Ramadan - the ninth month of the Islamic calendar - is the holiest month of the year. It's the time for doing good deeds, spending time with family and friends, prayer, being charitable, and for spiritual reflection. It's also a challenging period at work, given long periods of fasting can sap your energy.
How can you work smart during Ramadan and ensure that your productivity doesn't dip? Try these tips this year and see the difference in your daily work schedule:
Plan your workday When hunger strikes, it can often be tough to focus on the task at hand. But planning your work – even weekday schedule ahead of time and creating specific to-do lists can help you keep up the momentum. It's important to allocate critical tasks to morning slots when you're high on energy and adrenaline. Keep the less pressing work for later in the day when your focus tends to drop.
Avoid late-afternoon meetingsBy 3 pm or so, people who are fasting and have consumed their food and drink early in the morning begin to feel drained. They lack energy, are tired, and can't focus. So afternoon meetings definitely won't work well. Instead, aim for late morning meetings (between 10 am and 11 am) when you will be most alert.
Swap meetings with video callsMost often than not, it's the commuting and moving around that ends up draining energy reserves. Instead of meetings that involve travel or commutes, try phone or video calls. They are often as helpful as in-person meetings, and help you – and others on the team - save time and energy.
Try an afternoon napSleeping on the job is no longer a taboo, especially at a time like this. Dr. Sara Mednick, a sleep researcher at the University of California, Riverside, and the author of Take a Nap! Change Your Life, believes daytime napping can have many of the benefits of overnight sleep. With the afternoon and early evening often the toughest time to navigate when it comes to tough work, a nap lets you re-charge and rejuvenate for a short burst of evening energy.
Stay healthyYou cannot hope to work through the entire month and accomplish your workplace goals if you are feeling weak, lazy, angry, or sleep-deprived. Pace yourself through Ramadan – doing too much in the first few days will sap you of the energy and willpower you need to press on for the remainder of the month. Get enough sleep (between 6-8 hours every night). It's better for your body if you avoid sugary and oily foods and eat nutritious foods for Suhoor and Iftaar. Drink a lot of water at night and early morning to stay hydrated through the day.