So the working hours have been announced, a sure sign that Ramadan is just around the corner…
As those of us who have been in the Middle East region for a while know, Ramadan is one of the most important occasions of religious observance for Muslims, practiced every ninth month of the Islamic Calendar. The Holy Month lasts 30 days in which Muslims practice fasting and refraining from any kind of vice. They practice self-reflection and devote more of their time to religious worship, this has a big impact on life in the Middle East, whether you are Muslim or not. Working hours are reduced by law, and are monitored to ensure adherence to the rules, office meetings and activities diminished in respect of those fasting, and productivity tends to drop.
The lack of food and drink and erratic sleep patterns make people less able to concentrate, whilst the change to hours can often be very distracting itself, plus the reduction of working hours has an inevitable impact on the output of businesses during the month, however this doesn’t always have to be the case. Follow our tips to be more productive during this year’s Ramadan:
- Take the time to organise and declutter
Your environment is an immediate reflection of who you are. Therefore, if everything is disorganized in your outside world, then you’re not going to be working smoothly and at your most efficient either. This is why it is a good idea to do some organising this month while things are quieter. You don’t have to start moving boxes or do an overall stock update necessarily, it can be something simple like updating your mailing list, deleting outdated files, updating your information, running a virus scan – and all of those small things that can be done simply on your computer. By organising your files and getting rid of your trash, you are effectively performing a cleaning routine that might well extend inside, and at the very least, it makes it easier for you to continue with your day to day tasks after Ramadan.
- Get up to speed and review your strategy
This is the perfect time to update yourself with what has been going on within your own business. How is your website looking, is everything up to date? Where do you stand on a Google search, do you need to improve your SEO for certain keywords? How is your social media activity performing, what posts/messages have more impact? How do all of these compare to your competitors? How are your staff feeling, are there any issues, developments that can be initiated? Having a good long look into your business to find these answers could really help you to revise and develop your business strategy when there are less distractions. You can then evaluate your current situation in line with your vision and objectives and plan out any proposed changes.
- Update your website and social media
Websites are practically living things that need to be kept up to date in order to remain relevant and visible. During Ramadan, try updating your website – get rid of dead pages and refresh any links you might have. Take a look at your content and the keywords that are used for SEO, try using a new font or template for the domain to keep it fresh in the eyes of your visitors. Add your social media handles and links, and think about adding or updating a blog and reaching out to others you work with for guest posts.
Review your social media, does your LinkedIn bio need updating? Do you use Publishing? Can you plan out your social media content for the month ahead and schedule it in advance so that you don’t have to worry about it when business picks up again? Are there any channels you don’t use currently, but you want to know more about? Now’s the time to experiment and play!
- Read up on new developments
The month of Ramadan is also a good time to update yourself on the latest news and technologies that have been released throughout the year. For example, if you are interested in SEO then this is perhaps the best time to research what Google has been up to when it comes to calculating page rankings. Reacquainting yourself with the latest information in your chosen industry will prove useful, especially if you’re also making plans for future steps. You can also check out all the best practice and award winning ideas and campaigns that are out within your industry or peer group as these can help stimulate inspiration and innovation.
Of course, those are just some of the work activities you can do throughout the month, don’t forget to also use the time for yourself, with the reduced hours in the office, you can get down to the gym, see the people you might not normally have time to see, or start work on any other projects you have in mind – if you’d like us to help then just give us a call!