I have always been concerned with maximizing efficiency for a long time; before, it meant learning everything I could in the shortest time possible. To me then, ‘done’ meant completing a book or series of videos and this blinded me from verifying acquired knowledge. So I mostly went from one book to another without challenging myself to find real-life applications.
The trend continued when I began at Masdar: I tried to read all the library books I had longed to read, signed up for a lot of online courses and took on side projects. I soon got burnt out (I was doing too much at once) and quickly learnt to respect my limits.
The unpleasant burnout experiences also made me review my daily schedule: were all the tasks really completed? I started planning my days, used pomodoro time blocks to improve my focus and abandoned multi-tasking. My ‘completion’ speed dropped however Alhamdulilah I started completing stuff consistently without getting burnt out.
There is a long ever-growing list of fascinating things I want to do however I know I can’t do everything. A couple of days back I started to question my activities: how have I applied the stuff I keep learning? What were the results? Have I been doing the right things? Alhamdulilah I can reasonably follow up on tasks consistently now, so the next challenge is to focus on the right things.
Insha Allaah I hope to improve by aggressively whittling down the fascinating list of to-dos, everything I do should have an impact or align with my goals. Less can actually be more…
Insha Allaah I’ll be asking these four questions:
1. What am I doing?
2. Why am I doing this?
3. Does this align with my purpose?
4. Am I doing it well enough?
Know that you can not do everything, know your limits and then do the things you can do excellently. Finally, always remember to pray to Allaah and rely on Him totally as all success is from Him alone.
May Allaah bless all our efforts and grant us all success.