Sunday, February 26, 2012

Are you an unclear reactor?

No, that was not a spelling mistake or typo, I did not mean to write 'nuclear reactor' - I meant to write UNclear reactor. What do I mean? Well, the word reactor is defined as "a person or thing that reacts or
undergoes reaction", another definition simply describes a reactor as "one that reacts to a stimulus". Our daily lives are full of all kinds of stimulus, some good, some bad, some fun, some boring, some
exciting, some mediocre - and we all react to these various stimuli in different ways. These reactions manifest themselves in a multiplicity of actions that we carry out on a daily basis that end up defining
what we do with the limited amount of time we have each day. The manner in which we react and order our reactions to these daily demands is what determines the kind of reactor we are. Whether we are efficient and effective or whether we are muddled up, messy and unclear.

How then, do we go about achieving greater efficiency and effectiveness in our busy lives? How do we sift through the numerous demands placed on us for our time and attention and prioritise? How do
we ensure that the critical essentials are taken care of? This is where the big rock approach towards time management comes in. Let me explain.

Take a wide necked container, it could be a small bucket, pail, or jug. Now fill it up with sand. Once it is full, find some large rocks and put them in there. There isn't any space left to accommodate them
is there?

Now, lets try a slightly different approach. Let us put the large rocks into the empty container. Now let's find some pebbles and try putting some of these in there.  They roll right in and fill up the available space. Now take the sand and pour it into the container, it slips and slides into the cracks and with a few shakes you can actually get quite a bit of sand in there. Now take a pitcher of water and start slowly pouring it water into the container. Again, it goes right in and finds space to be absorbed in between the rocks, pebbles and sand.

Think of the container as your normal day and the amount of time you have between when you wake up and when you go to bed. You can fill up your day with meaningless little tasks, leaving no room for the big importaint things, or you can do the big important things first, and then attend to the smaller things, and finally fill in the spare moments with the not so important and trivial things.

Question is, what are your big rocks? What are those things that are critical and important to your life and need to have time allocated on a daily basis in order to ensure that you are effective and efficient?
As an example, here are mine:
  1. God: time to pray, read the scriptures and meditate
  2. Family: time for us to talk, share, work and play together with my wife and kids
  3. Personal development: time for me to do physical exercise, read and learn
  4. Projects: time for me to engage in things that I enjoy, these include golf, photography and volunteering time on activities that help others
  5. Work: this should be fairly clear :)

Let's get one thing straight I am still a somewhat uncler reactor, and I still have a long way to go before I can really say that I ameffective and efficient - but I'm getting there, I hope you do too!

1 comment:

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