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Season 4 Ep 3

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The Productive Muslim Podcast

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You're listening to the productive Muslim podcast season four, Episode Three.

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productive. Welcome to the show. I'm your host before marriage, add era Uriah with our q&a episode in which we get your questions that you have submitted to us. And we get them answered by our experts and guests that we have on the show. So today I have with me, Brother Mohammed Faris. So Muhammad, as you all know, and as you all know, familiar with is our CEO of productive Muslim. And he's just going to be on the call with me today to take your questions sound like Mohammed, why?

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Are you ready for the questions? Miss Miller?

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All right. All right. So I am going to play these questions and right, let's get started.

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Okay, so the first question I have here is from Romana, and she asks,

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my problem is that I spend a lot of time

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planning and fantasizing about all these things, all these goals that I'm going to accomplish. And once I get down to doing them, I'll start like a little bit or half of it, and then I'll lose motivation, and it'll never get done. Like, no matter what I try so far 80 90% of the things that I start, I never finished. I really dislike that about myself. And I just want to know, is there anything I could do that will help me? Complete? All the things that I start?

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Okay, so that's a great question.

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So the guests, the guests will put the challenge there is that you're starting from the goals themselves. Instead of starting from what I call from just that kind of bit high end, why are you choosing those specific goals. So example, if I if I sometimes I said like, 10 goals myself, but I know these goals are not aligned to somebody's long term goals.

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Half of them, although they'll drop off the, you know, stop doing them halfway through because they're not aligned to what I ultimately achieve. So instead of falling that trap, what I recommend you to do is every three months, decide on what you'll do or what your your long term goals for the next three, six, even one up to one year, and align your goals to those 361 year goals.

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Also, your weekly goals, your 10 day goals, your monthly goals. And then every time you feel like you're about to give up, sometimes healthy tickets to take a break from the goals you're doing. But put a reminder to come back to it as well. But every single time I try to it's out the way I look at it's like pushing balls down the road, right? Sometimes you have like, you know, 10 bowls that are that are on the road and solemn will stop halfway through some of them, you kind of keep on pushing. And sometimes you have to stop pushing them and just take a break and come back and slowly move them forward. Don't think of goals as as like one sit down, I'm going to finish one goal and one sit

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down, break it down into small chunks, attack those tasks on a daily basis, do like half an hour chunks, 90 minute chunks, 25 minute chunks. When you do that way, you'd be surprised how much you achieve from that goal. So just maybe I went a bit all over the place. But to summarize, number one, make sure your goals are connected to high purpose. Number two, add to the to long term goals, not just short term goals. Number two, break your goals. Sometimes it's okay to take breaks from from your goals and come back come back in later. Number three, make sure that you divide your goals into small easily sized chunks so that you can move them forward and don't seem overwhelming. Like the

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joke says how to eat an elephant one bite at a time. So don't eat elephants but do to do a try to check your goals easily. And by the way, it's okay to not pursue your goal. Don't feel your bad don't fit your failure. Don't feel that, you know, why am I not ditching goals? It's okay. But as long as we have conscious decision of why you say no, this goes off for me now. Oh, you know what, I'm going to defer the score for another time. Or you know what? It's not worth my time to school. So it's okay. But as long as you know why. That's the key key message. I hope that helps.

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So I want to ask further on this. If if you're struggling from that problem of not achieving any of the goals that you set for yourself, then would you say that the first step forward is to focus on one goal or would you keep going on to multiple goals because you have multiple areas of life too. You know, I would, I would take a piece of paper and I write down all this goal that I'm trying to achieve and then say to myself, which one is reading

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In which three are so important for my life, my long term, sort of, you know, personal growth and development and to in life or business or my faith, or any area of your life, which of these three are most important, and then I'll focus on those until I get them done. And then I'll come back to these piece of paper on a regular basis. So what I normally do so there's two things I do weekly review to look at, sort of what I've achieved during the week, and what's coming up in horizon and also connect that to the long term goals. But also do like sometimes a quarterly review, where I look back at how much of achieving the class quarter. And how's that, how's that sitting in with it

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with the future with the upcoming quarter as well. So just having this kind of these moments of stop, reflect, move forward, they help you stay focus, but the key message is nothing. Okay, I have so many goals, I don't achieve them. They say, Well, why do you have these goals? What are they connected to? And are you regularly checking them to make sure that these are still relevant goals for you, given the stage of life you're in at the moment?

