I love the visual impact of Covey’s gallon-sized mason jar example. He first adds large rocks, then layers in smaller stones between them, followed by gravel, sand and finally filling any remaining space with water. He uses the demonstration to illustrate the importance of beginning with the biggest pieces. If he filled the container with sand, there wouldn’t be room for the rocks.
I use this principle when I am planning out my weekly and daily agendas. The important rocks, my non-negotiables I need to advance my goals, I arrange first. Often these big rocs may require several days or weeks of work. Once I organize the rocks, I plot successively smaller components from my list. I fill the spaces in between with sand and water. These are nice to finish but there is no penalty if they remain undone.
By approaching my organizer in this manner, I ensure I complete essential tasks. Should I find myself at an impasse, or with a task finished sooner than the allotted time, I’m not left wondering what to work on next. Instead, I move to the less significant stones addressing each one in turn until they are complete. If an important task requires more time, I bump everything down the line.
How do you schedule your day?
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer