What are your Big Rocks for 2014?
lots of tales as to who created the Big Rock Theory of Time Management (or BRTOTM
for short!!) and I have mentioned it in previous Inspires but not written a
whole edition on the topic.
The story I heard about the origins of the Big Rock Theory
of Time Management is that there was a Harvard professor who was fed up with
his MBA students complaining that they never had time to do all the reading
they were given. He got a glass container, put in some big rocks up to the top
and asked them if there was room for any more. They, of course, said, ‘No’.
Then he put in smaller stones, which fitted around the big rocks and he asked
if there was room for more. They still said, ‘No’ (they may be Harvard MBAs but
not necessarily very bright :-)).
He then put in sand and later water. The big rocks are the things which are
really important to us both in and out of work. It is often said that our
emails are like the sand, if we put them in first, i.e. deal with them first
thing in the morning we can’t fit in the other things.
There are loads of YouTube videos demonstrating this – see here for one of them.
Usually the Big
Rock Theory of Time Management is about managing your time on a daily or weekly
basis but I think you can adapt it or use it in different ways. It is useful at
the start of the year to not only create a list of ‘things to do’ or ‘things to
achieve’ but to start thinking about your Big Dreams for your life. This might
- The work or job you really want to be doing – but perhaps
you think you are too old, not qualified enough, not rich enough to have – all
of these are things that coaching clients have said to me as reasons why they
can’t pursue their dream job.
- The holiday or travelling that you keep putting off because
you don’t have the time, money, etc.
- Learning something new – is there a musical instrument,
something artistic or outdoors-y, which you keep on putting off learning or
- The relationship that you keep on thinking will never happen
or you think you don’t have time for, or are not attractive enough, but deep
down you want it.
- The four day week or early retirement that you have been
promising yourself for years but somehow work, family commitments keep on
getting in the way.
challenges might you face in 2014 that you need to bear in mind when looking ahead?
- A couple of my clients have planned operations coming up,
where rest and recuperation needs to be booked in, which will impact on their
work and family life.
- After a few years in famine mode with my business, I am now
in the situation of ‘managing abundance’, which is great but it needs to be
managed and those activities that support me need to become Big Rocks so that
they still happen and help me to manage abundance.
- Perhaps there is a particular relationship in or out of work
that you have decided to challenge and change into a more productive or
constructive one. Click here for more information about The 66 Day Challenge which is a new online programme
starting on 10th January to support you in doing this.
- Is there a change on the horizon which might throw up
challenges: retirement, organisational change, children going off to university
or leaving home for the first time, aging parents, new babies?
What Big Rock Goals do you want to achieve in 2014? When
thinking about your Big Rocks you might want to think about the following:
- What are your top priorities?
- Work: what do you want to achieve or focus on? What targets
or goals do you need to hit? Are there new areas of work you want to move into?
Are there key relationships with colleagues, clients or suppliers which need
nurturing and improving? Click here for more information about The 66 Day Challenge.
- Family and friends: are there key relationships you want to
foster or that need attending to? Are there key people you want to meet up with
this year? Is there a significant birthday or anniversary coming up in your
family or with friends?
- Home: are there key jobs around the house or new ventures
which need to be planned out and booked in?
- Fun: which might be covered by some of the above but what do
you, as an individual or with your partner or friends, do that is fun for you
on a weekly or monthly basis? What fun things can you do with your family?
- What activities support you that you need to put in your
plans on a daily or weekly basis? This might be exercise, meditation, writing
in your journal, some quiet time on your own to think and ponder, spending fun
times with your family and friends, getting a walk at lunchtime.
Once you have decided on your
Big Rocks for 2014, which might include your Big Rock dreams, challenges, goals
and supports, then break them down month by month, then week by week, and even
what needs to be done on a daily basis.
- Prioritise prioritising – as David Rock says in his book, ‘Your
Brain At Work’, put in time in your diary so that you can work out what your
key priorities are and make sure you plan out your week accordingly.
- Book time in the diary now - for holidays, long weekends off
and, if possible, book well ahead, so there is less chance of them becoming
- Under promise and over deliver – this is an expression that
we often use in relationship to delivering services to clients. So, for example,
if I do a free coaching audit with a prospective client on Monday, I would look
at my diary and say, I’ll get it to them by the end of Wednesday, even if I
know there is a good chance I will get it done earlier. Then I usually deliver
earlier than that but, if something unexpected comes up, I know I have leeway. Perhaps
we need to do it for ourselves. If you find yourself continuously planning your
day or week and never achieving what you set out to achieve, perhaps under
promise to yourself what you will get done and you might be rewarded with some
spare time to complete other things. For more about my free Coaching Audits
When I was growing up there was a
drama series on TV called, ‘The Tales Of The Unexpected’, which we used to
watch as a family and which, quite frankly, used to scare the heebie-jeebies
out of me! But life can be like that as well, as none of us really know what
the year ahead might bring. There may be unexpected opportunities which take
you off on new exciting directions, unexpected joys in store for you, but there
might also be unexpected challenges ahead. Of course, you can’t plan for them
but what you can do is build up your resilience, your emotional intelligence to
be able to rise to those challenges or seize those opportunities when they come
along. My Free webinar on 10th January will give you ideas as to how to do this
– see below.
If, once you
have set your goals, you find yourself:
join in my FREE ‘Your Goals For 2014: Enjoy the journey and the destination’ webinar
on Friday 10 January, 3 – 4pm GMT. You will learn about how to manage your mind
and mood in order to achieve your goals. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
to book your free space.
- Setting off with great enthusiasm towards your goals and
then falling at the first hurdle
- Being at the mercy of your moods when it comes to your
productivity and finding you don’t complete your daily or weekly to do lists
- Ending the week, month or year feeling like you have not
- Delaying any sense of satisfaction or success until all your
goals are achieved