Karachi: Amidst the cacophony of the city and our devices, Abbas Husain held a one day session for the students of Jamea tus Saifyah to teach them how to better manage their lives.

Mr. Husain delved into how modernity dissipates our attention and through being mindful of where our time is going, we can master how we spend it and achieve our goals.

The workshop covered these topics:

Circle of Concern vs Circle of Influence: This is a thinking tool that allows us to see where we are putting our energies. If they are in issues and concerns of the world that we have no control over, we will be left feeling despondent. But if we focus on what is in our circle of influence, our actions, family, friends, then we will be able to enlarge our circle of influence and maybe become capable of tackling the issues in our circle of concern.

Hawks and Doves: Through this questionnaire, Mr Husain was able to demonstrate that our attitudes to time also affect how much we are able to achieve. This activity adequately showed what a healthy attitude to time and your to-do list can seem like.

Big Rocks: This concept is a visual representation of the Jug of life and how we can fill it. If we let small rocks, pebbles and flotsam and jetsam to occupy our time we will have a full life but it won’t be one of contentment because we will have missed out on our bigger “rocks”, that is, major priorities in life. A picture to demonstrate this created an impact on the audience and they were able to grasp the main point. In the words of Covey: The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.

Weekly Planner: And finally, after explaining some key philosophies around time, Mr Husain explained a planning tool to effectively set weekly and daily goals and achieve more in all the time you have been given. This tool pulled together all the previous thinking and the students were given a blank sheet to fill out as a trial. They were then given a blank sheet to make 52 copies and use it throughout the year.

The session was received favourably with the students reflecting on what they learned and enjoyed (mostly Mr Husain’s teaching style!) and promised to pass on what they had learned to their family and loved ones. The session was a way to teach life skills in a way that was engaging and interactive which also captured the students’ attention.