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Make Room for Your Big Rocks

A popular story describes a time-management professor who demonstrates the importance of prioritizing by filling a five-gallon mason jar with fist-size rocks and asking the class if the jar is full. Since another big rock wouldn't fit, the class answers, "yes." However, the professor proceeds to pour a pitcher of gravel, then sand, and finally water into the jar before it is finally full. The point of the story is not that you can cram much more than you ever dreamed into any given day. The point is this: "If you don't put your big rocks in first, the fillers of life will take up your day and you won't fit your big rocks in at all."

  • Take a minute to jot down five areas of your life that are most important to you at this time. You might consider financial security, career, health, spouse, family, friends, emotional well-being, continued learning, spirituality, community service, fun, travel, or anything that you think of as a priority.
  • Of your five most important life areas, which one needs more attention at this time? Do one thing related to your "big rock" right now.
Do something you choose to do early each day — for yourself or someone else. When you do what is meaningful to you, you heighten your personal integrity.
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A series of "quick-lifts" excerpted from Recharge in Minutes, ©2003, by Suzanne Zoglio, Ph.D.

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