Sunday, January 13, 2013

< RM > story - Time Management Parable

Time Management Parable

One day, an expert in time management
was speaking to a group of business students
and, to drive home a point, used an illustra-
tion those students will never forget.
As he stood in front of the group of high-
powered overachievers he said,
"Okay, time for a quiz" and he pulled out
a one-gallon, wide-mouth mason jar and set
it on the table in front of him. He also pro-
duced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and
carefully placed them, one at a time, into the
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 yelled, "Yes."
The time management expert replied,
"Really?" He
reached under
the table and
pulled out a
bucket of grav-
el. He dumped
some gravel in
and shook the
jar causing
pieces of gravel
to work them-
selves down
into the spaces
between the
big rocks. He
then 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 jar full?" "No!" the class
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 brim. 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,
time with your
loved ones,
your faith,
your educa-
tion, your
dreams, a
worthy cause,
teaching or
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 this
short story, ask yourself this question: What
are the 'big rocks' in my life? Then, put those
in your jar first.

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