Swamped? Buried? Overwhelmed? Have any of these descriptions applied to you within the past three weeks? Since we all have the same number of hours available to us each day, how is it that some people seem to get so much more accomplished?
If you’re familiar with the work of the late Stephen (“7 Habits”) Covey, you already know the answer … Productivity Ninjas put the big rocks in first. Now, if you have never heard The Story of the Big Rocks allow me to present a condensed version:
A teacher divided her class into groups of three or four students. She gave them each a wide-mouthed mason jar, several large rocks, a portion of gravel, and a portion of sand. Without preamble, she told the groups they had 30 seconds to place everything into their jars. “Go!” she shouted. The students excitedly started scooping and pouring and stuffing. When time expired, not a single group had successfully completed the task. “That’s not fair, it can’t be done,” several students objected. “But it can be done,” the teacher assured them. Using her own jar, rocks, gravel, and sand, she placed the rocks in the jar first; then she scooped in the gravel; and finally she poured in the sand, gently tapping the jar on her desktop to settle its contents and fill in every open crevice. She then screwed a lid tightly on the jar. “So what does this teach us?” she asked her amazed classroom. “That there is always room for more!” shouted a young man. “No,” the teacher replied patiently. “It teaches us to always focus our attention on the big things first.”
The obvious, but often overlooked question for each of us is what are the big rocks in our lives? For me, relationships, fitness, learning, and community service are big rocks that often get squeezed out of my jar by the sand and gravel of career ladders and brain candy media. I try to blame the day for being too short, but it ultimately comes down to my own flawed focus. That’s my big rock confession.
At the risk of over-using this metaphor, failure to address the big rocks in our jobs makes it difficult or impossible to fulfill our primary responsibilities. We confuse activity with accomplishment. Those of us heavily burdened with administrative duties are at greatest risk of losing our focus.
Take inventory of the demands on your time. Do your best to objectively identify your big rocks … your own big rock confession. Then see what can be delegated, outsourced, or eliminated. That which remains goes into your jar … after the rocks. I hope you find yourself amazed at how much good stuff has fit into your day … and your life.
PayReel’s clients, who are some of the biggest companies in the world, are constantly immersed in the chaos of producing multimedia content or executing live events. PayReel makes sure they have the right contractors at the right time in the right place, and that everyone gets paid properly. And, most importantly, they handle every last detail perfectly while making sure their clients think nothing of it. Relax. We got it.