Words Sarrah H.
Illustration Fatema A.
A (human-sized) mug of rich brown cappucino brewed with a pinch of love and a spoonful of courage. But if anything can describe me best, it is that I write; be it code or poetry. While the former helps me stay sane, the latter helps me stay alive.
Timekeeper Theme Blurb:
Time is about as large a semantic field as you can find for writing about. I once said that about war, but I think this is even more so. Over the next month, you will read courageous, funny, bolstering and thought-provoking pieces about that universal mistress. Called Timekeeper, this month’s theme may be a misnomer; after all, who here professes to keep time instead of being kept by her.
Time is like a toddler. Adorable when it’s nothing but starry smiles and giggly gurgles, but a little devil in disguise when we aren’t paying it enough attention. Hence, let me give you a fun class to deal with your toddler and love it anyway.
In this incredibly fast-paced era, it is becoming increasingly difficult to manage time productively and keep ourselves on track with the deadlines around us, be it exams or projects. One slip and we are days behind our peers. Being a pro procrastinator myself, let me share my own list of time-savers with you (fresh and crisp out of my life oven) that are sure to help you achieve 9/10 tasks on that day’s planner (not all 10 because let’s admit it, we never even thought we’d make it to 5, did we?)
Fajr on time is an energy boost for the day
When you are predetermined to wake up early for Fajr, you will make sure to hit the hay before your eyes start to well up in protest. A good night’s sleep is fairly essential to not only make sure you are active during the day but that your neurones are turbo-charged for a fresh start.
Keep a Titan around to keep yourself on your toes
As much as I hate the clock ticking unstoppably fast when I am close to a deadline, wearing a wristwatch helps me keep track of how fast I should be going in order to hit the mark on time (almost).
Dua-e-Kamil a day, keeps the shaitaan away
This is a tried and tested ingredient to add just the right amount of hope and energy in my day-drink and to kick shaitaans ass every single time. It makes sure I do not waste my time lazing around after Zuhr, before I come back for Asar. Or that I do not indulge myself in activities and end up getting exposed to inappropriate content.
A little yellow pad prevents you from going mad
As clichéd as it may sound, a to-do planner evidently enhances my productivity helping me list down all the tasks at once against their deadlines and sorting them according to my priorities. It keeps me up-to-date with the progress of my day and, when used correctly, can significantly contribute to identifying loopholes in my last planner.
It’s fun to be young but before it becomes a joke, you have to shun the fun
Unplanned gatherings, no matter how treasurable they might seem in the moment, prove to be deadly for your wounded little planner. I, being a socio-holic myself, make sure there aren’t more than two friends’ hangouts in a week in order to sustain both my schedule and money.
No matter how busy, always be با وضؤ
At work? Commuting from workplace to home? Working on an important freelance project at home? This little tip works like a charm every time. It not only potentially saves 20 to 30 minutes of your entire day’s time along with the hassle of tidying yourself up due to the dripping wetness, but also helps you say your prayer in the ‘awwal ghari’ (win-win).
Recharge yourself with naps before you start to snap
This one speaks for itself. A short nap in the middle of your day can considerably help you freshen up, especially when your work/project requires less legwork and more critical/creative thinking. This might appear to be consuming more of your time, but it will lead to a higher productivity rate, which in turn will help you achieve your planned goals.
Essentials to get you through: cranberry bar, refreshing wipe-offs, masalla, ITS app
Late for office/school in the morning? Sudden meeting after a party? Not in the comfort of your home? A cranberry bar, some wipe-offs, a masalla and the ITS app are all you need to survive through the day with a smile.
Iron your rida/garbs a night before: the next day grab and score!
Selection of the perfect outfit and matching it with the perfect accessories/tie is one of the most excruciating tasks that one has to perform, which is sadly also unskippable. But getting my look ready a night before saves me a lot of time and trouble.
Out of the 86,400 seconds, give yourself a dedicated 1800 every day (DW, I used a calc)
Statistics show inner peace is bound to taking out time for yourself before you do it for anyone/anything else. Breathe in. Breathe out. Sit back and relax. Contemplate your life choices and the planner you made for the day rather than hastily jotting down every other thing that needs to be done.
Daydreaming is more fun when you are deadline-free (or is it?)
‘Staring at the ceiling imagining myself floating in a galaxy of celestial bodies, and waving at my minuscule teachers on earth with a smug smile on my face’ is me when I have exactly 15 hours to my examination. And it always gets me in trouble. Hence, equip yourself with glucose biscuits and a water bottle to keep you on track with your work!
Learn to reign in those raining notifications/messages
Social media is like Nutella; its richness will leave you spellbound, but when consumed beyond abound it is sure to gift you a double chin and boundless pounds. My usage of Instagram/Facebook/Snapchat used to account for 25% to 30% of my day until I knew better. The habit of unplugging the Wi-Fi connection while I work has done wonders to my ‘checked tasks’ list!
Last and most importantly, stay fit to hit the list!
Puffy eyes, lethargy when completing a task, or catching a cold right in the middle of your examinations can all be fatal to the smooth running of your schedule. So the next time you are binge-eating fries while Netflixing, think twice!