Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Big rocks first, and then everything else that will fit
Recently I saw something inspirational on the ABC television program ‘Big Ideas’ (hosted by Wahleed Aly). A segment of this program was about internationally renowned adventurer and environmental scientist Tim Jarvis AM, and his recent replication of Sir Douglas Mawson’s near-death/survival experience in Antarctica in 1913.
Jarvis talked about how he went to see a time management specialist speak in front of a large audience in order to assist his preparations for the expedition. The time management specialist placed a glass jar on the table and filled it with rocks and asked, “Is it full?” Someone in the audience said “Yes, obviously it is full”. The time management specialist said that it wasn’t full and proceeded to fill it with gravel and then asked, “Is it full?” The time management specialist proceeded to fill the gaps with sand, and then with water. By the end of the exercise the jar was well and truly full and the time management specialist asked the audience what the message was that he was demonstrating. Someone in the audience replied that it was obvious that the jar was your life and the more you try, the more you can fit in. After all, as the saying goes “if you want something done ask a busy person”.
The time management specialist said the key thing is to get the big rocks in first. This is because the big rocks are life goals - the things that we want to achieve. These things cannot be fitted around your day-to-day life, but rather they have to be put into your jar of life first and then you have to make everything else fit in around it.
Life goals and ambitions have to be prioritised before other things if you really do want to achieve them.
You can see ABC IView Series 4, Episode 19 at http://www.abc.net.au/iview/#/view/750141 (approximately 14 minutes into the program).