The Big Rocks...
What Is Most Important?
When I teach time management to new members in my real estate company, I always begin with a demonstration of the “big rocks”

The Big Rocks Demonstration
I take a large glass jar and place it on the table in front of me. I then simply say, "This jar represents your life." Then I begin to place baseball-sized rocks into the jar until I have seven big rocks in there and cannot get another one in. I then ask the new members, “Is the jar full?” Often times at this point those in the class will say, “yes the jar is full because there is no way to fit in another rock.”

Then I take out a large bag of colored pebbles and begin to pour them into the jar. The pebbles fill in around the big rocks and I shake them down until they are spilling out onto the table. Then I ask, “Is the jar full?” Having wised up to my demonstration they say, “no you can still get something else in there, but yes it is full of pebbles.”

Next I take out a pitcher of water and begin to fill the “rock jar” with water, which surrounds all of the rocks and pebbles and fills up the jar. Then I ask, “Is it full now?” Everyone says, “Yes, now it is full!”

Then I ask, “What is the point of this demonstration?” and invariably someone answers “You can always cram more things into your life even when it looks like it is full.”

The Real Answer
While that is a logical response, it is not the answer. The answer to the question is this. Had I put in the pebbles and the water first, I would never have been able to fit seven big rocks into the jar. This means I HAVE TO PUT THE BIG ROCKS IN FIRST! Imagine the mess I would make trying to cram the big rocks into the jar after the pebbles and the water are in there. Not only would I risk spilling water, I might even break the jar. This breakage happens in some people’s lives when they realize, after they have sqandered precious years, or are even near the end of their lives, that they have not put the big rocks in first and time for them has run out. It is impossible to plug in at the last minute everything that could have been done in a lifetime.

This page, and the page called The 7 Major Areas Of Life are designed to get you focused on what the big rocks are in your life and how to get them into your life FIRST. And because you are aware of this and are alive and have a chance to put the big rocks in first, why not take the time to find out what big rocks and pebbles and water are really all about.

What Each Ingredient Means
Big rocks are the seven major important things in your life (see "The 7 Major Areas Of Life").  Big rocks need to go into your life FIRST. They are the things that make up who you really are, and are the things you will be remembered for long after you pass away. For example, when Joe Smith dies, what do you think the speaker will ask the family just prior to putting together the eulogy for Joe’s funeral?  Will he ask about how many phone calls Joe could return in a day, how great he was at waxing his car, how great he was a gossiping, or how Joe made a point to watch at least 4 hours of TV per day? Of course not! Joe will be remembered for the seven major areas of life, and what he did in them, defined in "The 7 Major Areas Of Life.".

Pebbles are the things in life that are important, but not urgent, tasks that you have to get done on a regular basis. Pebbles fill in around the big rocks and take up a good deal of space in life, but are not anywhere near as important as the big rocks. Pebbles are things like getting the checkbook balanced, getting the car serviced, answering the telephone, keeping up with world events and the news, getting top honors at work or at school. You could actually live without these things but life could get quite difficult if you neglected them. However, the less pebbles you have the better off you will be.

Water is the filler, it is fluid, and the big rocks and the pebbles can easily displace it. Water makes a big mess when you drop a big rock right in the middle of it. Water is the non-important and non-urgent things and behaviors in which we humans engage. This category can be quite negative in its make-up because there is often not much substance to water as we define it for this illustration (Our apologies to the great characteristics of real water, but something had to be the bad guy). "Water" is watching hours of entertainment television every day, listening to shock jocks on radio talk shows, heavy drinking, smoking, illegal drug use, playing video or computer games, gossiping, window-shopping, and fault finding.

Understanding The Big Rocks
Click on the button called The 7 Major Areas Of Life to see what we mean...
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