My Life Is A Jar Of Rocks- Your Time (Part 1)

An important element that affects whether we run smoothly or stumble continuously in our high heels is time management.

Somewhere along this journey I heard or read an illustration used to describe time management that made a significant impression on me.  About this time last year it came to mind as I was contemplating what our school year, and life in general, would look like in the coming months.

As I recall we were supposed to imagine something like a big jar and a mound of rocks of varying size.  If a person were to randomly place the rocks in the jar without any thought, not all the rocks would fit.  However, if the rocks were placed methodically, big first and then small, everything fit. 

What did the rocks symbolize?  Priorities.  What did the jar represent?  Our days.

Each rock represented something that was important to you.   Thought had to be put into the rock size each priority was assigned.  The idea was that if you made a point to accomplish your “big rocks”  first, the smaller rocks would find a way of fitting in the extra spaces of time that were left.

What are my rocks?  My rocks are: time with God, spiritual time of some shape or form with my family, quality time with my spouse and each child, feeding my family nutritious meals, school time,exercise, some sort of housecleaning/household management task, and contact of some sort with friends (email, phone calls, or hanging out together). 

In my house, I don’t have physical rocks to keep track of my priorities but a wipe off chart that I made out of chart paper and a plastic paper protector.  I keep a dry erase marker inside of it and have it hung over the counter in the kitchen so I see it every day.  As I move through the day, I mark off what I have accomplished so I have the feeling of accomplishment from checking something off and have a visual reminder of what still needs to be done.

I am free of the mental stress of keeping track and I have a visual reminder of how the week is trending.  Sometimes I notice that I have missing check marks in an area over a couple of days and so I have an awareness of whether or not I can say “yes” to outside commitments or not.

I have found myself a number of times praying,” God, I see what I’ve done so far today or this week.  Help me to get to these tasks that seem really challenging to get marked off.”  Every time something happens that answers my prayer: a friend calls to offer taking the kids, I wake up at an earlier time, someone takes a nap, etc. 

I’ve prayed over what the big rocks should be.  Now that I feel like I have God’s backing I know that when I pray for help, He will gladly make a way because I am choosing His priorities.  He is still in charge. And I have peace of mind when I have to say “no” to requests of my time.  And that’s what we will talk about next time.

So what are your rocks?


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