From firstname.lastname@example.org Wed Nov 29 17:32:02 2000
The busier you are, the more important it is to stop and read this.
One day, an expert in time management was speaking to a group of
business students and, to drive home a point, he used an illustration
those students will never forget. As he stood in front of the group of
high-powered overachievers, he said,"Okay, time for a quiz."
He then pulled out a one-gallon, 'wide-mouth' mason jar and set it
on the table in front of them . Then he produced about a dozen
fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one by one, into the jar.
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 said,
"Yes." Then he said, "Really?"
He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel.
Then he dumped some gravel in and shook the jar, causing pieces
of gravel to work themselves down into the space between the big rocks.
Then he asked the group once more. "Is this 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 the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel.
Once more he asked the question. "Is this jar full?" "No!" the
class shouted. 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 the expert in time-management 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 this: 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
Your children. Your spouse. Your loved ones. Your faith. Your
friendships. Your education. Your dreams. A worthy cause.
Teaching or mentoring others. Doing things that you love.
Time for yourself. Your health. Remember to figure out what
your BIG ROCKS are and put them in first, or you'll never get them in
"If you sweat the small stuff (i.e. the gravel and sand) then you'll
fill your life with little things and you will never have the real
quality time you need to spend on the big, important stuff (the big rocks).
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 take care of putting those in your jar first.