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Do You Know Which of Your Rocks are the Big Ones?

May 6, 2011

At the AD/HD Coaches Organization conference this past weekend, there were several mentions of the “Rocks in the Jar” analogy.  If you are not familiar with this analogy click here to read through it.  It is a popular analogy in both the AD/HD and Coaching worlds where priorities, goal setting and taking on what matters most are key areas of focus.  As I sat through one of the sessions, doodling on my notepad to keep my mind focused, I found myself thinking that while most people have likely heard the story, how many people know which of the rocks in their lives are the big ones?  And more importantly, how many people really put the big rocks in their jar first?

One of the most devastating parts of my AD/HD journey was the day I realized that while I would tell you without hesitation that my children were my highest priority, the distracted decisions I was making everyday didn’t always support that.  It wasn’t that I would have been lying to you or even lying to myself, it was that when you live 4 seconds at a time, it can be difficult to see the long term consequences or impacts of individual decisions.  Don’t get me wrong, I was always a good Mom to my kids.  I just couldn’t always distinguish a big rock from a blinking rock or a noisy rock or a rock that was shiny and new. Whether you struggle with AD/HD or not, there are steps you can take to make sure you know which rocks are the big ones and that you are putting them in the jar first.

  1. Make a list of those things you consider your big rocks.
  2. For each of your big rocks, make a list of everything you have done in the past 24 hours that has to do with that rock.  For example, if you list your children as one of your big rocks, you would list things like make breakfast, went for a bike ride, hugged them, drove them to soccer, etc.
  3. For each of those items listed, estimate the time you spent completing or participating in it.
  4. Now look at how you spent the rest of the day.  You can be as detailed as you like or just develop a general sense of how you spent the rest of your time.
  5. Is the balance of time acceptable to you?

If you cannot figure out which rocks are big and which are small, if you cannot identify where you spent your time, or if you don’t feel good about the balance of where you are spending your time, it might be a sign that your priorities are askew and some soul searching may be in order.

For a free consultation on how I can help with goal setting, prioritizing or soul searching, call today or email me.

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