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All right. And would you say that the timeframe is minimum six months? Or what? What were your thoughts on timeframe or there's not a particular

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so long term goals for long term goals? Nobody I suggest

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the longest have a plan for is really five years realistically, I mean, I'm 2025 30. And those are great to have just have a 25 year view of your life is great to have as those are more aspirational, but realistic, like things that you can get done. Five years good timeframe. But so that's kind of like, say, five years, I should be here in these areas of my life. And then if we can, then you break it down to the one year, so one year from now, what do I need to be at to be on track to achieve this in five years time if if you need that, and then divided by six months, and then divided by three months, and then divided by monthly and bi weekly. So I'll start with five, one

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month, five years, one year, six months, three months, and then one, three, then weekly, those are the timeframes that are used. If I'm like getting up to five years, this

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is a good exam, normally takes two to five years from now on. So you can literally break that down, I got a six user per year, that's that we know almost less than a juicer per six or six user per year. And then sub means three juicer in six months. That means it's sort of about one user in about two months. And it comes like like, you know, half a page a day, right? So you broke down something that sounds too big and too hard into something very, very doable, very actionable. And then and that's very motivated. Because every day you see to half a page or you memorize a little bit of Ron realize I'm moving towards this big five year goal that I've set myself and you can see your

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progress. And progress is the best motivator. These are minor. When you feel you're not making progress. If I if I if I'm feeling oh my god half a page, and I have a whole lot memorize, I would never move forward in my life. But if I didn't have a page, that's exactly how much I need to get done today. Because if I do this consistently, they five years out of memory, hold on. It is very, very motivated perspective. Yeah, yeah, that's true. And I also want to add further,

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what has helped me when I would be struggling in this whole thing about, Hey, I'm sending so many goals, and I'm not finishing it is like the importance of being around the right people as well. They environment. For example, if I were to take your example of cranberry memorization, and actually having like a weekly class to go to, or something like that, because I know that has helped me personally because it's like, even if I would slip off or like fall off my goal is just just the mere act of showing up every week kind of motivates you and puts you back into action again. Absolutely, absolutely. And if you think about it, that's that's what Islam teaches us in terms of

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philosophy, you know, it also will help

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you join each other towards good to this truth and enjoy. Just be patient patient on what patients think the straight path, verse of the Quran that we're at so the last 10 verses of Allah and Ron, we recommend to recite every single night, every single morning when we come up. And that last verse says, Yeah, yeah, even letting Spiro or Sadhguru or RB to like ob, be patient, persevere, keep going. So it's like, Allah will give you the motivational push view on motivation. You have the Quran saying Go for it. Keep going. Don't give up. But the same is used the word Yeah, you live in Amazonia using that in a plural sent Oh, you believe like you have plurals and not in a single

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person sense. So yes, definitely an environment of accountability and environment of support. Whether through mentors, through coaches, through friends through family, it makes a difference. Yeah, yeah. Because it's like it's so easy to be caught up alone, especially because we have all the technology and we have everything to be able to do it alone. And nobody knows about it. But then when we have that, release, somebody else doing it with you or a place to go to that

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Done, then yeah, it makes a world of a difference in helping us achieve those goals. Absolutely. And again, it comes down to this idea where if you think that you are self sufficient, that that can be a problem, because, number one, at least you should acknowledge the data to support help you, right?

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And if that's the minimum, and even someone like the Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Sallam he needed to companions he will, you know, the companions words were important part of him, of him achieving his biggest goal, which is delivering the message of Islam. So we need people you know, it's not that we do I think we sometimes we live this very highly individualized, highly independent lifestyles. We don't need people I can get things done on my own, but you need people and first and foremost Mills, high data to help you give the guidance to cheap vehicles. Yeah, and on that the thing with having people around you, you're not being by yourself, like when when you're doing this by yourself, it's

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easy to get diluted in like two ways. Like you can be diluted thinking or you're doing enough or you can also be diluted in a way that you're not doing enough. Whereas if you were to see your progress compared to what other people are doing, then you're doing a pretty good job. Or it can be like totally the opposite. So it's like just being able to see what other human beings are like capable of doing it kind of gives you feedback on your own self. Yeah, yep. Yeah, I go I go cycling every weekend and one thing if I go cycling alone, I'm slow like I'm barely trudging

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uphill uphill Cycling is a nightmare for me. Going to pack when you go like with friends and cycling groups, they always go so fast like last because

