9 Ways To Stay Motivated At Work During Ramadan

With a handful of alterations to your priorities and behaviours, you can make the most of your month while ensuring productivity at work.

With a handful of alterations to your priorities and behaviours, you can make the most of your month while ensuring productivity at work.

As Muslims worldwide welcome Ramadan, staying productive at work during the month might be an uphill task for those fasting.

On the one hand, some Muslims find their schedules to be even more streamlined and productive during the holy month. On the other hand, many find themselves struggling to balance the routine between work, rest, and religious obligations. Hunger and lethargy are generally the added stressors.

Though there is no set formula on how one chooses to schedule their work in the holy month, some general principles might come in handy to avoid becoming overwhelmed.

1. Ensure to have Suhoor

A balanced meal at Suhoor will ensure one has the energy to sustain them through the day. It helps one retain information and allows better focus.

A fasting person cannot afford to skip this meal during Ramadan when either mental or physical work is expected from them during the day. High-fibre food allows satiety for more extended periods, however, it is best to avoid overeating as it leads to sleepiness.

2. Start your day early

As the day passes, energy levels start depleting along with one’s efficiency.

Planning crucial tasks in the early hours ensures that essential work assignments are not ignored. Besides, since the body and mind perform best during these hours, it might be a good idea to schedule much of the intellectually and physically taxing work during the early hours of the day.

The Holy Prophet also prayed to Almighty Allah, “O God, make the early morning hours blessed for my nation.” [Imam Ahmad]. Further, fewer distractions in that time frame allow for more focused planning and productive work. 

3. Schedule your breaks around prayers

The five daily prayers provide an efficient framework for us to schedule our entire work and rest routine around it.

Since the timeframe for prayers is fixed, it can be easier to use prayer times as deadlines for your daily work tasks. Dedicate 5 to 10 minutes every morning to plan your work day. Salah can be accounted for when jotting down one’s to-do list at the beginning of every day at work. 

4. Optimal water intake

Appropriate water consumption during Suhoor and through the night is beneficial to maintain mental alertness during the fast. However, an excessive water intake might be counterproductive, robbing the human body of essential nutrients.

Therefore, ensure an optimum water consumption of 2.2 to 2.8 litres, beyond which it is usually unnecessary and is not efficiently retained by the body.  

5. Keep up with sleep

Aiming for an altered sleep schedule for Ramadan allows one to sleep and get up at around a similar time throughout the month.

Plan for around four hours of sleep between Iftar and Suhoor. One may choose to get another couple of hours of sleep after Fajr before beginning their workday. Schedule power naps throughout the day, as it is usually tricky for many to manage eight hours of sleep during Ramadan.

Another form of power sleep can be in the form of midday sleep. Although undertaken widely, it holds a spiritual significance for Muslims, given the Islamic tradition of qailulah. The scheduling, span and occurrence of qailulah may differ according to one’s work plan. It facilitates better information retention, vigilance, and job efficacy.

By reorganizing the sleep pattern, the holy month also realigns one’s relationship with sleep. Sleep is done with intention during Ramadan, improving work efficiency and general alertness. However, it is best to avoid taking a nap at the office. Instead, opting for a short workout, such as jog-in-place, is better. 

6. Take up exercise

The Almighty has entrusted us with the most complex of machines, i.e., the human body. Ensuring good physical health and vigour should be among the aspirations of Muslims, given Allah has provided them with the ways and resources to attain fitness. Working towards a healthy lifestyle, therefore, is a desirable characteristic for a Muslim.

During Ramadan, exercising is an ideal way to amplify productivity and enhance metabolism. The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), according to a Sahih Muslim Hadith, stated that “The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, while there is good in both.” He was referring to both strength of character as well as physical fitness. 

Select a suitable time for exercise during Ramadan. It may be just prior to Iftar or a couple of hours following Iftar. Since the body’s energy is focused on digesting the food post-Iftar, it is best to refrain from physical activity immediately after breaking the fast.

Refrain from high-intensity and aggressive workouts while fasting, especially during high temperatures, as increased sweating could cause dehydration. Nevertheless, moderate exercise is the safest bet to reset your energy level and ensure mental alertness at work during the holy month. 

7. Refrain from excessive talk

Ramadan is a time of deep introspection. Rather than distracting yourself from hunger and lethargy by engaging in unnecessary conversations at work, splash your face with water to keep sleep and fatigue at bay.

8. Limit social media usage

It might also be a good idea to undergo a social media fast during the holy month.

Social media, including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and the rest, can be major distractions from work. It is advisable to take a break from social media from time to time. The constant notifications can take a lot of a person’s time, especially during Ramadan, when work-life balance is already a chore for many. Ramadan can be an excellent time to observe a gap in social media.

By limiting one’s social media exposure during the month, there is a better chance to delegate enough time for work while attaining the most of the fasting experience. 

9. Set achievable goals

While fasting, adjusting your work expectations and keeping your to-do list according to your energy levels is always a good idea. Avoid being overwhelmed by setting unrealistic goals. 

This annual fasting month is one of Islam’s five intrinsic tenets. With a handful of alterations to your priorities and behaviours, you can make the most of your month while ensuring productivity at work.

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