by James Clair Lewis

You are probably familiar with the story of the teacher giving a presentation for his class with a large glass jar. He began by filling the jar with large rocks. He asked the class, if it was full, and they said it was. Next he added lots of pebbles to the jar, shaking it a bit, so that they fit themselves between the large rocks. Again, he asked the class if the jar was full, and the class said that it was. Finally, he poured in a lot of sand, again filling the large glass jar.

Then he explained to the class what he was doing. The jar represented your life. The large rocks represented the most important things you will ever do in life. The pebbles represented stuff that you need to do, in order to sustain yourself. The sand represented stuff that might seem important now, but ten years from now, it won't make one bit of difference, whether you did it or not.

He finished his presentation by pointing that that if you begin by filling the jar of your life with sand, that there will never be room to put anything important in your life. How sad that would be!

You don't appear to be doing anything when you meditate. However, the practice will make your mind calm & clear, and help keep your body healthy. That's got to amount to quite a bit over time...

There are many ways of going about doing things. Some will save you a lot of time and effort, so look for those! Always think things out before you do anything. That alone should cut the time you spend doing things in half!

In a complex project, some things need to be done, before others can be started. That is the Order of Operations. Knowing the Order of Operations, will save you from the Curse of Downtime, where everything is brought to a complete halt, because something that is needed, isn't available for use.

Some things can be done at the same time that other things are being done. This is Multi-tasking. Having as many things being done simultaneously as possible, always speeds up production. If you were cooking, and needed to boil some water, would you stand there watching the pot?

The more good reasons you have for doing something, the higher it should be on your List of Priorities. You may also find that taking a single action, will further progress on several different fronts at the same time. This is Multi-layering. When you are organized, you will take fewer steps in the process of getting things done. A solid principle from Taoist philosophy, is to appear to be doing nothing, yet to get everything done.

At the end of your life, if your jar is one third full of big rocks, one third full of pebbles, and one third full of sand, then you've done alright...

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