What if you really don’t have enough time to do it all? (Guardian)

What if you really don’t have enough time to do it all? (Guardian)

If you’re even slightly as obsessed as I am with the question of how to manage your time, you may have encountered – and been annoyed by – the Tale Of The Rocks In The Jar. As best I can tell, it originates with the self-help guru Stephen Covey, and goes (in one version) like this: a teacher presents his pupils with a jam jar, a few large rocks, several smaller pebbles, and some sand. Their challenge is to fit them all into the jar. The students, who apparently aren’t very bright, try putting the sand or pebbles in first, but then find the rocks won’t fit. Whereupon the teacher, doubtless with a condescending smile, reveals the answer: put the big rocks in first, then the pebbles and finally the sand, so the smaller items nestle between the larger. The moral: to get around to your most important tasks – your “big rocks” – you have to prioritise them. Otherwise you’ll never fit them in. Read more

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