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setting a pace and you have to keep up and it's like you don't embarrass, falling behind. Are you true you have that you want to say face? Like oh my goodness, I have to keep up with this guy. So it's really helpful and I think it's a lot more than last time in the Quran says or fee that the affiliate an episode with an episode that indicted people should compete and you know that competition helps to keep you motivated and keep you going forward. Even sometimes competing against yourself like sometimes if I want to get myself a sale, try and wash dishes. I would set a timer for like three minutes, like how many dishes Can I get done? And just just this something as simple as

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that will help me achieve a goal that otherwise would take me hours I'd be up delaying and procrastinating because his element of competition gamifying it makes it really cool and fun to shoot, basically. Yeah, yeah, true. Fantastic. All right. So we'll move on to our next question that we have here. And this one is from Yassir, so I'll just play this and take it from there.

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As they come, I just wanted to ask, if you guys can give some advice about mobility. You know, a lot of us we sit all day. Me personally, I go to the gym strength training three times a week for two hours.

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You know, each day, and over time we can have nots develop and

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you know,

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mobility wise, a lot of us we don't know what to do. So please advise about that if you can, thank you, because I got a host and I'm like, okay, pretty cool question.

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And again, yes, we do live certain lifestyles, and here's some bad news for you.

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Guys, I'm ready for it. I know it says that if you sit down for six and a half hours, which most of us minimum do right? Six and a half hours? I'd wait I do way more than that. Yeah. down for six and a half hours, then that negates 45 minutes exercising in the gym. Like if so if you go to gym 45 minutes, and you really kill yourself,

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but then you go and sit in the office six and a half hours that negates all that exercise you've done. So that's a challenge. So what do you need to do is you need to build in mobility and just movement within within your within your day. But the key thing to remember is that you're not doing this for your body. A lot of us we have this concept misconception that it's just for our bodies, not just your body, it's actually a brain you think better you act better you become much more alert much more.

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No literally thinking on your feet that don't think on your feet you literally think on your feet. So few things you could do number one of course try to have walking meetings so if you have meetings with colleagues specialists instead of say going to the office sitting down to Hey, let's take a walk let's talk about this issue. That helps a lot number two, of course walk to the masjid as much as possible. If so this is a little bit far cycle to the masjid. I mean, there's another little cycling spiritual I started doing this recently. It's really fun. And you know, you really enjoy you feel like great. I'm praying and exercising that's called layering exercises.

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If you have the ability to get a standing desk for yourself, it really helps if you can't get a standing desk you can afford a standing desk

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There are nowadays you can set up like cardboard boxes on your table, and basically able to stand in but just put the laptop on top and maybe have a wireless keyboard or something at the bottom. And you basically have a standing desk, you can stand why, while you're working. I don't recommend to stand too long as well. So there's a thing about don't stand all day and don't sit all day

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between sometimes setting a timer on your phone, every hour, just kind of a stretch every hour, just put a buzzer stand up and stretch, it makes a difference.

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And take the stairs whenever you can park your car further away from from your from your from your office, or from the store you want to go to

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avoid, you know, and just basically play the golden, right kids are amazing, they have incredible energy. running after them is a great workout.

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Type, just like the parks that have them sitting down with video games at home, take the park take them somewhere and just walk and run and along with them. So So again, built in movement, just think of small ways don't think of the big like two hours charged him as a long time. By the way, I recommend you think about the time investment, if you want to put it into kind of break it down for smaller investments throughout the day. That's how you keep yourself mobile and mobile not just for your body, but for your brain and you you'll see that you'll get become more energetic generally, than just sitting for so long. You know, the saying now is that sitting is the new smoking. That's

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how bad it's got in terms of the health effects of sitting down for so long.

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That's so true.

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You know, I was reading this article in which he was talking about food and he was talking about a lot of us these days don't want to eat well because of the benefit it gives to our bodies rather we want to eat well because of our brain It's like eating for your brain. So in the same way I mean if instead instead of seeing exercise as just working in our bodies, it can be it's exercise for our brain because essentially like a lot of our jobs and our careers depend on our brain pretty much as a sort of knowledge works so absent and again the studies are on this is incredible in terms of memory information processing decision making. If you notice top CEOs around the world you know you

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see someone who's like 70 years old he's running on a treadmill you think this guy's the older money he doesn't he has all this staff around him Why is he killing himself on a treadmill and it's not his health literally say this is because ice please make me bad decisions. People generally I mean I can see myself whether if I'm helps you manage stress as well a lot of our work is very stressful these days, trying to keep up with the pressures of 24 hour you know work and now movement helps you manage that and think about that on your personal brand in your in your corporate career. If you're the someone who's sharp who's who's a think on his feet, who's I was very, you know, quick on to

