Time Management Lessons from Rocks, Pebbles, and Sand

One of the best lessons I learned about time management was shown with rocks, pebbles, and sand. The person demonstrating this lesson had a jar filled with sand, then pebbles on top of the sand, and then a few big rocks overflowing the top of the jar. 

The jar represented the time we have each day. The rocks represented the most important things in life such as family, career, school, and health. The pebbles represented the next important things in life such as paying bills, spending time with friends, and doing laundry. The sand represented the things in life that are not important but fun such as watching shows, checking social media, or doing hobbies. 

If the jar is filled with sand first and pebbles second, then the big rocks won’t fit. The rocks need to go in first, then the pebbles, and lastly, the sand fills in the gaps. Somehow by putting the rocks in first, all the items fit neatly in the jar. 

Each day we choose how we fill our jar – our time. Sand activities are easy and fun to add to your day. You wake up and check your social media accounts. Then you scroll through your email thinking you are somewhat productive but spend half that time deleting unsolicited messages. Finally you get out of bed and get ready to go to work. After work, you return home and feel the need to take a break so you  watch a few YouTube videos. An hour later you realize that you need to take care of important things so you move on to the pebble activities by loading the dishwasher, paying bills, and returning phone calls. After taking care of your important pebble activities, you try and tackle your big school project and after completing part of the assignment you take a break to check your social media again. By now, you are feeling tired and wonder how you are going to do the rest of your school project, workout, and work towards your goals. You simply don’t have enough time. Or do you? 

What if you wake up and fill your time with the important things first? Plan your workout in the morning to energize yourself and speed up your metabolism. Instead of checking social media accounts and email, spend a few minutes reading or journaling to help you focus. You may need to wake up earlier but if the extra hour helps you to get these important activities in then it’s worth the effort. How good would you feel knowing that you have taken care of your mental and physical health before going to work? 

Later when you return home, you are tired but resist the urge to sit and start your usual YouTube binge. You take a quick break to eat then give yourself an hour or two to tackle your school project. Then feeling productive, you spend another hour to take care of your laundry, schedule your bills, and return important calls and emails. After taking care of these needed items, you have time left in your day so now you can finally relax and watch those YouTube videos, check your Instagram account, or anything else because now you have time. 

By identifying our rocks, pebbles, and sand and consciously filing our day with the important tasks first, you will find that you have the time to get everything you need done, feel more productive, and then justified to add some fun to your routine. 

Watch time management video !