Teaching > HP 442 Professional Practices > Time Management >


Creating a Decision Making Framework for the Week— Covey
Source: Michael Olpin, Associate Professor, Health Promotion & Human Performance, Weber State University, Ogden, UT

Metaphor of the Rocks

Imagine a big jar sitting on a table and to the side of this table is a pile of rocks of varying sizes, including a few cups of sand signifying very small rocks. We want to put the rocks in the jar. If we put the sand in first and then proceed to try to put the bigger rocks in after the sand has filled the jar, we will not have any room for the big rocks.

But if we put the big rocks into the jar first, we can then add the smaller rocks and even the sand.

Quadrant 2 activities are the big rocks. If we don't plan those first (putting first things first) they will not make it into our daily activities because we get so busy doing the less important, but oftentimes urgent things.

When we plan the quadrant 2 activities into our weeks and days, we then find ourselves doing the most important things first. As a result, we enjoy inner peace, our self-esteem goes up and we find ourselves being more productive.

Exercise Integrity in the Moment of Choice

Integrity is the ability to carry out a worthy decision after the moment of making the decision has passed. It is very easy, when we are in the silence of our planning sessions to design our days and weeks according to our conscience and according to the things that we feel are most important.

The real challenge happens when we get to a moment of real decision, a choice point. As we are proceeding through our day according to our plan, someone comes up to us and encourages us to do something that is of far less importance, though it may seem very enticing.

The challenge is to keep the first things first in this moment of choice.

Are we going to sacrifice the best for the good in that moment?

Or will we remain true to our plan and continue focusing on the best.

Goethe said, “Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least.”