Prioritizing to Fulfill Goals


Amidst all the hustle and bustle of everyday life, the demands and expectations, the mounting to-do lists and deadlines to beat, sometimes you just have to stop.

Stop and think of everything it is you are doing and ask yourself, “Is this of value to me? Will this specific task I am so badly investing time and effort on actually helping me reach my goals?”

There is a tendency for many of us to be like sponges, simply absorbing everything we can without really thinking of whether they will create value for us.

We get stuck in the complexity of it all only to realize that we could have had it simple. How? The key is proper time management.

To effectively manage one’s time, it is important to first set goals for one’s self.

According to Brian Tracy, known motivational speaker and author, there are 3 categories of goals:

1)     Personal and family goals
2)     Business and career goals
3)     Personal development goals

And in each of these categories, there are three questions to ask one’s self:

1)     What is most important to me?
2)     What will bring me genuine happiness and what are the things I do to attain this?
3)     What is the most valuable use of my time, and what activities must I invest in to reap the most reward?

From here on, we can arrive at our priorities. And whenever we get stuck doing too much being like a sponge, we learn how to move around our priorities so that we are doing what is most important and what will give us the highest form of satisfaction.

Let’s take a look at what they call the “Pickle Jar Theory”

According to this theory, the use of one’s time can be attributed to the filling of a Pickle Jar, summarized in 5 steps below:

Step 1: Take a pickle jar
Step 2: Fill it with large rocks until it’s full
Step 3: Fill it with pebbles—as much pebbles as you can
Step 4: Fill it with sand—as much sand as you can
Step 5: Fill it with water—as much water as you can

“Each of us has many large priorities in our life, represented by the large rocks. We also have things which we enjoy doing, such as the pebbles. We have other things we have to do, like the sand. And finally, we have things that simply clutter up our lives and get in everywhere: water. This is the essence of the Pickle Jar Theory. By first ensuring that your large priorities are tackled, scheduled, and done for the day, you can then let the smaller but less important things in until you have somehow allowed time in your day for everything you needed to do, while still relaxing and having fun.” (Wright, Jeremy. “Time Management: The Pickle Jar Theory.” Project Management. A List Apart, 20 June 2002. Web.)

There are many things that one can tackle and get into in the scheme of all things possible but as Laura Vanderkam said, “If it has to happen, then it has to happen first.” Proper time management and a whole lot of prioritizing must be done in order to create the most value and in turn, pave the way for achieving the goals set for one’s self.


Article written by the Brew Your Best Year Editor

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