You’ve probably seen the demonstration on time management with rocks, pebbles and sand. Each item represents priority levels—rocks being the most important. If you haven’t seen this visual lesson, here’s the basic premise: you must fit a bunch of rocks, pebbles and sand into a bottle.
Pouring sand in first, and pebbles next, leaves no room for the rocks. It’s impossible to squeeze them into the jar. However, if you put the rocks in first (which represent your highest priorities), and then the pebbles…magically the sand fits between all the empty spaces when poured in last. Everything fits in our lives when we start with the most important things first—the rocks.
You can’t do the mundane and meaningless (texting, watching TV, gaming, painting nails) and then at day’s end complain, “Oh, no! I still have to do THIS and THAT!”—huge rocks that you procrastinated. These won’t fit in at the end.
But when you start your day with prayer and focus on loving your family and God first and doing all the highest priorities, then the pebbles and sand fit into the leftover spaces in your day.
Sand represents the lowest priority tasks. I promise that you will never feel bad about not playing 3 hours of Angry Birds on your phone at the end of a day, nor will you feel bad about NOT watching at least 4 hours of TV. Those things are sand. They’re not bad, but when you fill your life with them first, neglecting more important things, then you WILL feel bad at the end of the day.
Pebbles are where I run into problems. Pebbles aren’t unimportant like sand. They are significant things like exercise, housecleaning, organization, bills, appointments, developing talents, etc. It won’t kill you if you don’t squeeze them in each day, but over time, you will feel painful results if you neglect them.
It’s easy to justify not putting the pebbles in your jar each day; but as you gain weight, or your house comes to life as Attila the Hun, or a collection agency comes after you, you realize the importance of not forgetting to add these important pebbles in your jar. They do matter.
Over the past couple months, I’ve experimented with pebbles–trying to find a way to fit more into my daily jar. The rocks are easier for me to put in, but then I want to skip to the sand, and the pebbles are procrastinated.
These pebbles cause me grief:
These are my thorns in my flesh—because I neglect them until they become daunting rocks that make me mad. In upcoming posts, I will tell about what I’ve learned about the magical process of Breaking Pebbles into Sand…to help fit them into my daily jar. I’ve been pleased with the results. Stay tuned.
- Jar Of Life (allaboutlemon.com)