With all of that on my currently reading pile (actually, a shelf in aldiko, I mostly read ebooks on my phone - & mostly while in the car waiting to pick up a child from practice) the article I have been thinking about the most is actually a blog post. I don't read many blogs, I just can't seem to get into the routine of reading them regularly. This showed up in my facebook feed, and when I clicked over, it fell right in line with everything I know has worked for me in regards to time management, as well as "clicking" with what I was reading in some of the books mentioned above. Because I know I'm not where I need to be with time management right now, I'm going to take this week to work through the 5 steps, one day at a time. This is not my normal process. I'm more likely to take an entire day making lists, plans, and schedules.. all of which are forgotten or half implemented a week later.
The article is titled after the time jar - most of us know the story. If you fill the jar with sand, it's full. But if you fill it with rocks, then with gravel, then with sand, then with coffee.. a lot more fits in than you think. The key is getting the rocks in there first - they won't fit if you fill your jar with the little stuff. (some versions end with water in the illustration, but the one I like best ends with coffee and the line "there's always still room for a cup of coffee with a friend")
The article I referenced, here, states:
"You can’t prioritize your time if you aren’t clear–even if just to yourself–about what is most important to you."
In The Circle Maker, by Mark Batterson, he states:
"I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t want to be successful, but very few people have actually spelled out success for themselves. We inherit a family definition or adopt a cultural definition. But if you don’t spell it out for yourself, you have no way of knowing if you’ve achieved it. You might achieve your goals only to realize that they should not have been your goals in the first place. You circle the wrong city. You climb the wrong ladder."
"If you don’t have a personal definition of success, chances are you will succeed at the wrong thing. You’ll get to the end of your life and realize that you spelled success wrong. And if you spell it wrong, you’ll get it wrong."
I don't think I have ever thought to define "success" before. Since we are reading this book for our family book club choice this month, on Sunday at dinner we all discussed our definition of success and decided to come back next Sunday with a more thought out definition. My husband was really struck by one of Batterson's definitions - that the people closest to him would respect him the most. Success does not have to be, perhaps should not be, spelled with $ signs and job titles. Batterson's 3 definitions, for himself, are 1. Do the best you can with what you have, where you are. 2. Help people maximize their God given potential & 3. That the people who know me best respect me most.
So.. what are my rocks, and how do I define success, how do the two relate?
The blog post above recommends: "Take ten minutes to write down the 5-10 things that are most important to you in the season of life you are in right now. Don’t base them on how you have been spending your time, but on what actually matters most to you."
1. A clean house
2. Fiscal Responsibility
3. Well educated, Godly, Children
4. A Respectable, well cared for, Farm
5. To be physically fit
6. To have a diligent prayer life
7. To know & apply the word of God
8. Investing in the lives of others
9. Appreciation of/Contentment in, each day
10. To Respect my husband
Those are my rocks. I'm sure there are others, I'm sure I will think of more, but without over thinking, those are what popped into my head, in the order they occurred to me, not in the order of importance.
When I placed in them all in the jar, my first thought was that that jar is awfully full already. If I had just 5 rocks, or smaller rocks, or easier to fit in the jar rocks, I could fit more of the little things - more pebbles, more sand, more coffee, in.. but the reality of my life right now is that I have some rough, need a lot of work, oddly sized, rocks. And I have 10 of them. I a few years I my only have 5, but for now, I am really going to have to give some thought to how little room I have left for sand & pebbles in my life, & plan accordingly.
Tomorrow is Step Two - Set Specific Goals.
From Dream to Plan of Action: