TM Article 4
Big Rock Planning
has been my observation that most people get
ahead during the time that others waste time.
We all want to
accomplish great things with our lives.
That is why as each year draws to a close, many
of us gear up for the New Year with myriad
resolutions swirling through our cerebral
synapses. It is
part of our entrenched cycle of renewal.
But this practice of setting New Year
Resolutions can backfire on us.
You see, many people start off early in life
making these resolutions with a great deal of
enthusiasm every January 1st.
form the easy-to-remember acrostic
PAIN, cause us to
dump most of our resolutions in our always-full
wastepaper basket of shipwrecked dreams.
Every time that happens, we die a little bit
inside because - surprise, surprise! - we've
broken yet another promise to ourselves.
So, and be honest now, do you truly want the
next set of New Year resolutions you make to be
Well, then I
suggest you make a pact with yourself to make
very, very, very few promises to yourself.
Then make it a
point of honour with yourself to keep those
few... at all costs.
How can you
accomplish such a monumental task?
waiting for January 1st to roll around again, I
urge you to begin exploring areas of possible
self-improvement by doing one thing
If you do this,
you will gradually ease yourself out of some
long fossilised comfort zones you carved out for
yourself over the decades.
As you begin to
proactively move outside these realms of comfort
that have served to keep you limited in some
form or fashion, your personal effectiveness -
as a person, a parent, a worker, a boss, an
employee, or anything else - will shoot upward
at the speed of light.
Before you embark
upon this radical course of action, I suggest
you learn and then implement this two-pronged
your tendency to want to clear away small things
first before you begin on big things.
2. Do the exact
opposite and force yourself to clear big things
before starting on small ones.
Frankly, the best
way to determine if something is a big or small
thing in your life is to identify direct
there are no consequences to taking a nap you
don't need or watching that fourth sitcom of the
But there are
megalithic consequences to going for a romantic
dinner with your spouse or finishing that vital
project at work.
The great Leonardo Da Vinci observed, "God sells
us all things at the price of labour."
don't believe that literally. After all, as each
Christmas approaches, and as carols begin to
fill the air and our shopping malls, we are
constantly reminded of the free gift of love
gave us a long time ago in a humble stable in
Leonardo's observation contains a jewel of
To accomplish anything of real worth, we must be
willing to do the work.
But work for
work's sake, meaning busy-ness and endless
activity, is pointless.
There has to be a
point to all this
activity. There must be a
method to our madness.
Sadly, that point
is never stumbled upon by accident. It can only
be recognised and realised when we make the
difficult, disciplined proactive choice to ONLY
work on those things that are of true value to
Every one of us is
constantly bombarded by an endless flow of
little nuisances that fill our working hours
just as gravel and sand rapidly fill a big glass
As we deal with these tiny irritants, we keep
putting off working on important activities that
can be likened to big, chunky rocks.
Several leaders in personal effectiveness, most
notably Stephen Covey, have talked about the
need to put the big rocks into the big glass
'jars' of our work days or work weeks.
Once we do that,
there will still then be space to pour in some
less important gravel and sand through the gaps,
But if we do it in reverse and keep the big,
important rocks outside first, undone, as we
deal with the gravel and sand, we will find that
there is not enough space to fit everything in.
Our days are the same.
If we're not
super-careful, all we'll do is fill our
lives with insipid, pointless acts that add up
good news is we don't really need for January
1st to roll around again before we put in place
a well-considered strategy to inject new life
into... our lives by focusing on the big rocks.
Only you can
determine what the true big rocks of your life
Once you do so,
then begin scheduling your days, weeks and
months ahead with big and important activities
Then use whatever
time is left over to finish whatever is
necessary among the
You can never do it all, anyway. And
since, like me, you are a master procrastinator,
there is a sensible way to turn that tendency to
Brian Tracy talks
about the need to procrastinate intelligently,
meaning to consciously choose to delay starting
work on the small, niggling tasks that have no,
or at least low, future consequences on our
So, I urge you to
make it an immediate resolution to identify the
things that are important in your life and
immediately schedule time to work on them every
single day in the coming month.
Try it. You'll be
amazed at how much you accomplish in the next 30
(For a lot more practical help on
managing your time better, read my ebook
7 Ways To Make Time For MY Dreams.)