Organizing Your Time

by Tina on August 7, 2010

Not so long ago, I had been frustrated that my day came to its end, yet I felt l must have missed the point of it. Why wasn’t I able to accomplish those things that were my priorities?

I was juggling and juggling, and all the balls were still in the air. But, how was all this juggling really helping me get to where I wanted to be?

Where exactly did I want to be? To find out, I took a fresh look at my Goals binder. I revisit it each time I get stuck or overwhelmed.

It always reminds me of Stephen Covey’s “Big Rock” story in his bestseller, First Things First. Here’s my version of it.

A lecturer was addressing his audience. He placed a wide-mouth gallon jar on the table in front of him. Next to the jar was a pile of fist-sized rocks. He filled the jar with the big rocks, until he could fit no more. He asked the audience, “Is the jar full?” Everyone responded, “Yes.”

He then pulled a bucket of gravel from under the table and poured the gravel into the jar. The gravel fit into the spaces between the rocks. He again asked, “Is the jar full?” “Probably not,” was the audience’s reply.

He retrieved a bowl of sand and dumped the sand into the jar. The sand filled the spaces not taken by the rocks or the gravel. Once more, he asked, “Is the jar full?” “No,” everyone agreed.

Finally, he reached for a pitcher of water and poured water into the jar until it was filled to the top. The lecturer looked at the audience and asked, “What did you learn?”

One man replied, “No matter how full your schedule is, you can always fit more into it.” “No.” the lecturer responded.

The point of this illustration is, “If you don’t put the big rocks in first, you’ll never get them in at all!”

For me, I had to get clear again on what my Big Rocks were now (yes, some of them change) and make sure that I was putting them in my daily schedule first.

First… now that got me thinking about why I wasn’t accomplishing some of my priorities.  I realized some of my frustration came from self-imposed, unrealistic rules for my Big Rocks.

For example, exercise was a Big Rock, but, I almost never completed this task. Here’s my Unrealistic Rule: “I must exercise first thing in the morning.” Rationalization: I want to sweat only once and then take one shower a day. Excuse: after waking up “too late to exercise,” my rule convinced me that I must shower, get on with my day, and forget exercise until tomorrow (when the cycle repeated itself).

So, I’ve been trying something new, and it’s working. I decided to focus on three Big Rocks. Whenever I get going, I start with Rock #1, whatever time it is. When finished, I move on to Rock #2. If there is an interruption, that’s okay, I’ll get right back to it as soon as I can, until it is completed. Then, I begin on Rock #3.

Yes, daily priorities shift for emergencies and unanticipated opportunities. But, six days out of seven, I have completed those three Big Rocks! Hallelujah!

What are your Big Rocks? Eliminate any self-imposed, unrealistic rules that are keeping you from completing your priorities. Knock the Big Rocks out one by one. And, relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor. You can do this.

“You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.” Psalm 128:2 (New International Version)

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 Hello, my name is Tina Bonifacio, and I am a Professional Organizer working with residential and commercial clients in the greater Savannah, Georgia area. For more information, visit Thanks for stopping by. You are welcome back anytime.

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