Monday, May 23, 2011

Rocks in a Jar analogy

During the month of May, I chose to learn about and put into practice, Time Management. A lot of which is common sense, but one thing that really stood out was the Rock in a Jar analogy.

Basically it's regarding the things on your to do list. Most people tend to put off the bigger or more time consuming task for many reasons/excuses (I am one of those people). Whether it's because there's so many other things on the list that 'need' to be done, or you go to start the big task and the phone rings or some one pops over, or what ever other 'interruption' happens to come your way.

Which brings me to the rocks.

In a middle of a seminar, a professor pulled out a jar and filled it with rocks, to which he asked his class if it was full. They replied yes.

He pulled out some gravel and poured it into the jar. Again he asked his class if it was full. By now they'd caught on and replied probably not.

He then pulled out some sand and poured it in the jar. Is it full? They replied no.

He then poured water into the jar until it reached the top.

There is method in his madness.

If the Jar is filled with all the little bits first, like the gravel, the sand and the water, there is no way you'd be able to fit the big rocks in.

The rocks represent the important things in our lives. If you keep trying to do the not so important tasks and putting off the bigger ones, they'll never get done.

This theory really hit home yesterday when I was playing in the dirt with the kids. I had one of the kids buckets and was picking out the clay rocks in the dirt and placed them in the bucket. I knew I could fit more in and started filling the gaps with smaller clumps and dirt. I had a flash back to the article I read.

I saw first hand how everything fit nicely when the bigger rocks were placed first. I pictured my to do list, with each rock representing the more important tasks, and all the little rocks representing all other things. It got me thinking about how I really need to take a good long look at my to do list and start focusing on the things I 'never have time for' such as my expenses claim I've been needing to do since July last year. I don't know if I'm still able to claim it, or if it's too late, but I've made a start on it and we'll see what happens. If it gets declined then that'll really change my thinking, because as a result of me putting this task off, I would've lost money which is rightfully mine. So here's hoping it gets accepted lol :)

I will be posting a to do list focusing on things that NEED to get done, such as my sons Xray, Registering the cat etc, and not focusing on housework.

Once these tasks are done, I know I will feel like a load has been taken off, as I think about that claim EVERY day.

You can read the full article here

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