Filling Your Jar
By Kevin Seaman
A friend of mine told me a story about a teacher of his that used a very convincing metaphor for a time management lecture. The teacher brought out a jar and a small pile of rocks. His analogy was that the jar was the time we had available and the rocks were the tasks we needed to complete. After placing all of the rocks in the jar he asked the students if the jar was full. When the students responded with a unified “yes”, he brought out some gravel (tasks) and poured it into the jar, filling the gaps between the larger rocks. He then asked the class if the jar was full now. The students now wise to the analogy, all replied “no”. The teacher then brought out a bag of sand and poured some into the jar, filling yet more gaps in the vessel.
At this point the observers felt certain that the jar must be full. Once again the teacher reached down and this time bringing a pitcher of water up onto the table, began to pour some of the liquid into the now apparently full jar until it was at the brim of the jar. He turned his attention to the curious students and asked, “What is the lesson we learned from the demonstration today?” One of the brightest students replied confidently, “We always have more time than we think!” The teacher smiled and said, “NO, the only way you will fit the biggest tasks in your schedule is to apply them first!”
World renowned personal development and business consultant, Brian Tracy say’s, Every morning when you get up eat a live frog! At that very point in time there will be no doubt that this will be the most difficult thing you’ve accomplished today! Brian is, of course, speaking metaphorically. Basically, try to accomplish the tasks that are the most overwhelming, the one’s you are most afraid to start because of their sheer immensity or your emotional connection (negative association) you have to them.
“You are always free to choose what to do first, what to do second, and what not to do at all.”
How can I use this?: Always work on your largest or “greatest priority” tasks first, if you start with your simple, small tasks, they will continue to accumulate as your day progresses and you will be majoring in minor job tasks all day long. We want to accomplish those things that most contribute to our success in the areas we work in. Trust me, the small tasks will still be there when you are done with the major job task! Use the end of your day, when you’re less productive to clean up the small details.
Three Rules of work:
1. Out of clutter, find simplicity.
2. From discord, find harmony.
3. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
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© Copyright 2012 all rights reserved, Kevin Seaman
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