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  #1  
Old 31 December 2006, 08:15 AM
Dtay
 
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Icon95 Put in the big rocks first

A while back I was reading about an expert on the subject of time management. One day this expert was speaking to a group of businessstudents and, to drive home a point, used an illustration those students will never forget.

As this man stood in front of the group of high-powered over achievers he said, "Okay, time for a quiz." Then he pulled out a one-gallon, wide-mouthed mason jar and set it on a table in front of him. Then he produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, 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 spaces between the big rocks. Then he asked the group once more, "Is the jar full ?"

By this time the class was onto 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 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 he looked up 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 into it !"

"No", the speaker replied, "that's not the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is: 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 life ? A project that YOU want to accomplish ? Time with your loved ones ? Your faith, your education, your finances ? A cause ?

Remember to put these BIG ROCKS in first or you'll never get them in at all.

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 or business ? Then, put those in your jar first.

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  #2  
Old 31 December 2006, 12:10 PM
BluesScale BluesScale is offline
 
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And the rocks were somehow baby Jebus?

Actually, there is a a lot to be said for the approach taken in this almost glurge IMHO even though I don't care for the way that the message is given

Blues
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  #3  
Old 31 December 2006, 12:22 PM
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MidgardDragon MidgardDragon is offline
 
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Definitely glurgy, but definitely a glimmer of truth in there, too.
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  #4  
Old 31 December 2006, 04:56 PM
Lady Neeva
 
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A glurge-like-object that actually uses some logic and makes a pretty decent point... will wonders never cease.

Actually I've seen something similiar to this twice before... once was in a book, I *think* it was Time Enough for Love by Robert A. Heinlein but it could have been a different one in the same series. Anyways, was one of the one-liners tacked into a couple of places in the book... "Budget the luxuries first".

And when I got married, my father told my husband to always set aside money to go out to dinner or the movies once a month to make for a happier marriage. But then my dad was full of statements like that... "Works better when you use the right tool doesn't it." is a favorite (that was heard when he introduced my city-bred hubby to the wonders of the post hole digger lol... hubby is still fascinated by the concept of a tool *just* for digging holes for fence posts!)

Those are more about budgeting and money than budgeting and time, but they're related.
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  #5  
Old 31 December 2006, 05:16 PM
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Cestrian Cestrian is offline
 
 
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Just to be contrary, I find that completing 10 small jobs for 10 people gets more positive karma than the negative karma in neglecting one big task.
Of course if the big task is for your immediate boss then it can be wise to adjust priorities accordingly.
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  #6  
Old 31 December 2006, 06:14 PM
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MapleLeaf MapleLeaf is offline
 
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In the version I heard, the professor stops after the sand. Then a smartass student comes and pours in some beer and says "No matter how full your life is, there's always room for a beer!"

And then it was no longer glurge
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  #7  
Old 31 December 2006, 09:44 PM
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One-Fang One-Fang is offline
 
 
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One of my favourite pieces. In the version I know, the professor himself adds the booze in the form of a glass of wine, with a similar punchline as MapleLeaf's.

I think of this more as an Inboxer Rebellion piece if anything, not glurge. It doesn't appeal to your religious side, it doesn't preach a moral, it doesn't have a darker side like Angels in the Alley.
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  #8  
Old 17 January 2007, 11:05 PM
Capri
 
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I think it does preach a moral, any fwd that tells you how to live your life in any way at all and is in the form of a story or poem is glurge, but definitely fits into the inboxer rebellion as well.
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  #9  
Old 18 January 2007, 02:55 AM
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marrya marrya is offline
 
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Uh Oh. I've used this example myslef - although, to make it interesting, I used marshmallows, m&ms and sugar.

It's more thought provoking, IMO if you start with them all in a jar, and pour out the sugar into the bottom of a new identical jar - since, [as it doesn't show so well in ]the OP if you don't put the big things in first, you can't fit the other stuff in so well at all.

And... if you really try, using marshmallows, you CAN get the big stuff in....
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  #10  
Old 31 May 2007, 02:36 AM
FloridaGirl
 
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I just read this exact same thing in James Patterson's book, Sam's Letters to Jennifer. I felt compelled to share that for some reason.
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  #11  
Old 31 May 2007, 08:24 AM
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Rachael Rachael is offline
 
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Ugh, I hate this story. I guess it's because I suck so much at time management, and hearing this story didn't help at all. I KNOW I should put the "big rocks" in first. That much is obvious. It's knowing exactly what the "big rocks" are, and what to do when I want to take a break from them (because they are often times very stressful), and exactly how much time I need, that escapes me.

For me, this story is almost like adding insult to injury. But that's just how I see it.
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  #12  
Old 03 June 2007, 07:09 AM
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imjustasteph imjustasteph is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marrya View Post
Uh Oh. I've used this example myslef - although, to make it interesting, I used marshmallows, m&ms and sugar.

It's more thought provoking, IMO if you start with them all in a jar, and pour out the sugar into the bottom of a new identical jar - since, [as it doesn't show so well in ]the OP if you don't put the big things in first, you can't fit the other stuff in so well at all.

And... if you really try, using marshmallows, you CAN get the big stuff in....
Right, you just have to squish the marshmallows. And they taste just the same squished.
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