Please introduce yourself and your business?
Assalamu Alaikum, my name is Fatima – I’m a wife & mother of three, born & raised in Australia, I work from home & loves all things to do with being organized.
My business is By Fatima, which is an online lifestyle publication where I share actionable ideas & products for women, mainly working mothers, to live an organized lifestyle in’sha’Allah.
What inspired you to start By Fatima?
It initially started as a blog where I could write about topics that interest me, but then the more I talked about an organized lifestyle & productivity with friends, the more I realized many women, especially mothers, needed help with it (just as I did many years ago) & so I decided to dedicate By Fatima to the organized lifestyle that I talk about so much.
I also released my ‘The 30 Day Get Ready For Ramadan Challenge’ in 2016 & the response was great, so again it confirmed that organization was something that needed its own focus for sisters.
You are the go to person for organization and self-care (masha aallah), what would you advise us mothers, homeschoolers, mompreneurs who are just too busy and overwhelmed with our daily to do lists.
This is a great question! The first thing I would do first is to take a very close look at self-care before organization. I know from experience that you can be a very organized person but if your health is not the best (in my case it was low energy) then your productivity will suffer regardless because your ill health will always catch up with you eventually.
Once you’re committed to a healthy lifestyle & begin to feel its benefits I would then look at your daily to-do lists. I’ve been there myself with the overwhelm & busyness & it really helped to step back & work out which hours of the day were the most productive for me to do certain tasks. For example, it’s difficult for me to do creative work for By Fatima when my children are awake & wanting my attention, so I do that early in the morning before they wake up.
I also have times when I do chores & spend with my family & friends.
Another important thing I recommend is decluttering (& minimalism if possible) because the less stuff we have in our homes, the less tidying up & the more opportunities to actually create experiences in life, such as home schooling, working from home, traveling, me time & family time.
What is your best advice on keeping focused on the important stuff when the distractions in our lives are constant?
Another great question & it’s really hit home because 2017 has been a year of many unexpected distractions for me alhamdulillah!
It really goes back to learning how to prioritize & limiting distractions, whether big or small, wherever possible. However my best advice is to say “no” more often. Ask yourself – do you have to check your phone constantly, reply to that message/email immediately, accept that last minute social invite? The more you say no, the more likely your focus will be on the important things that need to get done.
Now I know a mother reading this may think “I can’t say no to my children who are distracting me” & whilst that’s true, I think that’s a matter of picking the most appropriate times to do these important tasks or take it as a learning opportunity for your child to understand why what you’re doing is so important.
So many of us wait for the perfect moment/ day to start fresh and make changes in our lives, so if you could offer only one piece of advice about beginning … changing habits, starting fresh … what would it be?
My one advice for those wanting to begin something new would be to declare your intention on why you want this fresh start or habit change & take action towards it. Without intentions we can easily go back to our old ways or not make progress in our lives because the commitment wasn’t really there.
You can say this intention to yourself every day, write it down or share it with somebody else for accountability. Then, the action part is just as important & requires self-discipline so that your behavior is consistent & helps you progress with your new habit or life change in’sha’Allah.
What is your favorite business tool and/or resources?
My favorite business tool at the moment is my daily planner & blog planner because without them I could easily lose track of what I’m doing! I always have a million ideas running through my head, so planners really help me stay focused alhamdulillah. I also think Canva is a great, quick & easy design tool for business owners.
Who would you like us to interview next insha aallah?
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Muslimah Guide to Morning Routine
3 ways to Find Joy in the Everyday Things
30 Day Challenge: Healthy Sleeping Habits
Homeschooling Success depends on 3 Ingredients
Spiritual Habits to Develop in just 10 minutes a day
Simple Morning Routine: 7 Things to do before 7am
Interview with Dr Gemma Elizabeth of Our Muslim Homeschool
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