What do jugs put on their hands?
The jug and the big stones: self and time management
The basket of ideas for the new year is well filled, the goals have been set, new projects are underway. It almost feels like a year can't offer enough space to implement all the new ideas. Do you feel the same way? Too many projects, too little time? Then keep the following story to hand for your focus. A metaphor for what time and self management is essentially about:
One day a wise professor and time researcher was asked to give a good lecture on the sensible use of time. But instead of starting the lecture quickly, he looked at his audience for a while and then announced: "We are going to carry out an experiment". He went to a table on which was a very large glass jug. Nobody knew what that meant. The professor now gradually put a dozen very large stones in the jar. When the jug was filled to the brim and there was no more stone left in the vessel, he asked everyone: “Is the jug full now?” “Yes,” came the unanimous answer. "Really?" Asked the professor. Uncertainty spread among those present. The professor hurried out into the preparation room and came back with a mug with small pebbles. He poured this carefully over the stones in the jug so that the stones could spread and trickle through the gaps between the large stones. A whole lot of small stones still fit in the jug until it was so full that it couldn't take any more pebbles. The audience was amazed and when the professor asked again: "Is the jug full now?", Everyone was unsettled, although the jug was apparently filled to the brim. One of the spectators said, "It looks like it, but it probably isn't." The professor smiled, disappeared again, and returned with a bucket of sand, which he carefully poured into the jug. The sand fills the spaces between the large stones and the pebbles. And lo and behold - all kinds of sand still fit into the jug until the sand reached the top of the vessel. When the professor asked, "Is the jug full now?", His audience replied without hesitation: "No". The professor left the room again and came back with a bottle of beer. He opened it in front of his audience and poured the entire contents into the jug, which was already full.
"What does this experiment tell you?" After a short pause, he continued: “The experiment makes it clear how crucial the sequence is when filling up. Only if we put the big stones in the jug first will everything else fit in later. If we wanted to put the big stones in at the end, after the sand and the stones, then we would hardly be able to accommodate them. "
The professor was silent for a while and then asked: "What are the big stones in your life". He paused and continued to ask, “Your health? Your family, children, friends? A hobby? Realizing your dreams? Whatever it is, put it first. Otherwise you may not find space for it in the end. Because if you fill your life with little things like too many pebbles and sand, you end up running out of time for what is really important. That is why you keep asking yourself: "What are the big stones in my life" and put them first in the jar of your existence ". There is still a lot going to go into the sand of everyday life, but we do not forget each other and no longer allow it to dissuade us from our goals.
"And what about the beer?" asks a student. “Well, experience teaches us: We can be as full as we want. A bottle of beer still works! "
Only when we are free to be clear about the big stones, our big goals in life, can we really decide and prioritize independently. How else should we? Use the Eisenhower rule to reasonably prioritize important and urgent can or our days and week with Self-discipline and renunciation on the one hand and relaxation on the other in healthy rhythms?
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