An expert on the subject of time management was speaking to a group of business students, and to drive home a point, used an illustration the students will never forget. As this man stood in front of the group of high-powered overachievers he said, "Okay, time for a quiz."
He, then, pulled out a one-gallon, wide-mouthed mason jar and set it on a table in front of him. Next, 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."
The expert said, "Really?," as he reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. After he dumped some gravel in, he shook the jar, causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the spaces between the big rocks.
Then, he asked the group once more, "Is the jar full?"
By this time, the class was onto him. "Probably not," one of them answered. "Good!" he replied.
At this point, he reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in, and it went into all the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel.
Once more he asked the question, "Is the jar full?"
"No!" the class shouted. And once again he answered, "Good!"
With that, he grabbed a pitcher of water and poured it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Finally, he looked up at the class and asked, pensively, "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 into it!"
"No," the speaker calmly 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'll never get them in at all."
What are the "big rocks" in your life?
- A project you want to accomplish?
- Time with your loved ones?
- Your faith... your education... your finances?
- A cause?
- Teaching or mentoring others?
Remember to put these BIG ROCKS in first, or you'll never get them in at all.
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