2018 saw me doing a lot of work, and I mean, A LOT of work. As I have taken the time to reflect on why I went to work for myself and create a life that I want, I decided that something needed to change. I have taken the popular time management analogy of rocks, pebbles and sand to think about how to structure my calendar.
The story is about a professor who brought an empty mayonnaise jar into class, filled it with rocks, and then asked his students if the jar was now “full”. The students replied yes, then he then put some pebbles into the jar and gave the jar a shake, asked the same question, and got the same response. Finally, he took some sand and popped it into the jar. Now the jar was actually full. This story is used to teach time management techniques around the world. Here’s how I have used it to plan for 2019.
I bought a 2019 Year Planner so that I could see the entire year on it. By this stage I know what the rhythm for my family will be. For me next year, I have a daughter in prep and another one completing Year 12. I also make sure I have school holiday dates in (although that is less of an issue for me, as my hubby is a school teacher).
Rocks need to go in first, these are the big things you have coming up,
projects, holidays, conferences, health and wellbeing, time away from
the family to attend events etc.
My big rock is Holidays – surely life should be about holidays!!! I have never been much of a planner for holidays but then I happen to go seven years without one (Whoops!), so I blocked out a three-week period later in the 2019 calendar year first. My next big rock is connection to my friends and family. I am a bit of a nerd, so at the start of each year, I book time in the diary with some friends for the ENTIRE year, so that we know we will see each other (and if we miss one catch up, we know another is coming).
Another big rock for me is work that has already been committed to. Because most of my work happens over the course of 12 months, there are already workshop dates in the diary etc.
· Pebbles are next, those pieces that can fit around the rocks. For you they may be writing blog posts (see how I got that one in there); recording podcasts; or writing your book. They are the things that are not as big as the rocks, but still important.
Finally, there is the sand. These to me are the everyday things that
need to get done, errands that need to be run, that you can probably fit
into the cracks. Etc
If you filled your jar with sand first, you would not have time to do anything else, so you would feel like you have been ‘busy’ but not necessarily moving toward your goals, which is why it is important to focus on the rocks first.
So, have a think about what your rocks, pebbles and sand for 2019 are and get a start on filling your jar accordingly. I would love to hear how you go, please shoot me a message and let me know!