Dear Dr Syed,
I read the 4Ps post and benefit a lot from it. Am hoping to put to practice what you have shared though punctuality has always been a problem for me. It’s time to change : ( I have question on Time. I see that you travel a lot. You are also involved in many efforts out there. You have a family too, if I get it right, five children (that’s a lot). How do you juggle all these roles?
Your question is the question that I ask myself almost daily. In fact, I struggle everyday trying to balance all of these responsibilities. Social media have made things worse! But I have a formula to make sure that none of these are neglected. My formula could be summed up as follows:
1) Prioritize: Rank your responsibilities and write them down. I put Family first, then Career, then other things relating to the Community at large. It is hard, the way I see it, to be effective in the community without having a Strong Family and a Stable Career. I have been blessed with a supportive wife and a kind employer. So I would always ensure that my family gets the love that they need (my wife especially) before I do anything else. I pay a lot of attention to the development of my career and try to excel before engaging in other activities.
2) Regimes: Be systematic and strict in everything that you do. Establish your own Health, Spiritual, Familial, Work and Reflective Regimes. Have a clearly defined set of activities for yourself, your family and so forth everyday. I start my day early to settle my kids and will start work only after I have done some physical exercises and the reading of the Quran. The rest of the day would be concentrated on getting my work done. During my breaks, I would rest and answer emails and questions. My evenings are spent with the family. We pray together, have dinner and talk about things. I explain to my family about the things I do. On the days when I would be out doing work for the community or traveling, the kids would just say: Oh Abah is going to help people. Nowadays, I bring my family along to my talks and would have outings with them quite often.
In sum, Prioritize and Keep to the regimes that you have established for yourself. Always take stock as to whether you have strayed from it. The more stricter you are with your regimes and the more aware you become which comes first, the more you are able to balance your responsibilities.
I hope this answer your question.