The following advice are some practical tips to maximize your time during Ramadhaan and to prepare ourselves for 'Ibaadah & worship during this blessed month.
Clean up the time:
Minimize your chat on the telephone. If you are used to chatting with your friends on a regular basis, try to make it short. Share with her the importance of this month & tell her that you want to devote yourself for 'Ibaadah in order to get the maximum reward during this month.
Share these tips with her.
Try to cook something simple during Ramadhaan as this is a month of 'Ibaadah & Qur'aan, not the month of food. There are some husbands who push their wives to cook different varieties of food and sisters have to spend their time in the kitchen. If it's very necessary, keep a tape of Qur'aan in the kitchen & listen to it while you are busy in kitchen, or keep your tongue moist with the Dhikr. Also, try and invent or find out some shortcuts and tips for cooking so you're able to prepare the food quickly and efficiently.
Get all your shopping done before Ramadhaan. Make a list of the things / grocery / items, that is enough for one month and buy it all together - in one go.
Important: Try to do the 'Eed shopping NOW. The last ten days of Ramadhaan, when we are supposed to be doing more'Ibaadah & spending our time in doing good deeds, most of the Muslims are busy doing shopping for 'Eed & their kids.
Sisters! These ten days, we have to exaggerate ourselves in doing more 'Ibaadah & to catch Laylat-ul-Qadr.
Make this Ramadhaan very different from all previous Ramadhaans.
D) Dinner Parties/Iftaar:
Iftaar parties during Ramadhaan are getting very common now.
This is the Month for you sisters!! We have the rest of the full year to do parties & to socialize.
Indeed it's a great reward to break someone's fast but give food to people who are needy & poor. The Prophet (Sallalahu 'Alayhi wa sallam) said:
"Whoever gives food to a fasting person with which to break his fast, will have a reward equal to his, without it detracting in the slightest from the reward of the fasting person."
(Reported by At-Tirmidhi, Saheeh al-Targheeb).
Cut less the time of sleep during this month. It's a month of 'Ibaadah, doing good deeds. Who knows... this could be our last Ramadhaan (Related article: Can You Guarantee Your Next Ramadhan?).
Reduce your sleeping hours. Its only one month & then you can get back to your normal routine.
F) Computer & Internet: (*1)
This is a personal experience & request. Spending a lot of time on the internet, even if visiting Islaamic sites really takes hours without notice.
Try to minimize your internet timings by just checking emails / stuff once a week.
Now we have cleaned up a big amount of time, let's schedule it for 'Ibaadah.
Your Worship In This Blessed Month
Pray the Obligatory Salaah (prayer) on time with Khushoo'. Get yourself ready as soon as the time of Salaah comes in. Make du'aa to Allaah to give you Khushoo & try to get rid of all the thoughts & Waswaas that come in the mind.
Think, remember and realize that you are standing in front of your LORD, the Almighty.
2) Sunnah & Nawaafil:
If you are already praying the 12 sunnah, continue them & add the 2 Raka'ah of Sunnah after Dhuhr [making them 14 altogether]. (2)
The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: "Whoever maintains 4 Raka'ah before Dhuhr & 4 Raka'ah after Dhuhr, Allaah will make the fire Haraam on that person" [Ibn-Maajah, Tirmidhee]
4 Raka'ah before 'Asr:
The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: "May Allah have mercy on him who prays 4 Raka'ah before 'Asr". [Tirmidhee]
Salaah Adh-Duhaa: Increase the number of Rak'ah if you are already in a habit of praying salaah al-Duha. (3)
Ramadhaan is the month of Qur'aan. Try to schedule it all the moments you have. If you are working, keep a pocket size Qur'aan with you & read it whenever you get the time, like coffee break, lunch break, when traffic signals are red etc.
Read with reflection. Read slowly in a beautiful voice & reflect on its meanings.
Try to read this time, with translation & tafseer.
Pray the Taraweeh in the Masjid where the Imaam does long Qiyaam.
Try to get up a little earlier to pray 2 Raka'ah before Suhoor & make Du'aa. Its the best time for making Du'aa & a time of acceptance of Du'aa.
Write down all the Du'aas you want to make for yourself, your children, family or any Du'aa that you want to make for your Deen or Dunyah.
Each day, focus on one Du'aa & keep on repeating it throughout the day & at times when the Du'aa is accepted (between Aadhan & Iqaamah, Iftaar time, in Sujood, last 3rd of night).
Make Du'aa to Allaah to give you Ikhlaas, khushoo, make Du'aa that you catch Laylat-ul-Qadr. make Du'aa for the whole Ummah.
Repeat the Du'aa that are very important to you, during the last ten days of Ramadhaan.
Select one Dhikr for a day & focus on it daily, reflecting on its meaning & thinking about its reward, while repeating it through out the day. Keep your tongue moist with Dhikr.
Give as much charity as you can, as the reward gets more during the month of Ramadhaan. Give food to the poor and needy people & help those in need.
Last 10 days:
Double & triple the amount of 'Ibaadah that you are already doing (reading Qur'aan, Nawaafil, Dhikr, Du'aa, Qiyaam) in the last ten days of Ramadhaan.
Sleep less & worship more...
Pray as much as you can & make a lot of Du'aa.