Shilpa • onManagement 12 years ago • 2 min read

Once at workshop, a time management expert stood in front of the group he was presenting to and said, "Okay, time for a quiz."

He pulled out a one-gallon, wide mouthed mason jar and set it on a table in front of him. Then he produced a dozen large rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar. When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, "Is this jar full?" Everyone in the group answered, "Yes."

He replied, "Really?"

He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. Then he proceeded to pour the gravel into the jar. He shook the jar, causing the pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the spaces between the rocks. He continued to do this until no more gravel could fit. Then he asked once more, "Is the jar full?"

By this time, the group was onto him. "Probably not," one of them answered. "Good!" he replied.

He reached under the table, brought out a bucket of sand and started dumping the sand in. It went into all the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more, he asked the question, "Is this jar full?"

"No!" the group shouted.

Once again he said, "Good!"

Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. He looked up at the group and asked, "All right, what is the point of this illustration?" One business professional raised her hand and said, "The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard, you can always fit more things into it!"

"No," the speaker replied, "that's not the point. The point is that if you don't put the big rocks in first, you'll never get them in at all."

What are the big rocks in your life? More time with your loved ones? Advancement in your education? Business growth? Greater wealth? Something else that you've always wanted to accomplish?

If you don't take the time to prioritize--put your major goals in first-- then all your time will be used up by less important things.


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