Tuesday 05 October 2010

I recently read a great story that came from Bill Cates’ newsletter. A speaker was talking about the importance of setting priorities for how we spend our time and energy. He had 2 matching sets of items on the table in front of him that included a 1-quart glass jar and three bowls – one with stones, one with pebbles and one with sand.

With one set, first he poured that sand into the jar and shook it a little bit. Then he poured the pebbles in and shook it some more. Finally he tried to pour the stones in, but only a couple of them fit.

With the second set, first he poured the stones in. Then he poured in the pebbles and by shaking them a little they all fit. Then he poured in the sand and, again, by shaking a little it all fit.

The meaning of this story is very clear. When prioritizing how you spend your time and energy always do the very important things first. These are the activities that ignite your passion and drive incredible productivity. Like the rocks, they should be foundational. Then move to the slightly important things next (the pebbles), and lastly, do the least important – the sand, easy but not vital. You will be surprised at how often you are able to accomplish everything!

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