The concept is simple: You have a jar, and you need to fill it with rocks of different sizes. The most logical way to make sure they all fit is to first place the big rocks in the jar, and gradually follow with smaller rocks, until you top off the jar with the pebbles and gravel.
Big rocks first.
This well-known illustration describes how we should prioritize our life’s obligations — take the time to make sure the “big rocks” are where they need to be, and everything else that needs to fit will fall into place.
Habit #3 of our current Book Club selection, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families, deals a bit with the concept of “big rocks first.” Like in our recent discussion of understanding the difference of the urgent and the important, focusing on the big rocks forces us to allot the right amount of time to the things that really matter, and to let those lesser matters wait their turn.