I read a story recently on an awesome blog post, and I wanted to share it here... maybe someone else could benefit from it like I have. She's also got a lot of advice and resources for managing time.
There was a teacher who held up a jar to his students.
It was empty.
He put a bunch of large rocks inside up to the top.
He asked if was full.
When the students said yes, he put poured a bunch of small pieces of sea shells inside and they fell between the rocks.
He asked then if it was now full. Quiet, the students watched.
Then he poured sand inside that filled all the empty spaces.
He asked again if the jar was now full.
Then he took a glass of water and poured it inside until it reached the top of the jar.
"Now it's full," he said.
He told the students that the jar represented time, and managing that time.
He said the large rocks represented the large tasks in our life that matter most, and the seashells the smaller, the sand even smaller and the water was the smallest, least important task in our day.
He said if he were to fill the jar first with water, nothing else would fit, and it's the same with our daily list. Start with the big and move to the small. So that at the end of the day, even if you only accomplish one thing, you've done a lot.
When we start small it's easy to get pulled into another smaller task that takes more of our energy away and before we know the time or the energy is gone for the largest, most important things on our list.
Make a list of the things most important things to you, now focus your daily list on that. It's amazing what you'll get done.