The Big Rocks Life Management Principle

Do you like this story?

A primary teacher stood in front of her class of 5 and 6 year olds ready to conduct a lesson.

She then pulled out a large glass jar and placed it on the bench. It stood about 30 cms tall. Next to it was a small bucket full of rocks the size of your fist. One by one she placed the big rocks into the jar until it appeared to be full.

That was when she asked the question, ‘Do you think the jar is now full?’ All the children nodded in agreement. The teacher then pulled out another container filled with smaller pea-sized pebbles. She began pouring it into the jar that already contained the big rocks.

When she asked the same question  again the class nodded in agreement. It was clear to the children that it was full.

That’s when she pulled out a third container full of sand. As she poured the sand into the glass jar the children were amazed to see how much more could be fitted into the glass jar. And before they had a chance to say anything, the teacher pulled out yet another container filled with water, and the liquid was poured between the rocks, the pebbles and the sand.

The teacher looked up to see a class full of quizzical and amazed looks on the children’s faces, and it was then that she posed the question, ‘Now children what is the lesson learnt here?’

A young boy promptly responded by saying, ‘Miss, I learnt that you can often fit a lot more in than you first thought.’

‘Yes that is one answer, and a good one too. But what else can we learn from this demonstration?’

‘Miss,’ called out a young girl with arm raised high. ‘The lesson for me is that if you didn’t put the big rocks in first you wouldn’t have been able to fit anything else in. So the lesson is to put the big rocks in first.’

The teacher smiled, ‘Exactly the lesson I wanted you to learn. Well done!’

So let me ask you the question? What are your big rocks? What are the things that are most important to you? What in your career are the most important roles that you need to perform?

Once identified, then you can give them the most attention, and as a direct result will be able to do so much more than you could ever imagine.

What about the next 30 days? What is most important to you? Time with family? Attending key events in your children’s lives? A date with your partner? Time to talk to your parents? Spending regular times exercising? Prioritized consistent periods for prayer and meditation?

All these are what I would call the big rocks. These are the first to be placed in my calendar. Everything else needs to fit around these.

And when it comes to work. What are the six major tasks that you need to complete? Team training? Vision building? Strategizing?

Again these are the big rocks – prioritized – number one in your calendar – and then all the other appointments and demands made upon your life fit around these – and before you know it you have become productive in every area of your life, balanced and achieving more than you could have ever first thought.

And all because of ‘The Big Rocks Life Management Principle’ you have applied to your life.

Source: Thank you to John McGrath

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