One day, an expert in 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 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." 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 space between the big rocks.
Then he asked the group once more, "Is the jar full?" 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
"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
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. 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? Your
children; Your loved ones; Your education; Your dreams; A worthy cause;
Teaching or mentoring others; Doing things that you love; Time for
yourself; Your health; Your significant other. Remember to put these BIG
ROCKS in first or you'll never get them in at all. You'll 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).
So, tonight, or in the morning, when
you are reflecting on this short story, ask yourself this question: What
are the 'big rocks' in my life? Then............ put those in your jar