Why Most people Don't Start With The Big Rocks

Published by Kathryn Anda, PEPworldwide on 9 October, 2014

Without understanding of the role of big rocks, you may actually spend your day struggling to achieve goals.

You’d be forgiven if you believed they were large boulders that get in our way and impede our success. Whilst this is a common thought, it could not be further from the truth. Big rocks are actually the key to our success.

What are big rocks?

Big rocks are all the important tasks that you must achieve as a matter of priority; the major things that cannot be pushed aside. Most importantly, they symbolize the highest priority activities as you see them.

How to schedule your to do list

The key to preparing a schedule that helps you meet your goals is to imagine your to-do list is a big bucket. You need to fill it up with everything you want to achieve but you need to make sure you allocate things properly otherwise it will be a complete mess. If you filled your bucket up with all the little tasks first, you’d find you would not have much room left for the major jobs. So put the ‘big rocks’ in first. Allocate your day around the must-do tasks, and then fill in all the gaps with the ‘rubble’ that remains.

Plan ahead

Identify the big rocks that you want to accomplish this week. Imagine that they were all you had time for and at the end of the week you could look back and feel that you had achieved something significant. Keep it short. Try to allocate no more than 4 or 5, particularly whilst you are still getting the hang of it. You can always add more.

Block out time

Schedule blocks of time over the day and into the week to action your prioritised tasks. Once they are in and planned, you can be confident that they will get done. Make sure you schedule them at a time when you know you’ll be most productive. It might be first thing in the morning; what ever works best for you and the environment you work in.

Allocate the remainder of your tasks

Now it’s time to fill up your schedule with any other remaining tasks. Remember that these little, lower priority tasks can be shuffled if need be, but the big rocks must remain. Allocating big rocks helps you become more productive. It is a clever tool to adopt which will ensure you can achieve what is most important to you and have a sense of achievement when the day comes to a close. There is nothing worse than spending time doing lots of things but not actually getting anything truly accomplished. Start with the big rocks and you’ll be so much more efficient.

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