodies leave this earth. 

What is your day like on a general basis and when it gets busy?

We hold gratitude contests twice a year (gratitude caption contest before eid ul fitr/Ramadan and gratitude art contest before eid ul adha) and they are our busiest days at Ayeina. 

We probably forget to brush our hair and wash our faces those days. (Sometimes it’s even beyond those days – blame motherhood basically) 😀

Share 2 of your time management techniques?

Sometimes we’re a complete mess. Sometimes we’re ahead of our game. The latter usually happens when:

1) We spend some time for Ayeina after Fajr. The mornings have immense barakah SubhaanAllah

2) The days when we actually feel like we’re managing this alright are the days when we take social media breaks aka digital detoxification. 

Saudi Food with Emaan

Emaan, please share the name of your YouTube channel and tell us about it.

I teach the world about the Saudi culture & traditions through food, the easy way.

What was your motivation behind starting this channel?

To be an ambassador for my country.

What are the regular tasks that you perform every day? What is your busiest day like?

I go to work, come home & spend quality time with my kids, do homework, put them to sleep, and film a recipe either for YouTube, Instagram or Snapchat.

How you do manage your day? Share two ways you manage your time? 

One, whenever I get some free time, I always make sure I do something.  Two, I’m very structured which helps me to stay focused and efficient.

Nazima Qureshi

Nazima, what is your company all about?

I am a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist over at www.nutritionbynazima.com. My goal is to help Muslim women live healthier and happier lives through sustainable lifestyle changes. 

What was your motivation behind this work?

I always dreamt of starting my own business but thought I had to be older with more experience. I got pregnant while I was completing my education and once I had my daughter I had a lot of clarity. I realized I didn’t have to wait to achieve my dream of working with Muslim women to improve their health. That’s when I logged on and started creating my website while my daughter napped. 

What are the regular tasks that you perform every day? What is your busiest day like?

Any two days never look the same, especially as my daughter gets older (she is almost 2). Some days I am at home, which means I will be writing, developing recipes, or seeing clients. Other days I am out of my house, where I will be doing a workshop in the community. The days I am out are the busiest because I have to drop my daughter off to her grandparents, prep for the workshop, and deliver the workshop. On these days I am also driving a lot, which takes up a lot of my time. 

Share 2 techniques through which you manage your time.

Waking up early and staying up after fajr is one way I get a lot of work done before my daughter wakes up. Over the past 2 years, I have really learned to make the most out of the early hours to be productive. 

Another tip is to break big projects into small actionable tasks. This way I don’t feel overwhelmed with big projects and know what I can do on that specific day to get one step closer to completion.

Time Management Ideas

Jazakillah khair to all the sisters for taking out their time and answering these questions which I am sure will be useful for many other women. Wish you all a blissful Ramadan, 2017!

Aisha Idris

Aisha Idris

Aisha Idris, a psychologist who loves inspiring people through her written words. She takes interest in learning the psych of kids. Trying out new dishes that involve pasta, travelling around like a nomad, making sweet savouries and drinking coffee is her ultimate hobby.
Aisha Idris
Showing 4 comments
  • Hend Abuauf

    This post is very inspiring. I am a new blogger, a mother, a Quran teacher and a master islamic studies student, and this post just came in time for me to encourge me manage my time and dream big and work harder. Jazaki Allahu Khairan

  • AYEINA

    jazakillah khairan katheera. honored to be among these amazing women alhamdulillah <3

  • Papatia

    Masha’Allah, happy to be amongst these talented ladies

  • Djarabi Kitabs Publishing
    Djarabi Kitabs Publishing

    Jazakh’Allah khair for this lovely feature. Almost Ramadan Mubarak to you too insha’Allah.

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Just another ramadan