With the distractions of day to day life, I frequently find myself veering off course. Between my kids, chores, this blog, facebook, pinterest, and what feels like a million other activities, it’s not uncommon for me to end my day with a lot of things left undone.
I’m busy, that’s for sure, but if I’m being honest with myself I’d have to admit that I really waste a lot of time on frivolous activities. I may start the day checking my e-mail or facebook and before I know if I’ve lost hours to the black hole of the internet.
I have a lot of goals and dreams for my life and this blog, and few of them are really being met. I finally realized that if I’m going to achieve my goals I need to start eliminating distractions to create a purposeful life. I need think carefully about how I’m filling the time jar.
If that last sentence confused you, here’s a quick little story…
A professor stood in front of his class one day with large glass jar. He put large rocks into the container until the rocks reached the top and asked his students if the jar was full. They said, “Yes.” He then took a container of pebbles and poured them into the jar. They fell in the spaces between the large rocks, and the professor asked if the jar was full. His student said, “Yes.” He then took a container of sand, and poured the sand into the jar. The sand filled the spaces between the large rocks and pebbles, and he again asked if the jar was full. His students said, “Yes!” certain that nothing else could be added to the jar. Finally, the professor took a cup of water and poured it into the jar. The water slid between the large rock, pebbles, and sand, and the jar was full. The professor then explained that had he poured the pebbles, sand, or water into the jar first, he never would’ve been able to fit in the large rocks.
Unfortunately, this is how I’ve been spending my life and organizing my time. I’ve been filling my jar, my time, with water (facebook, pinterest, silly reality shows and insignificant things), and I end up with little or no time for the big rocks, the stuff that matters.
As much as I’ve tried to live by my priorities, I’ve realized that I really need to write them down. Seeing them in front of me helps me stay focused, remember what’s important, and ultimately create the life I really want to lead.
I’ve made a printable to help myself visualize my priorities, and I’m sharing it with you today in hopes that it will help you do the same. (Click here to get your copy.) Some may be tempted to simply type up a list of things to focus on, but I truly believe that writing these priorities out by hand is a powerful experience. When we type, each key feels the same. There’s really no distinction between the letters other than their placement on the keyboard. However, when we write, we feel each letter as we make it, and, for me anyway, that makes the words more powerful and better commits what I’m writing to memory.
Before we get started, I think it’s essential to have great tools. You don’t want to be distracted from this exercise by a pen that won’t work or a scrap piece of paper you’re destined to lose the minute you put it down.
I used my uni-ball AIR and uni-ball 307 Gel Pens from Office Depot because they are extremely smooth and easy to write with. The 307 can write on glossy paper with smearing or skipping, and the AIR can write at any angle. That’s huge in this house where I’m frequently holding paper high against the wall in an attempt to keep it from one of my kiddos. Both the AIR and 307 also protect against water, fading, and fraud so we can display our jars and priorities without worrying about them.
The first thing I asked myself when filling out my printable was, “What are my big rocks?” What are the things that are the most important to me? These are the things that will make or break my life. For me, those are family, faith, and eating well and making healthy choices.
I then figured out my small rocks, sand, and water activities. My “water” activities are the things that aren’t important at all. Honestly, my life would probably be better without some of them (tv!), but I won’t completely give them up. We need some down time to relax and enjoy ourselves, but I’m going to do my best to not let them eat up the time that should be spent on more important things.
Just as I think writing things down can help commit them to memory, I also think it’s important to keep our priorities prominently displayed to keep them in the forefront of our minds. I’m taping mine to my bathroom mirror. It’s a private space where I can see it every day so I can stay on track.
I’d love to know what are your rocks, sand, and water? What important things do you write down so you’re sure to remember them? Please share in the comments below!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Uni Ball. The opinions and text are all mine.