What Does Pouring Sand Gotta Do With Time Management?

Read this piece from Crystal Andrus:

Grab a blank piece of paper and turn it sideways. Draw three standing rectangular containers. Make the two outside canisters the same size; the one in the
middle slightly taller.

Imagine filling the container on the left with sand. This represents your daily activities. Fill the container on the right with ten rocks. They represent your ten top priorities. The middle container represents your day.

Now pour the sand–your daily activities–into the middle canister and you will notice the sand, almost, fills it. Try to put the rocks into the middle canister now.

You can’t!

It’s filled–talking on the phone, returning emails, running the kids around, driving to work, watching your favorite TV show, picking up groceries, going to a movie, chatting on social networking sites such as Facebook or Twitter, perusing the internet, shopping, meeting a friend for lunch, sleeping, cleaning, even just wasting time on nothing . . .

Now, return the sand and rocks to their original canisters and let’s start all over. Let’s approach your daily planning differently. Start your day by referencing your ten highest priorities. Start putting your rocks into the middle container one at the time.

Next, take the sand–all your daily activities–and pour them into the middle container. Amazingly! Because of the open spaces between the rocks, there is enough room for all the sand. Do this exercise yourself and you will see that it works!

It’s no wonder that successful and empowered people always seem to fit it all in, living in harmony. They are very clear about their priorities and always make time for them. They get a lot done in a day because they are organized and focused. If there is time left over for the other things, they’ll fit. If not, they’ll have to wait for another day!

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