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Are you running out of time? Or are you running into it?

August 17, 2010

Excuse the play on words, I love making plays on words. I’m a nerd like that 😛

I can’t express how often I hear people say, “I don’t have time to…” Whatever comes after that is usually irrelevant because they’re merely making an excuse. Remember “I’m broke?” Well, let me introduce you to the “I’m broke” if money were time? “I’m too busy!”

You’re too busy? No wonder you have no time!

Being busy is merely an excuse. Very few people are actually too busy to do things that are important to them. Have you ever seen a guy who was too busy to go to work? I have, but that’s because the time they were using when not at work was making them more money than their job was making them.

If there’s any secular lesson taught to me by Ramadan, it’s this: you have all the time in the world.

Let me give you my schedule. This is not meant to brag or say “follow my example!” But it’s meant to show you that maybe you could sacrifice a few things to get more done.

Every day I get up at 4:15 to eat breakfast. I fast from 5am to 8pm so I get up early for breakfast.

At 5am, I pray and go back to sleep for about an hour. I get up at around 6:45, shower, and leave for school at 7:15 if the days are Monday Wednesday or Friday. I get to school at 8, take the 8:12 bus to campus and read until my class starts at 9am.

I have class from 9am to 6pm straight with a 30 minute “I feel sorry for you” break from 3:30 to 4:00. I use that time to walk to my econ class. It takes a half hour because I enjoy taking my time and saving energy.

I take the 6:10 bus to my car and get home at around 7, maybe 7:30. This is my only time to relax. Usually during the time between I get home and the time I break fast (at 8pm) I would go on my computer and listen to a video/audio lecture. Where else do you think I get these tips from?

About 20 minutes before 8, I help my sister with dinner and set the table. We have dinner from 8-9, pray at 9, and I return to the lecture. At 9:20 we leave for the mosque for prayer. There’s a “half-time” where I would read the Qur’an for the length of the break. I’d also chug a 16-oz bottle of water for hydration!

I return home at 11 and finish the lecture. Usually I end up retiring at midnight or 1am. And the cycle goes on.

Now Tuesdays I have class at 4, and thursdays are class free! Fridays have class 9-11, mosque 1-2.

The point is, we make time for what we make priorities. I make priority my religion, my knowledge, and I find time to study on my off days and weekends. I also make time for you guys!! Because I can blog from my phone 😛

So I encourage everyone to figure out what their priorities are. Is it your family? Many people set aside a certain time every week for their family. Every Saturday at 8pm is family time! Is it your health? Many people have a diehard exercise regime for lack of a better word. They get up at 4am and exercise until its time to get to work! I applaud those people.

Here is a short list of things that I think should have priorities in many people’s lives. Feel free to leave a comment if you’d like to add (or subtract) any!


Notice how I left “watching TV for 6 hours” out? Yeah, because anyone with a budget for time will not spend extravagant amounts of time on TV. Most of it’s garbage anyway.

I’d like for you to think about how managing time and managing money have very similar concepts, which will neatly segue into my next blog post. Can’t wait to read it? I can’t wait to write it!

If you’d like to know more about time management, I’ll recommend again Brian Tracy. But another book.

Eat That Frog! 21 ways to overcome procrastination and get more done in less time. By Brian Tracy. Hey, I never said his book titles were short. Its actually a quick read. Make reading that book your frog and eat it whole! Don’t cut it into pieces, shove it in your mouth and swallow! Don’t chew! Alright, that metaphor’s over now.

Wishing you the best,


2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 20, 2010 7:29 am

    Try to think time as your asset. Well, in reality your biggest asset. If it’s difficult to visualize “asset”, think it as the coins in your pocket.

    Have you seen the sand in the hour glass goes upwards? Oh, yes. Forgot to tell you, your pocket has a hole. Like it or not, you’ll be running out of coins pretty soon.

    We should actually put the age of a newborn baby as “N”, where “N” is their life expectancy, and minus 1 every year. By the time they die, their age is “0”. “N” is unknown for a good reason, so you don’t go around wasting the asset. The same reason why the night of power is not known.

    So to make the point of the discussion, every single individual is losing their asset/coins every single second whether they like it or not. If we have this mentality, we obviously will not waste a single moment of our time on something that will not benefit us.

    People should stop celebrating birthday because of the same reason. Let’s think about this, what are they celebrating anyways? Rejoicing because you lost a chunk your biggest asset? The alternative is to celebrate when you really achieve something, that is more meaningful and fits well in the mind set of a goal setter.

    It’s summarized beautifully in the Quran:
    إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لَفِي خُسْرٍ
    [Surah al-Asr 2]

    Love you,

    • August 20, 2010 11:45 am

      Thanks for your insight Abah! (To everyone else, this is my beloved father :))

      Time is indeed an asset. If we spend it on something worthwhile, we’ll get a return on our investment.
      However I think birthday celebrations are more traditional than anything else, though I do agree that real achievements are what really should be celebrated. Everyone grows old whether they like it or not; not everyone can achieve a great milestone in their lives.

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