I'tikaaf is to seclude oneself in the Masjid for the purpose of worshipping Allah.
Rasulullah Sallallahu'alayhi waSsallam, did it in Ramadan for the last 10 nights. This was the general practice of the Holy Prophet.
It means to seclude oneself in the Masjid for the last ten days of Ramadhaan. And as for a woman, she may observe I'tikaf at the masjid or in her place of seclusion at home.
Here are 5 quick tips:
1. The meaning of 'I'tikaaf' is to seclude oneself at the place of Worship, with the express intention (Niyyah) of 'I'tikaaf'.
2. Leaving the Masjid (without valid reasons) breaks one's I'tikaaf.
3. I'tikaaf is meant for worship.Do not talk or entertain yourself. One must speak only what is virtue or what is necessary. We can make Nafl Salat, Tilawatul Qur'an, Zikr, Istighfar and permanent Zikr in general throughout the duration of I'itikaf.
(No little monkeys, remember from your Ramadhan Journal?)
4. You can do I'tikaaf for any period of time, any time of the day.
5. In a year, when else will you dedicate time for Allah like this?
Come on, lets try to make I'itikaaf!
Bonus: If you can't do it everyday, try weekends or at least some days.
With best wishes and may we succeed at the highest level InshaAllah ameen!