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think that that's personal branding, you know, you get promoted much more quicker than if you're the person who just sits all day who's slouches all day. You know, even the purse even like just from from a personal branding perspective. I mean, if you had two people to hire someone who has sitting well exercises runs, you know, and you see fit this guy's like, active thing on his feet, where someone just like slouching and sitting all day and just let it bring that energy with them. It's

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exactly yeah. So who would who would you hire when you die? That's the first one because hey, this guy's like you're beating, you know, someone who can handle more more work and more work as well. Yeah. And takes us you think it reminds me of, you know, sometimes I'd be struggling with like a, a problem in a project. And it's like just going for a walk or like going to walk to go and pray humble, I'm so grateful that we have prayer because that like breaks that routine or us. I'd be one of those couchpotato office people sitting from nine to five, I am absolutely workaholic. So

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that ratio is like prayer. Even lunch at my desk. Yeah. Anyone like listening to this can relate them?

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Absolutely. I've said it a bit. But it actually helps you work better you come back and you can solve that problem that you are stuck on for like so many hours. Yeah. Just by getting that walk in your unconscious mind. So one thing our brains hate our brains hate incomplete tasks. So whenever you say let's say you you work on a task, and then Ah, I gotta take a break, for example, right? And you're annoying. Like, I just want to check. I said, 10 more minutes, I could finish this. But yeah, a lot of time you got to move. And you do move your brain still thinking about it. It's still trying to solve it trying to improve it. So when you come back, it really does. Like you have a lot of

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creative ideas. So one thing like I do when I write articles, sometimes I write an article but I don't finish it out. Go Come back next day. And 10 like none at all these ideas just come come and you have so many other connections and it the quality just jumps tenfold because you you kind of took that break. It's got no one I think Adam Grant in his book, The Originals mentioned it is about the idea of procrastination but really saying this is like this is not procrastination is more like you come

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She decided to stop yourself coming back a few hours later or next year or maybe a few weeks, and you have a completely new perspective and the quality of the accrete of your creativity goes up by by a lot. So spots start fast, finish slow. And Miss connects to the first question about setting up goals, which as I said, if you have goals important, sometimes you can start fast. But don't don't be shy, take a break from them, but then come back to them again, with a fresh perspective might help you see things in your perspective as well. Yeah, that's so true. Because it seems like this is this misconception that if you work harder at a problem, you're somehow like, you like you work

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harder, you work longer, it's just you're gonna solve it but then like, when you go back and you look at the science of learning, you see that there's two different modes of our brain there's like the focus mode and then there's the diffuse mode. So diffuse mode is only activated when you sleep or you go for a walk. Absolutely, absolutely. So he would actually be more productive if you were to like take a nap on your desk then keep working Yeah, yeah, that that looks really bad.

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Yes, it's so true. You look exam I mean, I know my something I have to remind myself even though I teach this stuff, but I have to remind myself like I'm gonna take a break now come back later but deep down again attempting I just want to get it done I just want to ship it off. I was gonna forget about this but like I know the quality much better the take a break come back later. And every single time I do that, it helps a lot. So it is hard because it's counterintuitive and except your brain hates incomplete tasks because they'll keep nagging you to complete like having an open loop and never really closing it. Yeah, but then that that trick won't exactly work if you're taking a

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break and you look at your phone because then you're focusing on something else

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Some people say distracting so generally helps but of course the quality of distraction like yeah but it depends on what distraction because then you're like focused on your phone. So then you forget about the first problem.

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Or like I said, that's

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the quality of discoveries Apple napping, spraying, napping helps praying differently in

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family family and spending water or your children in your family and your spouse. These all these things help you take your mind off sort of whatever problem working with this it's like this relaxing activity check email, and come back you still you still in work mode. You want some true text? Yeah, exactly. Yeah.

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It's so true. It's so amazing how like all these things about productivity like so like what you least expect is like oh, you get more done by working less. Yep, I think it's time to work more by doing less thing and that's the book title is somewhere. Work We'll have fun more. Yeah, that'd be awesome. All right. So these are the this is all the questions we have time for actually. So we'll have to wrap up today's episode so thank you again for coming on. No problem. Thank you for having me rails pleasure to be on the call in the show. inshallah We will see you again soon then suddenly go wow.