Are Your Priorities Aligned With Your Schedule?

Sometimes we can get so caught up in whirlpool of day to day living that we lose sight of those things that matter to us, the most. (If you naturally start nodding to that sentence, keep reading!)

In his book, First Things First Steven Covey describes a lecture he attended on the topic of time. The lecturer took a large glass jar and set it down on a table with some small rocks beside it. He placed the rocks in the jar and asked the audience whether they thought the jar was full.

Everybody laughed and replied that yes, it was full. Then the lecturer reached under the table and pulled out a container of gravel. He poured in the gravel and shook the jar so that the gravel filled the spaces that had been left by the rocks. Again he asked the audience if the jar was full. By this time they had cottoned on, and replied no.

“Good” he replied. And he reached under the table and repeated the process, only thing time with sand, which went into the spaces left by the rocks and the gravel. Then he asked what had been the point of the demonstration.
Somebody said, “Well, there are gaps, and if you really work at it, you can always fir more into your life.”
“No” he said, “that’s not the point. The point is this: If you hadn’t put these big rocks in first, would you ever have gotten any of them in?”

Let’s try to relate this illustration to our lives..
The “rocks” are representation of the things that are really important to us. The gravel represents the other things in life that matter, but on a smaller scale. The sand is everything else; the small stuff. If we put the sand and gravel into the jar first, there’s no room for the rocks.

Are you putting the 'big rocks' first, or do gravel, sand and water dominate your life?

As Stephen Covey says, take care of the rocks first –the things that really matter. Set your priorities, the rest is just gravel and sand.

Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least. ~Goethe

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positively present said...

I love this concept of the rocks. Thanks for writing about it!!

jonathan said...

It's all about doing things in order of most important to least important. A powerful tool is to do the hardest task first and don't stop until its completed already. Keep working at it until its done. By doing this you will create a great habit. And one day you will wake up as the most competent people of your generation.

Shamelle said...

@positively present: Thanks.

@Jonathan: There could be occasions where the hardest task is not the most important tasks. :-0)

suZen said...

Great story about the rocks! I've found over the years that a lot of my stress was over things that were soooo unimportant in the larger scheme of things. In fact, eliminating doing some things altogether (on purpose) showed me how much time I'd wasted!

I tried Covey's time sheets years ago, making strict appointment times to do things. It was amazingly efficient! These days I just do less but I still prioritze.

Omar said...

I know when I do things that aren't important for my growth, development or achievement it hinders my momentum. It's great when the most important projects are taking care of.

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