Dealing with too much ‘to do’
Food for thought

Dealing with too much ‘to do’


(…. you too?)


How do we cope with daily challenges in life? – Of course with our ‘to do’ list!

My mentor Mahjabeen says “You cannot do anything unless you allocate a time and place for it.” Then she adds, “Even if one of them is missing, it will not get done!” That being clear, let’s get on with it….

I’ve seen two types of people:

  1. Those who keep the list short and sweet not allowing anyone to walk into it.
  2. Then there are those making loooonnnnngggg ‘to do’ lists, and allowing everyone to walk into it.

Yes, as you guessed, I’m the second one! But you know, usually I love it. Otherwise, I have an ‘engine burn out’. I know, I’ll miss out on doing some things, but due to ‘priority’ I’ll have the important stuff done.

Hence, I’m always busy. So what? Excuse me, we’ll get plenty of time to rest – when we are ‘resting in peace’. This is our time  to ‘work in peace’.

So lately my ‘to do’ list has several things like:


  • Studying Financial Accounting. (God bless my friend Aisha and class mate Irfan Yusaf.)
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  • 19990608_1612231812143438_8721687662751037118_n[1]
  • Yes, after finding three kittens in distress, adopting them till I find their mom.
  • 20031542_1611026012264018_753305971437637057_n[2]
  • Now that the book Allama Iqbal’s Tulip of Sinai is ready, I have my ‘army’ of three daughters and myself  to do the needful of marketing, distribution and working out the book launch. (God help! Please!)
  • Caring for elderly parents, has its own daily demands, along with visits to the doctors and hospitals and keeping their morale high by taking them on outings.
  • Oil-change of car, by going to Toyota Motors where Daniyal is supervisor now. (Remember him from my article on his GT workshop  facing your maintenance problems ?) Well, in spite of the fact that I have a Honda, I go to Toyota Motors, due to him.
  • July is car tax time. So, being a tax filer, it was nice and economical.20228338_1611026815597271_7088126789380354736_n[1]
  • Conducting art classes for around 24 children between the ages of 7-12 years, in summer camp once a week.
  • Time with friends is vital too, so here I am with my friends.
  • 20031598_1611027012263918_4693032680628579387_n[1]
  • Doing the follow-up for so many different things, like getting the tutor for this apparently angelic (actually hooligan  pet of mine!), then taking care of the home and staff too.
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Naturally, the ‘To do list’ gets out of hand!

Doing it all with an ‘attitude of gratitude’ really makes it easier, at the end of the day.


I plan to enjoy each part of my life – that includes the ‘to do’ lists as these help me achieve my goals.

Remember each one of our ‘problems’ are due to fulfillment of our dreams? So, do whatever you do, happily otherwise, it isn’t worth it.


Also, its important to not miss out on smelling the fragrance of the flowers, celebrating your accomplishments with family or enjoying the photographs my daughter Waliya sends me from her trip to Khunjerab pass.



You know what the experts say?

Just have five points on your to do list.

  • Write them randomly.
  • Number them priority-wise.

Then you tick, as you complete each chore.

Doing the same on your mobile calendar is practical. In fact, it is better. As you can check it out later too. As long as you don’t lose your phone (or your mind) in between!

Last night Shafaq came over for dinner, she is more of a friend than a relative. She had chosen a favorite scene near Rawal Lake from my fb photos, and painted it for me in water colors. I know Who was behind it! He knew it and so He gave her this idea, and then she made it, and gifted it to me. Can you believe it? We both sat up till early hours of morning, enjoying each other’s company and common interests of art and literature. It was so wonderful.

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Why am I writing this?

Because all this needs to be in the ‘to do’ list. To include one’s loved ones and dear ones in it. So, that while we are so good completing chores, the real things in life are not left out.


The other day, I was feeling bad that it is too hard for me to get up for my early morning prayer. So, like a spoilt brat, I am, I said to Him, “You please make me say my Fajar prayers tomorrow morning!”

All night I couldn’t sleep. I thought it was due to my Waliya and Nadiya not being in contact while being in the Northern areas. So, I kept watching television, and reading that latest book by Paulo Coelho. As it was Fajar time, by then, so I thought “Good, I can say my prayers…” Then I remembered what I had asked Him! Yes.  I remembered how the same thing had happened when I was fourteen years old – exactly the same – the next day, I was perfectly fresh all day.

It seems my relationship with Him is still the same. He is as always:  Benevolent and Merciful and so Supportive, and so Forgiving too. Myself, not having improved, still finding it hard to get up for Fajar

Will I be a better person? It seems time hasn’t made  much of a difference to me, I still find it hard achieving  my goals.

Am I being too harsh on myself?  Just like any other juggler, yes, sometimes the balls do fall, but mostly they remain in their own zones.

All I can say is ‘Alhamdolillah’ – Thank God , and stay persistent with the ‘to do’ list!


Stay blessed, my dear Reader. He is so close to each of us. If we align our things ‘to do’ with Him, then there is sure success. 🙂

Note: Photographs by author, and with thanks from Waliya Najib Khan (of Northern Areas) and Shafaq-us-Sahar (the feeding of kitten ones).






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  1. Great blog, Shireen!

  2. Thank you! ? Stay blessed..

  3. 🙂 I enjoyed reading it !!

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