The kind of demanding life we live nowadays may be challenging our time and energy capacities, but our true predicament is more related to our lack of wise management of time and clear vision in life. Dear brothers and sisters, Assalamu alikum, Man is God’s vicegerent on earth; “And [mention, O Muhammad], when your Lord said to the angels, “Indeed, I will make upon the earth a successive authority.” They said, “Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein and sheds blood, while we declare Your praise and sanctify You?” Allah said, “Indeed, I know that which you do not know.” – {Quran 2:30} This is not a mere favoring stature as much as it is a committing one that compels us develop life on earth in the most intriguing of times, most challenging of times, and at times when living needs become as demanding and overbearing as they are in this modern age we’re living through. As daunting as this position we’re privileged as it seems and increasingly proves to be, as rewarding and magnificent it can be lived and certainly enjoyed. The kind of demanding life we live nowadays may be challenging our time and energy capacities, but our true predicament is more related to our lack of wise management of time and clear vision in life, which renders us puppet followers of what life events dictate  us to act, think, feel, and on a more serious note, what to believe. “Most time is wasted, not in hours, but in minutes. A bucket with a small hole in the bottom gets just as empty as a bucket that is deliberately kicked over.” – Paul J. Meyer Yes we do need to pinpoint the hole in our buckets. We waste a lot of time which, if wisely used, can help us make the best of our whole life, not just the unwasted portion left of it. But there’s more to our life mess than lack of chances and the need for wise management of our time capacities. Let me list a few insights on how to turn productive, adding true value to your generation, community, and thus become true vicegerents of the Lord SWT… – Setting Priorities: Productivity does require you to be prompt and active, vibrant and dynamic, but you cannot move in all directions at the same time, this would trap you exactly where you’re standing. Thus you’ve got to have a well-planned arrangement of your priorities in life, and accordingly you outline a plan for your days, weeks, months and years. – Goal- Oriented Planning: To harness your time, energy, and mental capabilities, your scheduled planning of your life has got to be goal-oriented, this will best employ your capacities in what best serves your uppermost life objectives and aspirations. – Honest Evaluation of Your Skills: Unless you have an accurate and truthful understanding of your potential and skills you can keep moving in a round circle, achieving nothing, and without a slightest shade of hope to be productive- this can be quite depressing, so be watcheful and ponder, wisely, over what you have of God-given skills and talents, as well as your true pation in life. – Pre-hand Planning: You’ve got to wake up everyday knowing what you want and have to do. The lack of general vision of what you’re set to do will cause you a lot of confusion, let alone put a lot of mental and psychological pressure on you throughout the day, as you try in the midst of your rushing day to decide on the next task you’ve got to achieve. – To-Do’s List: You have to have a daily to-do’s list, otherwise you’ll live your day receiving the best it can give you, and a loser of what events blocked you from achieving- a mere recipient or so to speak- which means that you’ll be wasting many chances, and missing out on a lot of opportunities to get fulfilled. Remember, the day that doesn’t bring you closer to your goal, certainly drives you far of it. – Consider yourself a Priority: Your planning has got to be all-encompassing, so do not sideline your personal life or disregard its importance, you’ve got to consider your personal needs, on top of which is your spiritual and mental being. Invest sometime in yourself to boost your energy and maximise your capacities. – Be Realistic: Do not outline a to-do’s list of 20 items that will never get fulfilled in a single day- this places a lot of needless pressure on you which will not bring you any good. So better avoid exaggeration of your capacity and be realistic. – 5 Breaks a Day: To make the best of your capacity and potential through your day, you should have at least 5 breaks, preferably marked around prayer times. Make it a time to relax, boost your energy, connect to your Lord and may be supplicate a bit after prayer. Also look after your physical need for energy, food, and water. This will keep you active and lively throughout the day. – Incentives: You’ve got to give yourself incentives. It keeps you energetic, satisfied and hopeful, having something nice to loo forward, and it can be as simple as an evening cup of coffee or tea while watching, listening or reading something of your choice. And pay attention to what you feed your spiritual, mental and psychological being during that time, known as leisure time. And take it as a general rule: while entertainment is of crucial importance, itself has to be wisely planned, or it will be detrimental to your striving to become productive. Also entertainment should be regarded as a mere tool helping you keep energetic, so it’s an element of your life not the whole purpose of it. Stay productive and think big, yet take it one step at a time and be patient. Always turn to Allah for support and guidance, so that you become a true vicegerent of His. Wassalaam, Maha Youssuf