Big Rocks

22nd July 2022

Of late, some of the opening paragraphs of All Stitched Up! have unpacked a little of the busyness that has enveloped Inspirations HQ in the last few weeks and months.

With the recent close of the Financial Year in Australia, it’s been the Admin and Finance Departments who’ve had more than just a few items on their To Do Lists. Think finalising payroll, superannuation, tax reports, financial reports… the list goes on!

Whilst all these items are an important part of running any business and have definitive due dates that need to be adhered to, they can quickly become all-encompassing and the work life balance that existed just a few weeks earlier no longer seems to be present. 

It made us think of the ‘Big Rocks, Pebbles and Sand’ analogy Stephen Covey writes about in his book ‘First Things First’. If you’re not familiar with it, the analogy refers to our life – including our time, energy, budget and resources – as an empty jar that is filled with big rocks, pebbles and sand.

The big rocks represent things like our bucket list items, our dreams, activities that fulfill us, quality time with those we love, our faith and spirituality. The pebbles are made up of things we love or need to do but aren’t crucial to our happiness, success, or fulfillment such as completing a house project or watching TV. Whilst the sand is our mundane day to day tasks. Think emails, laundry, grocery shopping… again, the list goes on!

The trouble is, as illustrated in the image above, many of us fill our jars with LOTS of sand and pebbles only to find we have little to no room left for the big rocks. But, as Stephen suggests, there is a better way to fill our jars.

He suggests we say yes to the big rocks first, add our pebbles and then finally our sand. This way we ensure we’ve prioritised what’s most important to us. It’s not about getting more things done, instead it’s about getting our most important things done.

For us, one of our big rocks is our time with needle and thread and whilst the amount of time we’re able to pursue our passion with waxes and wanes depending on the season, there are times like the end of a Financial Year that’s it’s possible to forget it sits in our jar at all! As was the case for us recently.

Recalling the ‘jar’ though made us realise there’s a genius in the order to how we prioritise our time and that no matter how much sand is in our jar at any one time, we need to keep the big rocks front of mind as they’re what provide the balance and ultimately bring joy to our lives.

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