Day 15 of the 40-Day Challenge

In the name of Allah, most gracious and most merciful,

Today’s challenges were usual, and I dealt with them using the old techniques I specified in my previous posts. However, I think I could do more. I could be more engaged and could do a higher quality job as well. As a rule of thumb for me, if you want to achieve something make a plan or a system that should help you to achieve what you want. I want to take my challenge to another level. I have experimented with different systems throughout the challenge. Each of which has its pros, and cons. In the new system, I developed today, I hope that I have handled most of the cons, and included most of the pros in the previous systems. That’s it, experimenting and seeing what works best for me. Therefore in today’s post, I will talk about the new system, and won’t talk about any challenges.

1. Principles Upon Which the System is Built

  1. Motivate yourself by thinking big. Try to expect great results, and take great actions as well. Your why always comes here. If you want to remember my why, you could read this post Introduction to the 40-Day Challenge (What and Why).
  2. Consistency. Although motivation is good, it is not guaranteed since emotions could change a lot. Therefore, to increase your probability of success, you should put a system to do consistently regardless of how you feel. It is a process, and not an event. It takes time, and it requires hard work. No substitution for doing the hard work. Try to use tools and techniques to help you, but remember that without working hard, don’t expect to go so far.
  3. Focus. To achieve anything worthwhile you usually need high-quality focus. Minimizing distraction, and putting your all into what you do. This will be achieved in the plan by putting small goals, and virtual deadlines.
  4. Although hard work and focus are important,  you need critical thinking as well. To evaluate yourself. What were your mistakes? Why did you do them? How you could avoid them? Learning from mistakes is crucial to any great success. That is usually achieved by evaluating myself weekly, and analyzing the challenges, why I encountered them, and how I overcame them, and if I didn’t overcome them then I analyze how to prevent them in the future. I try to put a system that will incorporate all of this automatically. Although it is difficult to do such a thing, at least let us try, experiment, and see what improvements could we do. And remember, that there is always room for improvement, but the trick is to force your mind to think about how it could help you to improve.

2. The New System

  1. Plan every minute in the day before to minimize time-wasting, and consuming your decision quota.
  2. Have a deadline for waking up, and sleeping. Although it will be somehow difficult if you are building new habits, if set appropriately, and you were aware of the science behind sleep, hopefully, they will soon become a habit. In other words, it will be easier for you to sleep and wake up at specific times. Ensure that you have a good night’s sleep.
  3. I will have two big breaks, a morning routine, and a before sleeping time routine. In these breaks, I should choose between specific things to do so that I get from the break more energized, and refreshed for doing my work or my learning. Remember that according to what I learned from this book “Deep Work”, your mind doesn’t need rest unless during sleep. Otherwise, it just needs switching tasks so that you activate different parts of your brain. I think these big breaks won’t usually exceed one, and half hours or at most two hours on specific days.
  4. Why two big breaks? Because I will try to work on three operating modes according to my needs in my current life period. If you want to know more about this, you could read this section in this post.
  5. In whatever I am learning or working on, I should specify a specific small goal and a virtual deadline for achieving that goal.
  6. Within the operating modes, I could take mini-breaks. These mini-breaks have two types:
    1. Reserved: If I met the virtual deadline I set for achieving my small goal, I am allowed to take a 20-minute break in which I could do something that I love doing. It is still something useful for me, and since I love doing it so it will be a reward for meeting my deadline.
    1. On-demand: If I didn’t meet the virtual deadline, I will take a break for up to 10 minutes in which I am not allowed to do the thing that I love, but I could do other things.
  7. Eating is only allowed in the big breaks and my morning routine. Apart from this, it is not at all allowed. But drinks are allowed in big breaks, and mini-breaks as well.
  8. I could write my everyday’s blog post for up to 14 hours after the end of the day to avoid disrupting my sleeping time if I stayed up late to write the post. And why 14 hours? Because I want to reserve my morning time for more demanding tasks.
  9. In anything, errors are only acceptable if they are within the 30-minute time range. In three things at most per day.

It is important to notice that this system could be broken in emergencies.

3. Things to Keep in Mind During Implementing the System

  • If you are not engaged, you are not doing your best work. Although this could happen at the start of your task because of initial resistance, it is not at all preferable to happen throughout your task. Try to know why you are not engaged, and apply whatever good technique you have to be engaged.
  • Don’t over-prepare. Start to take action after taking into account your precautions, but don’t overthink this because over preparation could prevent you from taking action. Remember that we are humans, and it is difficult to anticipate everything. So just think critically, take it easy, and start taking action to learn from your mistakes, and your feedback.
  • Turn defeat into victory. The problem isn’t in the situation but your reaction and attitude towards it. The wise man is who masters his mind, and the non-wise is who surrenders to his whims, and temporary pleasures.
  • Look at every day as a new day. Write your own story, and see what actions you would like to take. Be the change you want to see in others.
  • Try to completely stay alone for some time in your day. Remove any distractions, and try to connect with your inner self. This time can be used to analyze critical problems or to think about general improvements that you can do in your life. You could be surprised by how far you can get if you truly sat down with yourself and thought critically.
  • Always believe that there is always something you can do about your problems. Don’t surrender and act like a victim. See what you can do, and excite your mind and order him to find solutions. The problem is usually in the limitations you put on yourself, and not in the real limitations.
  • If you want to change a habit, try to take it step by step. One minute, then one hour, then one day, then one month, and so on until eventually, you replace bad habits with good ones.

4. Useful Pieces of Information

Most of these pieces of information are taken from The Magic of Thinking Big book.

  • Daily exercise to help you develop the power of “I can do it better attitude”. Before you begin work each day, devote 10 minutes to thinking:
    • How can I do a better job today?
    • What could I do today to encourage my coworkers or employees?
    • What special favors could I do to my customers?
    • How can I increase my personal efficiency?
  • Make your environment make you successful
    • Be environment conscious. Like body diet makes the body, mind diet makes the mind.
    • Make your environment work for you, not against you. Don’t let suppressive negative forces make you think defeat.
    • Don’t let small-thinking people hold you back.
    • Get your advice from successful people. Your future is important. Never risk it with advisors who are living failures.
    • Get plenty of psychological sunshine. Circulate in new groups. Discover new, and stimulating things to do.
    • Avoid gossip. Talk about people positively.
    • Try to go first class in everything you do.


Thank you. I hope this post has been beneficial to you. I would appreciate any comments if anyone needed more clarifications or if anyone has seen something wrong in what I have written in order to modify it, and I would also appreciate any possible enhancements or suggestions. We are humans, and errors are expected from us, but we could also minimize those errors by learning from our mistakes and by seeking to improve what we do.

Allah bless our master Muhammad and his family.

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