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Time Management Techniques:
First Things First

Taking advantage of this time management techniques benefits is simple. It can make the difference between fitting everything in and feeling fulfilled, versus leaving things out and staying stressed.  Doing things in the right order, or better yet, putting first things first, is best demonstrated by an example that Stephen Covey shared in his book, First Things First.

Jar of Rocks
A seminar presenter pulled out a wide-mouth gallon jar and placed it next to a pile of fist-sized rocks. 

After filling the jar to the top with rocks, he asked, "Is the jar full?"

The group replied, "Yes."

He then got some gravel from under the table and added it to the jar. The speaker jiggled the jar until the gravel filled the spaces between the rocks. Again, he asked, "Is the jar full?"

This time, the group replied, "Probably not."

The speaker then added some sand and asked, "Is the jar full?"

"No!" shouted the group.

Finally, the speaker filled the jar to the brim with water and asked the group the point of this illustration.

Someone replied that you could always fit more things into your life if "you really work at it."

"No," countered the speaker. The point is, if you don't put the big rocks in first, " . . . would you ever have gotten any of them in?"

Where would you rather end up at the end of your day?

Big Rocks LastBig Rocks First

The same amount went into both glasses.  The beautiful thing about taking advantage of putting first things first is that it takes no more time or effort.  When you begin doing things in the right order, and taking care of the things that are most important to your first, you'll be amazed at how you're suddenly able to fit more in, and feel more fulfilled.

After all, remember why you're using any of these time management techniques in the first place:

More time for the things that are important to you.

So what are the big rocks in your life?  One great way of making a list is by writing down Tomorrow's Top 6.

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