The Jar of Rocks
One day an expert on time management was speaking to a group of business students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration those students will never forget. As this man stood in front of the group of high-powered overachievers he said,"Okay, time for a quiz."
Then he pulled out a one-gallon, wide-mouthed mason jar and
it on a table in front of him. Then he produced about a dozen
fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into
When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would
inside, he asked, "Is this jar full?" Everyone in the class said,
Then he said, "Really?" 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
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!" the speaker replied.
He reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand.
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 this jar full?"
"No!" the class shouted.
Once again the speaker said, "Good!" Then he
grabbed a pitcher
of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the
Then he looked up at the class and asked, "What is the
One eager beaver raised his hand and said, "The point
matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard, you can
always fit some more things into it!"
"No," the speaker replied, "that's not the
point. The truth this
illustration teaches us is this: 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 that
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.
So, tonight or in the morning when you are reflecting on
short story, ask yourself this question: What are the 'big rocks'
in my life? Then, put those in your jar first.
Ten Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy Your Life By Janet Luhrs
The way we use our time has much to do with simplifying our lives. I recently heard one of those ads on the radio for a speed-reading class. Read a whole book in something like 20 minutes!
Can you imagine the thrill of being able to whiz through an entire book while waiting in traffic, or standing in line at the bank? The possibilities are endless.
Think about it. You'd never have to sit around reading for an entire Saturday afternoon. Instead, you could clean the house, repair your car, get more work done ...
Enough already! How about reading fewer books and taking the time to enjoy and savor each one? What's wrong with taking a whole Saturday afternoon to laze around with feet on the couch, reading?
What's wrong with asking your boss to help reorganize the amount of work youre expected to do in one day? (If youre the boss, it's time to look at the big picture.)
Ever wonder about how you use your time? Here are 10 ways to slow down and enjoy your life:
1. Do one thing at a time. Some "efficiency" books tell us to do two things at once as a way to pack more into the day. Try resting if you have five minutes to spare. When you do one thing at a time, you can focus on what youre doing and begin to experience life, rather than race through on automatic pilot, never really enjoying or experiencing anything.
2. Adopt a new attitude. Instead of fidgeting and fuming when you must wait in a bank line, try changing your attitude. Enjoy this moment to breathe.
3. Get picky. Discriminate between activities. We can't do everything, so choose carefully what you will do, and get involved in whatever you choose.
4. Face your fears. Many of us stay busy out of fear. We're afraid to slow down and think and feel. We stay busy out of guilt. We're afraid of solitude. The next time youre about to take on more projects, classes and tasks, ask yourself what youll have to sacrifice.
5. Question time-saving gadgets. Americans have more time-saving devices and less time than any other people in the world. The more time-saving devices we have, the more we cram into the time we supposedly "saved" by purchasing the device.
6. Look at the big picture. Focus more on what you want out of your life, rather than spending so much time trying to pack in the most efficient use of every moment in your day timer.
7. Question your use of high technology. Computers, faxes and telephones are wonderful inventions. With each new level of high technology, however, your life becomes less your own. Before cell phones and beepers, people could actually escape work and obligations when they left the house or office. Now high-tech gadgets can find us anywhere, leaving us less time to relax.
8. Religious or not, rest one day a week. Our bodies and souls need a day off to rest and rejuvenate. Schedule it like you schedule in everything else.
9. Take time for people. We can't take the time to be sensitive to others when were constantly rushed. Plus, relationships of any depth take time to build. Lighten your load so you have time for people.
10. Fill your pot. We all need time to nurture ourselves, too. If we don't fill our own pot, we have nothing left to give to others.
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