A lecturer at a university is giving a pre-exam lecture on time
management. On his desk is a bag of sand, a bag of pebbles, some big
rocks and bucket. He asks for a volunteer to put all three grades of
stone into the bucket, and a keen student duly steps up to carry out the
task, starting with the sand, then the pebbles, then the rocks, which
do not all fit in the bucket.
“This is an analogy of poor time management,” trills the lecturer,
“If you’d have put the rocks in first, then the pebbles, then the sand,
all three would have fit. This is much like time management, in that by
completing your biggest tasks first, you leave room to complete your
medium tasks, then your smaller ones. By completing your smallest tasks
first you spend so much time on them you leave yourself unable to
complete either medium of large tasks satisfactorily. Let me show you..”
And the lecturer re-fills the bucket, big rocks first, then pebbles,
then sand, shaking the bucket between each so that everything fits.
Moral: Plan time-slots for your big issues before
anything else, or the inevitable sand and water issues will fill up your
days and you won’t fit the big issues in.