12 September 2009 ~ 0 Comments

Time in a Jar

One day an expert in time management was speaking to a group of business
students. To drive home a point, used an illustration those students will
never forget. As this man stood in front of the group of high-powered
overachievers he said, „Okay, time for a quiz.“ Then he pulled out a
one-gallon, wide-mouthed mason jar and set it on a table in front of him.
Then he produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them,
one at a time, into the jar. When the jar was filled to the top and no
more rocks would fit inside, he asked, „Is this jar full?“ Everyone in the
class said, „Yes.“ Then he said, „Really?“

He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. Then he dumped
! ! some gravel in and shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work
themselves down into the spaces between the big rocks. Then he asked the
group once more, „Is the jar full?“ By this time the class was onto him.
„Probably not,“ one of them answered.

„Good!“ he replied. He reached under the table and brought out a bucket of
sand. He started dumping the sand in and it went into all the spaces left
between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question, „Is this
jar full?“ „No!“ the class shouted. Once again he said, Good!“ Then he
grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled
to the brim. Then he looked up at the class and asked, „What is the point
of this illustration?“ One eager beaver raised his hand and said, „The point
is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard,! ! you can
always fit some more things into it!“ „No,“ the speaker replied, „that’s not
the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is: If you don’t put the
big rocks in first, you’ll never get them in at all.“ What are the ‚big
rocks‘ in your life? Time with your loved ones? Your faith, your
education, your dreams? A worthy cause? Teaching or mentoring others?
Remember to put these BIG ROCKS in first or you’ll never get them in at all.
So, tonight or in the morning when you are reflecting on this short story,
ask yourself this question: What are the ‚big rocks‘ in my life or
business? Then, put those in your jar first.

-President and CEO of Nike Incorporated Mike Schmitt

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