A New Way to Organize Your “Rocks”
I’m sure we’ve all heard the “big rocks” analogy – it’s a time-management classic. If you need a refresher, check out this odd but kind of amusing video that explains the concept.
I was working through my copy of Cultivate Your Creativity, the wonderful e-workbook Jessika gave us the inside scoop on, and came to a page that reminded me of the rocks analogy, but with a different take. This time it’s about ensuring your small rocks are somehow going to get you to your big rocks.
This particular page of the workbook has an illustration of various sized rocks on the page, along with a prompt to fill in the small steps you’re taking towards the big things you want to achieve. I immediately printed it out, because I love the idea of celebrating small successes on this road we’re all on.
I mean, it’s about the journey as well as the end achievements, right?
Ok, I’ll admit- I never really believed that until this worksheet came along and flipped the switch for me. I mean, come on – achievements are the whole point right? Right?
So I got to writing some of my various accomplishments, as well as some of the things I’m hoping to have happen soon (like attending the 2012 Alt Design Summit). I put them in the different pebbles based on how big they feel to me. It was amazing to write these things down, but even more amazing when I filled in some of the biggest pebbles with some of my goals, then started connecting the small pebbles to the big ones to visualize how the steps I’m taking are building to my goals.
Suddenly, all these small pebbles felt more meaningful. And it became more clear than ever what other small pebbles I’ve been missing – the other small steps I need to be taking to get where I want to go.
So this time, I actually started with the small rocks. I know this is a different scale and different concept than the original analogy, but I think I maybe had missed it before because I was so focused on the big rocks. I wasn’t recognizing the importance of the smaller pieces and I wasn’t making the explicit connections between the small pieces, and from the small pieces to the big. I have a plan, yes. I am deliberate about what I do with my time, certainly.
But something was still missing until I drew it all out across a page of pebbles and freed myself from the normal constraints of planning. Suddenly the plan connected to the free-ness of the creative work itself.
And now I’m more excited than ever about these small steps. The journey.
Zoe Rooney is a multi-faceted designer who creates everything from training for new teachers (during the day) to websites, organizational tools, and hand-embroidered paper goods (often late at night). She is a relatively new blogger and enthusiastic pinner. Connect with her through her website A Quick Study or @aquickstudy on Twitter.
Thank you so so much Zoe for this amazingly helpful post. Your organizational tips arrive at a perfect time now that I’m attempting to squeeze in some wedding planning bonanza with my day to day world dominations schemes LOL. Now, I just wanted to peek in for one little sec’ to announce the winner of Jessika’s so so so lovely + colorful Cultivate Your Creativity book. Are you ready? The lucky winner is: Kristal Norton YAYYYY!