Time Management Principles

Manage the Way You Use Your Time

The way you manage your time will determine how well you succeed in life and in business. Use these time-tested PRINCIPLES to manage the way you use your time.

Do you remember the story of the university professor, who placed an empty jar on the lectern in front of the lecture hall? He then proceeded to carefully place large stones in the jar until it was full.

He then asked the class, if they thought the jar was full. They all agreed that it was. He then took a container filled with smaller stones and poured those into the jar. The smaller stones filled the gaps between the larger ones.

Once again he asked the class if the jar was full. Not sure they said. He then took out a jar filled with sand and poured it into the jar. This time all the gaps were filled in, so the class agreed that the jar must be full. The professor then took another jar filled with water and poured that into the jar, as well.

What can we learn from this demonstration?

The point of this demonstration was to show the class of students that, if you did not place the large rocks into the jar first, followed by the smaller stones, sand and then finally the water, you would never be able to fit everything into the jar at all.

How does this apply to time management

This is a fantastic analogy, which clearly demonstrates why so many people just spin their wheels every day and still achieve very little. They have no plan for their day, so they just randomly allow things to pop up during their day, so they run out of space in their jar.

They fill their day with a random mix of large stones (Goal Specific Tasks), smaller stones (Priority tasks), sand (Important tasks) and water (their to-do list). This means that they randomly fill their jar, every day and so they never manage to use their jar to its fullest potential.

Their jar just randomly fills up, with a random mix of tasks, and so they can’t fit everything into their jar each day. They are left with a mix of Large stones (goal specific Tasks), smaller stones (Priority Tasks), sand (Important tasks) and water (their to-do list) at the end of each day.

Action idea: The way to get everything you need done every day, is to invest time to firstly discover what your own large stones (Goal specific activities), smaller stones (Priority tasks), sand (important tasks), water (your to do list), are.

The 3 Principles of Better Time Management

Once you have discovered what they are, the next step is to design your day, ensuring that you get things done in the right order, every day, so that you can fit everything you need to do daily into your day.

PRINCIPLE 1: Discipline is crucial to your success

The way you choose to design your life and the daily discipline you show will determine how your life will turn out in the future.

PRINCIPLE 2: Start to take care of the minutes

As Benjamin Franklin said, “If we take care of the minutes, the years will take care of themselves.” The way to make your time work for you the best: is to ensure that you schedule and carry out the most important tasks first thing every day, followed by a descending order of tasks, based on their importance to you.

PRINCIPLE 3: Remember that whatever gets scheduled gets done

Build a schedule daily to support you to complete your daily tasks, in order of descending importance and not only will you get to achieve your goals, but you will actually manage to fit far more into your jar, every day.


  • Andrew Horton

    Andrew Horton is one of the most sought after Motivational Speakers and Motivational Sales Speakers in South Africa. He is a successful entrepreneur, Master Sales Trainer, Global Traveller and Author, who has chosen to focus his energy on inspiring sales and business professionals, supporting them to realize their full potential and become peak performers.

    http://www.andrewhorton.co.za andrew@andrewhorton.co.za Horton Andrew