There are so many things around the house throughout the day that can upset the balance you try so hard to maintain. The blessed month of Ramadan is near, and with it comes even more responsibility, considering the various obligations people are required to fulfill.

The key to maintaining a regular working schedule and meeting your religious obligations is preparation. Here are some tips to help busy professionals and their families prepare for a productive, successful Ramadan.

Set clear goals along with specific action steps: Set some specific spiritual goals around my home-based business goals during the month of Ramadan. Some are daily goals like making an effort to be on time for each prayer, reading at least one juz of the Quran a day or participating in nightly Taraweeh prayers. Weekly goals may include limiting time-wasting activities such as time spent on the computer and watching television. Monthly goals can be more long-term like correcting a negative character trait.

Your goals should be specific, realistic and measurable in some way to help gauge your progress toward meeting the goal. It is important to actually write or schedule time on your calendar because it helps reinforce your commitment to reaching your goal.

Plan ahead: Think about everything you want to accomplish for the day and create a plan to make it happen. Make a simple ‘to do’ list that includes everything you want to accomplish for the day and week.

For example, meal planning a week or so in advance can be beneficial – especially if you can double the recipe so one meal can be stored away in the freezer for those impossibly hectic days. You can plan a week’s worth of healthy, well-balanced Suhoor and Iftar meals so you are not scrambling around for morning and evening meal ideas at the last minute.

Prioritize your tasks: When you create your daily ‘to do’ list, prioritize each task based on importance. Managing each task in order of importance will ensure you set aside enough time to handle pressing tasks in a timely manner. You can block aside intervals of time throughout the day for completing certain tasks if necessary. Knowing that you have a designated amount of time to work on a task can do wonders for eliminating distractions and increasing productivity.

Keep your family in the loop: Sitting down with your family to discuss plans for preparing and participating in Ramadan is a great exercise to help everyone. Are there specific areas you hope to work on improving during Ramadan such as controlling your tongue and temper or not gossiping and backbiting?

This is a good time to assess our character and consider any improvements to our character. Discuss the many scenarios that might come up and help develop strategies to avoid and/or navigate them. Getting everyone involved increases enthusiasm and reinforces the goals of each individual and the family unit.

Take full advantage of this blessed month and plan ahead for a productive, successful Ramadan so you may reap the rewards.

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