The Ramadan Grind: How to Maximize Your Effort While Running on Fumes
The holy month is finally upon us once more. Last year, we managed to get one of our members, Iwet Ramadhan, to share his tips on surviving Ramadan fasting while staying on top of his game. This year, we want to share the tips we’ve collected so far about how to keep your productivity on high even during on your energy lows. But first, we’ll need to get over the basics of how storing energy translates to productivity.
The Fuel in Your Tank
During a work day, your energy commonly fluctuates. It rises and decreases according to your meal and snack times–and the short naps and rest in between your work hours. Since your productivity is closely tied to surplus energy in your body that is not yet processed by important bodily functions (digestion, motor functions, and the circulatory system). These are then used to fuel your mind to focus more on your work, which, consequently, increases the quality of your work.
What do you do when you can’t top up your energy reserves in the middle of a work day? Relying on your sahur meals means you’ll only have only enough energy to last a few hours’ worth of productivity before you run out–not to mention the energy spent in morning transit, climbing up the stairs to your office, or simply being outside on a hot day?
Preservation Is Key
The answer is preservation. Optimizing the amount of energy spent to keep yourself productive is key in maintaining your peak performance while fasting. Without sacrificing much of your work hours, you can ensure that you’re not spending more than what you have left in the tank before the day ends.
However, this doesn’t mean reducing the amount of work you do in the day–the goal is still making sure you get as much work done as possible. What you’ll need to do, instead, is to make sure the right amount of energy goes to the right amount of work or effort.
First thing you can do is to work on the harder assignments in the morning, and save the easier ones for the afternoon. By putting the highest amount of effort when your energy reserves is still at its peak, you won’t have to slog through tougher tasks during the afternoon when you’re running on fumes. This is optimization 101.
Then, make sure to take frequent breaks. Not being able to drink coffee and eat snack bars means that you won’t be able to recharge mid-work. The best option available for you is to stop working, and recharge your energy instead through power naps and short breaks. Take 10 minute breaks for every 50 minutes of work. That way you’ll be able to budget your energy efficiently, and you can divide your work time into manageable chunks.
Finally, to make sure no energy is wasted, you must always be patient. There is no use spending any amount of energy blowing hot air. You can instead try to channel your energy to give yourself a prompt “afterburn” for a productivity boost. By staying patient, you’ll also be reaping rewards while maintaining your Ramadan spirit!
Make sure to follow all of the steps above, and you’ll have, on your plate, a full-course meal of finished tasks and assignments, good mood throughout the day, and a productive day on your journal.
There’s no task more daunting than to exert yourself while you’re fasting. But, just as how the teaching goes: “great effort brings about great rewards”.