The world seems to move so quickly and this causes all of us to feel pressured by time. Don’t you wish there were more hours in a day to finish the tasks on your to-do list? From work to personal time, it might seem impossible to conquer everything we set out to do for the day. If you are looking for a better way to control your time, Stephen Covey’s Time Management skills are a great way to adjust your day to make sure you finish the most important tasks on your list.
According to Stephen Covey, we all have overlapping commitments that need attention now. The Stephen Covey Time Management System starts with this simple idea: Do important things first! To illustrate this, Stephen’s illustration “Big Rocks” asks the audience a simple question, “How many of these rocks do you think we can get in the jar?”
Stephen asks the audience to explain the lesson. One participant from the audience replied, “There are gaps in your schedule. And if you really work at it, you can always fit more into your life.” Of course the point of this example is not to show you how you can fit more actions on your to-do list. If Stephen had not put the big rocks in first, the gravel, sand and water would not have fit. In our business and personal lives, we have big rocks, gravel, sand and water. Naturally, we get the order mixed up. We might begin with gravel and then water because there is a sense of urgency leaving little space for the big rocks. We all tend to react to this sense of urgency, pushing what is important to us aside.
What are your big rocks in your life? Your faith? Spending time with your family? Your health? Your finances? Your dreams? Your business? Everyone has different things that are important to them. I challenge you to put these important tasks first. Make a list of the rocks in your life, and block out the time you need in your schedule for these activities. Amazingly, you will see, the other things will get done too.