Nothing By Chance Blog

Rocks In A Jar

I believe we have all heard this story. With this weeks theme being about rocks, I thought it was very appropriate.  It is such a great reminder.

So what rocks are you putting first?

Here it is, if you would like to be reminded of the philosophy of “Rocks in a Jar”:

The instructor held up a big, open-mouthed jar. On the table were lots of rocks. He started picking up the rocks and carefully placed them in the jar until no more would fit. He then asked the attendees who thought the jar was full?

Most people raised their hands.

He then reached under the table and pulled out a box of small rocks. He started placing these rocks into the jar until no more of them would fit. Again he asked the attendees who thought the jar was full?

Only a few people raised their hands this time.

He then reached under the table and pulled out a bag containing sand and poured the sand into the jar until no more would fit. Again he asked the attendees who thought the jar was full?

No one raised their hands, obviously thinking another trick lay in store.

He then reached under the table and pulled out a pitcher of water and filled the jar with water until it could take no more.

He then asked – “Can anyone tell me the lesson of this?”

One attendee responded – “that no matter how much you’re doing you can always do more?”

The instructor chuckled and said – “no. It’s that you must put the big things in your life first. The smaller things will find a way in on their own. But if you don’t put in the big things first, they won’t fit in later.”

This is not just true of the things we do in life but is also true of the tasks we take on in our teams. The big things, those that require the greatest number of people who are the hardest to coordinate, should be scheduled (or pulled) first. The easier tasks come later.

  1. Claire

    I read your posintg and was jealous

  2. Donald Mccleve
    Donald Mccleve11-09-2012

    I just want to tell you that I am just newbie to blogs and truly enjoyed this page. Likely I’m planning to bookmark your blog post . You amazingly come with terrific stories. Kudos for sharing your blog site.

  3. gold price
    gold price09-24-2012

    Stephen Covey in his book, First Things First, shares the following story experienced by one of his associates: I attended a seminar once where the instructor was lecturing on time. At one point, he said, “Okay, time for a quiz.” He reached under the table and pulled out a wide-mouthed gallon jar. He set it on the table next to a platter with some fist-sized rocks on it. “How many of these rocks do you think we can get in the jar?” he asked.

  4. Jacques Gischer
    Jacques Gischer09-19-2012

    I totally dig this idea, but . . . who writes the first letters you guys or us? (above says, you guys, nevertheless the email I got just said we write them.) What is the subject matter? Can we write about anything? I’m able to imagine this is often a lot cheaper than therapy or medication for some men and women. Can we include pictures of our cats? How about recipes for vegan cupcakes? There is a chance I may have interesting things to write about. What is the statistical probability that the reader will care? Excellent idea! You are all wonderful. Please advise.

  5. Hans Gambill
    Hans Gambill09-19-2012

    Looking forward to Podcamp Topeka to exchange new social media ideas and learn from others as well. I encourage everyone to attend. See you there !

    • Veera

      Insights like this liven tihngs up around here.

  6. Arthur Faulisi
    Arthur Faulisi09-19-2012

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    • Auth

      Thank God! Someone with brinas speaks!

  7. Normand Greb
    Normand Greb09-19-2012

    Stumbled across this article when trying to see if Google is even giving much credit to Squidoo lenses anymore. Judging by some of these older blog posts, it seems like Google has definitely curtailed rankings for Squidoo compared to a year or so ago (which is almost certainly a good thing). Great advice nonetheless, though.

    • Fabrizio

      I’ve been loknoig for a post like this forever (and a day)

  8. beats

    It’s a good post.