Monday, 18 August 2008

Big Rocks

              One day an expert in time management was speaking to a group of students and, to drive home a point, used a illustration those students will never forget. 
              As he stood in front of the group of high powered overachievers he said, “Okay, time for a quiz.” 
              He pulled out a one-gallon, wide mouthed Mason jar and set it on the table in front of him. Then he produced about a dozen fist-sized 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 class said, “Yes.” 
              “Really?” He asked. Then he reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. Then he dumped some gravel in and shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the space between the big rocks. 
              “Is the jar full?” He asked once more. 
              By this time the class was on to him. “Probably not,” One of them answered. 
              “Good!” he replied. He reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in the jar and it went into all of the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question, “Is this jar full?” 
              “No!” the class 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. Then he looked at the class and asked, “What is the point of this illustration?” 
              One eager beaver raised his hand and said, “The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard you can always fit some more things in it!” 
              “No,” the speaker replied, “that’s not the point at all. The truth this illustration teaches us is: if you don’t put the big rocks in first, you will never get them in at all.” 

              What are the ‘big rocks’ in your life? Remember to put these BIG ROCKS in first or you’ll never get them in at all. If you sweat the little stuff (the gravel, the sand) then you’ll fill your life with little things you worry about that don’t really matter, and you’ll never have the real quality time you need to spend on the big important stuff (the big rocks). 

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