There’s a big rock I talk a lot about southeast of my house, 30 miles away. On all but the haziest of mornings she stands tall against the sky. DesertUSA.com says, “The name “Cooke” recalls Lieutenant Colonel Philip St. George Cooke, commander of the Mormon Battalion, which crossed the range in 1846.”1 This morning, as I struggled to calm my busy thoughts, she stood there as a reminder of a bit of wisdom I learned a long time ago.
Planning your time is like putting rocks in a jar. If you put the big ones in first the small ones go in easily around them and you get them all in. Put the little ones in first and the big ones will never fit. A good friend of mine reminded me Monday afternoon about this truth. The truth is, I have a dissertation I’m trying to write, and that’s a really big rock. She encouraged me to put it in my daily jar before other smaller things, and it will get done. I have digital sticky-notes on my computer screen on which to note all the little things so I won’t forget them.
Time management for me is more than just getting through the day and accomplishing everything on my plate in the process. It is about that part of me that steps back and takes a look at myself, and is capable of grabbing myself by the scruff of the neck if necessary and guiding me down wise pathways. It’s part willpower, but not entirely. An essential part is spirit—that part of me that talks to Spirit, and in that dialog the meta-thinking arises and I get a clear glimpse of which rocks really are the big ones, and which pebbles can be handed off to others or left by the side of the path. We listen to that conversation best when we’ve been quiet for a while, which is what I was trying to do this morning. It’s fitting—one rarely sees a big rock being kicked down the street. They tend to stay put, quiet and all-seeing.
Ultimately it’s my own self that is my biggest rock.