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.
A seminar presenter pulled out a wide-mouth gallon jar and
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 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
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?"
would you rather end up at the end of your day?
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
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
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
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