“ If working
and faster won’t
solve it, what
If you were to pause and
think seriously the “first
things” in your life----
the three or four things
that matter most---
what would they be?
Are these things
receiving the care,
emphasis, and time
you really want to
1. Break the group by department.
2. Read the selection “The Big Rocks of Time”.
3. Have the group discuss what they have read.
4. After reading, work alone. Get a piece of
paper and divide it into two columns: LIFE
5. List down the most important priorities in
the respective column. If priority spans both
columns, draw a line into the next column to
show the priority is both a life and work
Will the items that span both list be the easier
ones to accomplish?
How will you handle the items that might
contradict each other? For example spend
more time with family vs. Work harder to get
Which column(s) contains the most items and
most important items? Why?
What must you do to ensure these big priorities
“ In THE BIG ROCKS OF TIME, Stephen R. Covey
uses jars as a metaphor for the amount of
time we have and rocks for the tasks that
must be prioritized ( the bigger the rock, the
more important it is). And just as a jar can
only hold so many rocks, we only have so
much time in a day to get the right things
done, thus it is important that we decide
which tasks are the big ones ( the most
important) to ensure they fit within our
THE BIG ROCKS OF TIME
Why is it that so often our first things
first aren’t first? For years we’ve been given
methods, techniques, tools, and information
on how to manage and control our time.
We’ve been told that if we keep working
harder, learn to do things better and faster,
use some new device or tool, or file or
organize in a particular way, then we’ll be
able to do it all. So we buy the new planner,
go to new class, read new book. We learn it,
apply it, try harder, and what happens? For
most of the people we meet,
1. I need more time!
2. I want to enjoy my life more. I’m always
running around. I never have time to myself.
3. My friends and family want more time of me–
but how do I give it to them?
4. I’m always in crisis because I procrastinate, but
I procrastinate because I’m always in crisis.
5. I have no balance between my personal life
and work. It seems like when I take time from
one for the other, it just makes matters worse.
6. There’s too much stress!
7. There’s too much to do---and it’s all good. How
do I choose?
“My life is hectic. I’m running all
day--- meetings, phone calls, paper
works, appointments. I push myself
to the limit, fall into bed exhausted,
and get up early the next morning to
do it all again. My output is
tremendous; I’m getting a lot done.
But I get this feeling inside
sometimes, “So what? What are you
doing that really counts? “ I have to
admit , “ I don’t know.”
Understanding these underlying
paradigms of time management is
vitally important because our paradigms
are the maps of our minds and hearts
out of which our attitudes and
behaviours and the results in our lives
grow. It creates a “see/do/get” cycle.
If we want to create a significant
change in the results, we can’t just
change the attitudes and behaviors ,
methods or techniques; we have to
change the basic paradigms out of which
they grow. When we try to change the
behavior or the method without changing
the paradigm , the paradigm eventually
overpowers the change.
N S A Behavior/Attitudes
1. I seem to do my best work when I am under pressure.
2. I often blame the rush and press of external things for my failure to spend deep,
introspective time for myself.
3. I am often frustrated by the slowness of people and things around me. I hate to wait or
stand in line.
4. I feel guilty when I take time off work.
5. I always seem to be rushing between places and events.
6. I frequently find myself pushing people away so that I can finish a project.
7. I feel anxious when I am out of touch wuith the office for more than a few minutes.
8. I am often preoccupied with one thing when I am doing something else.
9. I am at my best when I am handling a crisis situation.
10. The adrenaline rush from a new crisis seems more satisfying to me than the steady
accomplishment of a long-term result.
Directions: Encircle the number along the matrix that most closely represents your
normal behaviors or attitudes regarding the statements below. ( 0= Never, 2=
Sometimes, 4= Always).
11. I often give up quality time with important people inmy life to handle a crisis.
12. I assume people will naturally understand if I have to disappoint them or let
things go in order to handle a crisis.
13. I rely on solving some crisis to give my day a sense of meaning and purpose.
14. I often eat lunch or other meals while I work.
15. I keep thinking that someday I’ll be able to do what really want to do.
16. A huge stack in my “out” basket at the end of the day makes me feel like I’ve
really been productive.
0-25 = Low urgency mind-set
26-45 = Strong urgency mind-set
46+ = Urgency addiction
Now we know that real life is
not as neat and tight and logical
as the four quadrants would
suggest. There is continuum
within and between each
quadrant. There’s some
overlapping. The categories are a
matter of degree as well as kind.
Putting FIRST THINGS FIRST is
an issue at the very heart of the life.
Almost all of us feel torn by the
things we want to do, by the
demands placed on us, by the many
responsibilities we have. We all feel
challenged by the day-to-day and
moment-by-moment decisions we
must make regarding the best use of
Decisions are easier when it’s a
question of “good” or “bad”. We can
easily see how some ways we could
spend our time are wasteful, mind-
numbling, even destructive. But for
most of us, the issue is not between
the “good” and the “bad” , but
between the “good” and the “best”.
So often, the enemy of the BEST is