Fill the Jugs with  Rocks

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Fill your calendar with the things that are important to you, ahead of everything else.

Fill the Jug with Rocks

Imagine that you have a large wide-mouth jug, which can hold several liters, like those large milk containers in the old days. 

Your jug is empty at first. But you also have several fist-sized rocks. Now, put the rocks into the jug, as many as you can fit in it. Is it full?

Next, get some coarse gravel and pour it into the jug. Put as much as you can. Now, is it full? 

This time, get some really fine sand. Pour in as much of it as you can. Now, is it really full?

Finally, pour water in. For sure, it must now be full! 

Now, THINK OF THE JUG AS THE TIME YOU HAVE AVAILABLE. It is the week ahead, the next month or the next year. It can be the rest of your life. Then THINK OF THE ROCKS AS YOUR PRIORITIES, the most important things to do, the activities that gradually but certainly achieve the goals you set for yourself  (or for your company, if you are in a business setting). Surely, you'd prefer that more time is spent on these.

What would happen if you fill the jug in reverse order, if you fill it up with water first? You will find it hard to get any big rocks in. And if somehow you did manage to, you would have a big mess!

HAVE YOU PICKED YOUR ROCKS? Have you decided what's important to you?  Any goal that you've set your mind on is attainable. But there is always a price. Your goals require your attention, your time, your willingness to fulfill the self-promise to attain it. They require several rocks! 

IN WHAT ORDER DO YOU FILL YOUR JUG? Do you plan your time so that "the rocks" are placed ahead of other things?

Start now. Pick your rocks today and mark them into your calendar before other things fill up your week.

- Ramon Regozo

* This write-up is editorialized from the teachings of Dr. Stephen Covey on Principle-Centered Leadership.  More at




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Last modified: December 11, 2006