IJMC The Big Rocks

                       IJMC - The Big Rocks

Kind of interesting timing I think. The night after I start back into a 
steady exercise routine, this found its way to my mailbox. I was 
wondering why I didn't have time last quarter to exercise. At the same 
time, my grades slipped badly. Did I really have less time? I think this 
answers the question...I wasn't considering myself or my studies 
important; I was putting them in last. Perhaps this will help you. -dave

-Author Unknown-

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 business
students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration I'm sure those
students will never forget.  After I share it with you, you'll never
forget it either.

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 smiled and asked the group once more, "Is the jar

By this time the class was onto him.  "Probably not," one of them

"Good!" he replied.  And 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

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."

The title of this letter is 'The "Big Rocks" of Life'.  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?
Teaching or mentoring others? Remember to put these BIG ROCKS in first
or you'll never get them in at all. --------

So, tonight when you are reflecting on this short story, ask yourself
this question:  What are the "big rocks" in my life or business?  Put
those in your jar tomorrow.

IJMC June 1998 Archives