Prioritizing, Time Management

Do the Big Things First

Share now:

Whether you are setting business goals, learning something new, or just trying to accomplish a To Do list that is the length of your arm for the day, setting your priorities is an essential part to achieving your goals. Keep reading and learn why it is important to do the BIG things first.

You may have heard or read this story before, but I believe it bears repeating. It is a good reminder for importance of prioritizing things in your life. So keep reading…

The Story…

Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, there was a professor who held up a jar of rocks to his college class.  He asked them, “Is the jar full?”  The students all agreed that it was.  The professor then took a bag of small pebbles from underneath the table and poured it into the jar.  The pebbles filled in the space around the jar between the rocks. The professor asked, “Now is the jar full?”  The class again said yes.  The professor then took a bag of sand from underneath the table and poured it into the jar as the student looked on.  The sand filtered through the rocks and the pebbles until all the space was filled.  “What about now?”, he asked.  “Do you think the jar is full?”  For the third time, the class agreed that it was indeed full. 

Finally, the professor took a pitcher out from underneath the table. He poured the water into the jar until it was filled to the brim and began overflowing.  “Now,” the professor stated, “we can say the jar is truly full.”  He then asked the class an all-important question, “Do you think, if I had started with the water, then the sand, and then the pebbles, there would still be space for the rocks?” 

Of course, you can imagine what their answer was.

Rocks, pebbles, sand in a jar

Filling your Jar

If we think about our lives and what we want to accomplish as the jar, the story is pretty clear.  We must fill our jar with the BIG stuff first. If we don’t, our jar will get filled with all the little stuff, and then there won’t be any room for the BIG stuff.  Thus, when it comes to time management, we need to make room for the big stuff FIRST.   We need to tackle our priorities and our goals before we take on the easy and mundane items, no matter how much we may not want to.

I’ve heard this story many times over the years, but for some reason, when I recently read it, I realized this was the answer I had been looking for to accomplishing more.  I started applying this simple strategy of putting BIG things FIRST to the various aspects of my life. Almost immediately, I began getting more done in far less time, and had MORE time to do the things I wanted to do.

The Secret Sauce is Putting the Big Things First…

Want to know what the secret ingredient was?  Writing down my priorities FIRST and working on the smaller tasks around them!  First things first. Put your priorities first and foremost!

Set priorities and do the BIG things first

As the author Jodi Piccoult said, “You know what the difference is between a dream and a goal?… A plan.”  Writing things down.

Take the time at the start of each day to write down your priorities and schedule them.  They won’t happen if you don’t make time for them.  So schedule time to accomplish your goals.

Here’s to putting the BIG things first, prioritizing and RESETTING your life!


Organization isn’t about perfection; it’s about efficiency, reducing stress and clutter, saving time and money, and improving your overall quality of life.” – CHRISTINA SCALISE

P.S. If you found this post useful, please be sure to share it on Facebook, on Pinterest, or with others who may like it as well. Also, be sure to subscribe to my blog, so you never miss another tip, trick, or technique for Living Life More Efficiently.


New Year, New Goals

1 thought on “Do the Big Things First”

Comments are closed.