How To Prioritise – Using A Jar [Yes, It Really Helps!]


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Today I wanted to tell you a story – it is one of those stories that has stayed with me for years, and has a great lesson to learn that will help you get your priorities in order and understand how you can use your time to get where you want to get in life. I hope you enjoy, and I’d love to know what you think so please let me know in the comments at the end!

How full is your jar? Are you getting your priorities right or filling your time with what doesn't matter? This is a story that may well help...

The Jar story….

There was a teacher in a classroom.

She had a jar and it was filled with large pebbles. She asked her class if the jar was full – they agreed it was.

She then took out from under the desk a bowl of small stones and proceeded to add these to the jar. Giving it a little wiggle the smaller stones dropped into the spaces between the larger pebbles – again she asked her class if the jar was now full – they said yes.

Again she reached under the desk and produce a bowl of sand. This too was added to the jar and the sand fell into the gaps available – the children now were sure the jar was full.

Lastly, water was poured into the jar and the class sat back – realising that only now was the jar completely full.

The teacher used this visual lesson to help her class understand time management and priorities.

The large pebbles represented the important things in life – family, friends, health, goals etc…

The smaller stones were the things that mattered but were not totally important.

The sand was the little things that can fill our days, and the water represented the trivial things that can take up far too much time and really aren’t important at all.

If you take the jar to be the amount of time you have, then you will want to fill the jar with the important things first. Everything else can fit around it, but you prioritise that which will give you a full life before anything else.

If you filled the jar with the unnecessary first (water,sand etc..) then there would simply be no room for the important things – and this is what a lot of us tend to do with our time without even realising it.

Here’s a lovely video I found on you tube that shows the scenario really well:-

It’s a great image that I think is very motivating to get your priorities straight once and for all, and empowers you to be able to say NO to the things that are currently filling your time that don’t really matter.

After all – if you say yes to things that don’t matter, you are saying no to things that do – and you won’t thank yourself in the long run.

How To Prioritise - Using A Jar [Yes, It Really Helps!] - 508. how full is your jar

So – next time you are looking at how to spend your time, think of that jar.

Are you prioritising the things that matter (the big stuff), or filling your time with things that keep you busy but little else?

How full is your jar? Is it filled in the right way? Maybe today it’s time to change that and get your priorities back in order…..

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