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We all have 24 hours in a day and yet it seems like NO-ONE can ever get enough done! If you’re like me, you probably feel behind in just about everything! There’s always more to do than time to do it. What if I told you there was a STRESS-FREE way to get more done without pulling your hair out?
Imagine with me for a second, a pile of rocks of various sizes. Then imagine a jar sitting next to the rocks. If you were to look at the size of the pile of rocks versus the size of the jar, you would quickly see that it is unlikely that all the rocks will fit in. But If I told you that you NEEDED to get all of the rocks inside the jar, you might think there was no way!
But there is an EASY solution!
If you begin by putting the big rocks into the jar first, (those rocks that take up the most space), you will quickly find out that you are able to fit the big rocks in more easily. Then you will see that it is much easier to put the littler rocks into the jar because they fall into the cracks (those spaces which are not being occupied by the big rocks). This is the same way it is with time management.
For some reason I am very easily distracted.
And I also don’t think I need to abide by a 24 hour day! 🙂 (If you were to ask my husband he would be nodding his head emphatically!)
I am notorious for over booking, double scheduling, biting off more than I can chew, and trying to get WAY more done in a day then there is time to do it.
But when I started looking at tasks like rocks and my time like a jar, I was amazed at how much more I could get accomplished in a single day.
It’s a very simple solution, and very powerful when you put it to work! It will take you a little bit of discipline. But with some practice you will definitely find that it can help you manage your time MUCH more easily!
REMEMBER BIG ROCKS GO IN FIRST
When it comes to organizing your time, it seems like there is something that is ALWAYS pulling you in another direction.
In order to prioritize, you need to take some time and write down all of the things that are most important to you.
Ask yourself what things are an absolute MUST to get done each day.
Then ask yourself what things would bother you if they got let go another day or so?
Take a good look at your list and mark the priorities. Those are the things that ABSOLUTELY cannot be let go for another day. Write those at the TOP of your list.
Those are called the big rocks.
Some examples of big rocks may be meal planning (something very important for you to make sure and get done). Or maybe you absolutely need to get your son to an appointment. Since there’s no way to avoid an appointment, it would definitely fall under the category of big rocks.
Do you need to take time out of the day to spend with one of your children who has been falling under the radar? File it in the big rock section.
LITTLE ROCKS FILL IN THE REST
The little rocks are the things that are not imperative to the rest of your day going well.
In other words, if you did not get to the things on your list under the little rocks category, no one would be devastated.
Little rocks are the simple things like sorting through junk mail (this is where you could use the One Touch Rule) or maybe you have been meaning to deep clean a closet.
Whatever the case, if it is not something that directly affects the way that your day runs then it is considered a little rock.
LET’S SORT IT ALL OUT
Once you have identified your big rocks and your little rocks, it will be much easier for you to plan out your day, week, or month. (By the way, the Living Well, Spending Less Planner is a GREAT tool for getting your whole life organized!)
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(Another great option is to use a bullet journal to record your list of big rocks and little rocks. This is my favorite bullet journal and set of pens if you decide to go with that option! )
Now it’s time to look closely at each list (your big rocks and little rocks) and make sure that you have them filed appropriately.
Next, jot down your list somewhere. Whether it is on an app or a handwritten note, it doesn’t matter. You’ll just want to have it somewhere accessible so you can stick closely to it throughout the day.
I recommend sitting down every evening and planning out the following day. (Or you could do this on a weekly basis. Choose a specific day of the week to plan on and stick to it. The schedule in my houses changes so quickly, that for me, it needs to be done on a daily basis.)
Think about your day and the structure of it.
NOW PUT IT INTO PRACTICE
Look at your big rocks and decide how much time each will take. Then begin to sketch out a basic framework of the day. This is the time to stick closely to your list. You only want to sketch in your big rocks and NOTHING else.
I know very well that there is a temptation to get everything done on the list.
Who doesn’t love to cross things off of a list? But you need the discipline to stick closely to your big rocks list first, in order to feel like you are accomplishing a lot more than you have been.
The following day when you wake up stick to the list! If you find that you have more time than you scheduled for your big rocks, then you can go ahead and take something off of your little rocks list and accomplish it!
You will see how much better you feel when you have taken care of the top priority instead of letting the little priorities get in the way.
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN
How about you? Have you ever used the big rocks/little rocks method? Has is made a difference in the way that you manage your time? Try it and let me know how it works for you! I’d love to hear!
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