Fasting for 12+ hours is no easy feat, and chances are you get tired in the day. Sometimes you feel so lazy and so tired that you get very little done when you’re fasting. Here are some tips on how to be productive:
1. Do things right after suhoor.
You just ate, which means you have the most energy at this time of day. Think of the most important stuff you have to do during the day, whether it’s writing emails, doing school work, reciting Quran, etc. and do them early in the morning. You’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish!
If you have to go back to sleep to get rest before work or school, similarly do the things you need most energy for right after you wake up. You’ll still have energy in the earlier part of the day and it’ll be easier for you to get things done.
2. Make a list of things you need to get done daily
Some people love to have a schedule because it helps them plan their day. Your schedule will need to let up a bit when you’re fasting, because you probably won’t get as much done. But still make a list of the most important things. Those that aren’t as urgent can be saved for the next day.
3. Make goals for the month and divide them up
Many of us make the goal of reading Quran and learning new surahs during the month of Ramadan. We may have set ourselves a big target, but often we don’t accomplish it because it was too ambitious and we feel overwhelmed!
Instead, divide up your main goal into smaller goals that you can accomplish daily without feeling overwhelmed. So if you’re trying to learn a new surah, tell yourself you’re going to memorise two lines a day. This way you’ll actually feel motivated to accomplish that goal.
4. Give yourself a break!
Some of us still operate during Ramadan like we do during the rest of the year, and that’s what exhausts us even more. So cut yourself some slack! It’s okay to feel tired and to not get the same amount of work done. Just be realistic with yourself and your expectations of what you can get done, so you don’t feel burnt out by the time it’s iftar.
5. Take a nap
For those of us who work or have to go to school, the day can seem so long, especially when we’re not eating. Even if you’re not at work or school, fasting does take a toll on you. Either way, it’s a good idea to take a nap in the day. Do it a few hours before iftar to refresh yourself; it’ll give you energy for that final stretch of fasting, and also get you through the night if you’re at the masjid praying all night.
6. Plan some downtime
It’s so easy to waste your day stalking people on Facebook, looking at recipes on Pinterest, and watching cat videos on YouTube. Before you know it, you made it to iftar! And while it definitely makes the day go by, there’s probably a lot more you wanted to accomplish.
If you plan an hour in your day that you can do all those, it’ll make you much more productive, knowing that you have that time already allotted.
7. Eat a good suhoor and a light iftar
The food we eat has such a big impact on the way our bodies feel. And when we stuff ourselves with fried and oily food, it’s no wonder we feel lethargic and lazy throughout the day and well into the night.
Pick foods that are nutritious and that give you energy for both meals. Have a bowl of oatmeal, rather than a bowl of sugary cereal, for suhoor, along with tons of fruit, and a glass of milk. For iftar, eat slowly and have food that is light, rather than heavy. You’ll find you get full pretty fast! If you’re still hungry later, eat after the night prayers.