Friday, March 23, 2012

Rocks, Pebbles and Sand

Awesome Photo courtesy of Tiffany
You’ve probably seen or done the demonstration on time management with rocks, pebbles and sand.  Each item represents priority levels—rocks being the most important.  You have to fit them all into a bottle together.  Pouring the sand in first, and the pebbles next, leaves no room for the rocks.  It’s impossible. 

However, if you put the rocks in the jar first (which represent your highest priorities), and then the pebbles...magically the sand will fit between all the empty spaces when it is poured in last.  Everything fits when we start with the highest priority items first—the rocks.
You can’t do the mundane and meaningless things in life (texting, watching TV, etc) and then at the end of the day say, “Oh, no!  I still have to do THIS and THAT!”—huge procrastinated rocks.  These just 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 the most important things first, then the pebbles and sand will fit into the leftover spaces.

Sand represents the lowest priorities.  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 getting in at least 4 hours of TV.  Those things are sand.  They’re not bad, but when you fill your jar (or 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 (weight gain, disgusting house, collection agency after you, etc).

For the last month, I’ve experimented with certain pebbles that cause me grief.  These consistently frustrate me because they are so easy to put aside, thinking I'll fit them in later (but later doesn't come often enough).  These are the pebbles that cause me grief: 


They are thorns in my flesh—because I neglect them until they force me to address them(and be angry with myself.  In upcoming posts, I will tell about an experiment I’ve done over the last month to address these pebbles--and figure out a way to get consistency in fitting them into my jar.  I’ve been happy with the results so far.  So stay tuned for what I’ve learned about the magical process of Breaking Pebbles into Sand.  



Anonymous said...

I can't thank you enough for this post. It is 7:30 in the morning here, and I needed to read this to start my day. I have really been in a slump. We just moved and I am so overwhelmed, so I keep finding myself just sitting when I have so much to do. This inspires me to prioritize and get things done! I can't wait to read your next posts on this subject.

Heidi said...

I couldn't agree with you more...most of your frustrations are mine too! I love your posts because they make me think and reevaluate things...and I will be doing that today thinking about my pebbles!

tiffunny said...

i think you wrote this just for me. I'm worrying too much about all my sand and pebbles even though I know my rocks are more important.

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