Small Steps: Sort Your Rocks
- Wednesday, 16 March 2011
Have you ever seen that object lesson about time management where someone tries to add a bunch of sand, rocks and water to a jar? First they show how if you fill it with water first, there's no room for the rocks or sand. Fill it with sand and you can add a little water without overflowing. But fill it first with the rocks, then you can add sand and it filters into the little crevices, then you can even pour in water on top of that. The lesson is that if you make room in your life for the most important things, you'll be able to find space for the less important, but still enjoyable things. Whereas, if we forget to make room for the important things, sometimes we run out of room (or time) and they get missed.
So, as one of my small steps toward simplicity I'm aiming to do the important things first in my day. Before I check my email, or read a book, or do "fun" cooking (experimental stuff that's fun for me and isn't just filling hungry, noisy mouths), or play outside, or anything non-essential (that even includes cleaning!!), I'm going to sit down and immerse myself in the scriptures for a bit. Right now in my life, that's my most essential thing, the thing that helps me feel centered and helps the rest of my day run more smoothly. I find that if I wait to do that, it often doesn't get done in the avalanche of other things demanding my attention. But, these last few days as I've made a point to do that first, before I tackle the breakfast dishes, or sit down at the computer, or even before I read Sam a book, that the rest of the day is so much better, and it doesn't take away from my time either. It's almost as if it expands the amount of time available to me somehow. I find that I'm more productive on the days that start out right.
And just so we're clear, it's not actually the first thing I do in the morning, but rather the first thing I choose to do. This means that because I'm woken up by Viv first thing, she requires a bit of attention, then I throw on some clothes and head into the kitchen where Clay and Sam are usually having oatmeal and I get something to eat. This is a busy, but enjoyable time of day, and not the time to squeeze in a bit of reading. At nine, Viv goes down for a nap and that is usually the first time of the day that I have a moment to pause and think, "Okay, what am I going to do now?" And that's the time I pick up the good book, instead of the myriad other things I could do. Sam and I went out to the garden yesterday and gathered up some...