This is advice Mufti Taqi Usmani gave someone seeking counsel:
The Shaykh told him:
“Recognize the importance of time. That it is an invaluable wealth. Spend it very wisely and precisely in virtuous actions.”
Next day while the Shaykh was sitting in Masjid al-Haraam facing the holy Kab’a (‘s Rukun-e-Yamani) an individual requested some elaboration on this advice. That is, as how to practically incorporate it in to one’s daily life.
Obviously pleased on the question, Shaykh replied;
“Firstly one has to recognize the importance of time per se.
Secondly, one has to organize one’s schedule to fully maximize the benefit of available time, such that not a single moment is wasted. Being wasted meaning that it is not utilized appropriately even for a worldly purpose, may it be sleeping or moderate lawful entertainment or being busy in helping another fulfill his essential obligations, etc.
Wasting time includes indulging in activities having no benefit for this life or here-after (akhira).”
The Shaykh continued:
“Develop the habit of planning.
That is, plan for the future.
If I was to get 5 or 10 minutes break between my tasks how will I spend it?
For example, while commuting to work.
Think and decide in advance.
How I am going to spend these 15 minutes besides doing the driving?
Only if one has thought of these in advance he will be able to utilize this time appropriately.
My father (Grand Mufti of Pakistan, Hazrat Mawala Mohammad Shafi’i ra) used to inform us that, “Even the time I spent in toilet I try to make use of it. If there is nothing else I scrub and clean the water jug (lota) kept in there.”
All praise to Allah, due to his training I also try to enact on this advice. When I come home from my classes I know there will be at least a 5 minute interval before the lunch is served. I have planned in advance the use of this time. Such as, to return someone’s telephone call, etc.
When a person develops this habit of utilizing the time precisely, Allah facilitates immense actions for him and also puts blessing (barakh) in time. (That is, in short duration a lot is achieved.)
Remember, heedlessness (gaflah) is a bane!”
Makkah e mukarramah, November, 7th 2005