Ramadan is no doubt a month of spiritual blessings and self-restraint for Muslims. The holy month, however, is very different this year because of the stay-at-home phenomenon triggered by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
This year, a majority of employees are asked to work from home and that can be a challenge for some.
Pakistani expatriate Malik Nasir Nawaz is a corporate trainer, facilitator and mentor for future executives and professionals. The motivational speaker carries over 25 years of international experience in corporate training.
“I have been facilitating corporate sector around the globe by providing practical, interactive trainings, workshops, seminars, on-line trainings and mentoring sessions. I have been coaching, training and mentoring top management and professionals of multinational and blue chip organisations in different parts of the world. I have recently been engaged by noted organisations for different training and learning assignments in Qatar. My expertise includes stress management, leadership skills, accountability vs responsibility, plan and organise work, team building etc.”
He believes that over two decades of experience of working from home for research and preparation of training programmes has given him expertise which can be beneficial to share during this difficult time period. “‘Half glass full is much better than seeing half glass empty’ should be the motto to follow during this time. Most of the people may fantasise about working from the comfort of their own home, thinking that they don’t have to face traffic in the morning, no need to properly dress up, more sleeping time without any tension, no fear of boss walking in the office, etc. Pile of laundry that suddenly looks more appealing than your bosses’ to-do list.
“But in the true sense it’s more difficult to remain focused on work while at home. After a couple of days stress level starts rising when domestic tasks interrupt deadlines of office work. It gets even more stressful when we have no choice but to get involved daily in family matters specially kids’ day to-days issues. Stress level gets on high peek for those people who are used to socialising at work.”
Malik underlines the fact that if life and work patterns are not taken care of, Ramadan can also affect the work productivity. “The fasting individual is inclined towards more worship and kind deeds that can also have an impact on the work. There are, however, some suggestions that I can offer to have maximum productivity while fasting.
“I always see Ramadan as month of self-mastery and self-discipline. In my opinion the true spirit of this month is self-examination, self-discovery and an opportunity of self-improvement. As personal hygiene is the call of the day, making ablution (wudu) five times a day helps you remain mentally alert with lot of positive energy. Further, try and control your food intake. As Muslims, we are taught, our stomach needs to have one third of food, one third of water and one third of air. Moderate food intake is not only supportive to our digestive system but also helpful in avoiding laziness and lethargic feelings.”
In the efforts to keep up with the official work or to enhance it while at home, the trainer said: “Allocate yourself a dedicated and comfortable spot to work that you can associate with your job. To ward off the stress of being confined to your home, focus on the things you have long pending. Start brushing up your work related skills.
“Read Qur’an and any book which relates to your field of work and review what you have done or achieved before going to bed. Try to have a positive acknowledgement of something you accomplished, learned or are grateful for. It will help escalation of positive approach for the next day and remind you that you remain productive while working from home.”
Malik further said: “Avoid spending lot of time on social media, only rely on authentic government information and news channels for reliable information. The fake news and sensationalism will also put you under stress badly affecting your work productivity.”
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