by Phil Latz
Hi, welcome to the seventh blog in my personal growth series that I hope will help you become more successful in your business.
As a business owner myself for many years, I understand the challenges that you face.
Today I’ll be demonstrating to you why you need to prioritise your time.
This flows on from my previous blog in this series in which I spoke about the four quadrants and the need to discern the difference between urgency and importance.
These two blogs have another thing in common, they’re both based upon concepts that were developed and made famous by the American author Steven Covey.
I was mainly referring to your work or business time in my previous video, but today’s demonstration applies much more holistically to your entire life.
No matter how wealthy or successful we become, we cannot buy any more hours in the day. We all have exactly the same 24 hours per day, seven days per week and 52 weeks per year.
So why is it that some people seem to achieve so much more in a year than others?
Let me give you an illustration.
Imagine a glass jar that represents your time. Its sides are rigid. You can’t stretch a jar.
Large rocks represent the things that are most important in your life. They’re not necessarily in exact scale to their relative importance That would be very hard to figure out and might change over time.
The rocks have labels on them: Family, Holidays, Community, Exercise, Sales, Marketing, Team Management, Strategic Planning, Customer Relationships and Major Project.
Meanwhile a pile of gravel represents hundreds of other things that you can spend time on. This could be everything from watching TV to playing video games, spending time on social media, washing your car if you have one, mowing your lawn if you have one, shopping and a hundred other things. It could also be a hundred and one jobs that often bog you down at work. The list is long.
I’m not saying that any of these things are bad, or that in many cases they’re not necessary or fun to do.
But with our finite 24 hours, if we make these our first priority, we’re filling our jar with gravel first.
Then the big rocks won’t fit in.
Let’s start again, but this time, fill our jar with the big rocks first.
Amazingly, we can still fit in all of the gravel into the same jar. All we did was change the priority.
You can take this illustration a step further. Our jar is now full of big rocks, surrounded by gravel, right?
Imagine how much sand we can fit in!
Sand represents smaller tasks and smaller snippets of time.
I’ll now add another thought that is not in Steven Covey’s original illustration.
The jar is surely full now, right!
Wrong! Imagine how much water we can fit in.
I would compare water to times when we mix and combine two or more activities at once.
For example, when you walk the dog and talk to your family member on the phone at the same time, you’re actually achieving three things at once: keeping your dog healthy and happy, maintaining your family ties and exercising yourself.
Please don’t get the impression from this illustration that you’re only succeeding if every last minute of your day is spent in compressed, intense activity. Remember, some of your big rocks might be family, holidays, health, downtime and so on. These large chunks of time could, at face value, appear to be wasted, with large periods of inactivity, relaxing on the beach or whatever. But of course, this is not wasted time at all if it’s recharging your batteries and reminding you of the sheer joy of living and the natural beauty that surrounds us.
To summarise, put your big rocks in your time jar first! Otherwise all the gravel, sand and water will leave no room for them.
In the next blog in this series, I’m going to continue looking broader than just your working life and look at your physical, mental and spiritual health.
I believe that with passion, consistent effort and wise advice you can succeed in your business.
I wish you all the best and I’ll see you next time.