Priority is the New Productivity

30 minutes · 2018

Listen to the full episode here::

I heard this story from Steven Covey in his book First Things First .One day, a teacher was speaking to a group of high-achieving students. The teacher was trying to drive a point home using an illustration that the students would never forget. (I don’t think you’ll forget it, either!) The teacher pulled out a one-gallon wide-mouth glass jar and set it on the table in front of him, and carefully filled it with fist-sized rocks until it couldn’t possibly hold another.

The teacher asked his students if the jar was full, and they all said, “Yes!” The teacher then reached under the table and pulled out a jar of gravel. He poured it into the first jar, shaking it to let the gravel sift down among the fist-sized rocks. With a smile, he asked the students again, “Is the jar full?” The class was onto him by now, and the response was, “Probably not.” This time, the teacher brought out a bucket of ocean sand, and dumped the sand into the jar of rocks and gravel, filling all the small spaces.

He asked his class again if the jar was full, and the students shouted, “No!” They were right. The teacher grabbed a pitcher of water, and poured into into the jar until it was full to the brim with rocks, gravel, sand, and water. Finally, the jar was actually full.

Are you wondering what the point is? One student piped up with his opinion, claiming that the point is that no matter how full your schedule is, you can always fit more in. The teacher pointed out that this wasn’t actually correct. The point is that if you don’t put in the big rocks first, you’ll never get them in at all. The key is knowing how to prioritize what goes into the jars of your time. Priority is the new productivity.

Tune into this episode to learn the difference between efficiency and effectiveness, the definition of productivity, how you can figure out what your big rocks are, why you need to focus on what’s important instead of what’s urgent, how Steven Covey’s time management grid of quadrants can help you live more effectively, and more!


In This Episode:

[03:09] - Alex introduces the three key insights that he’s going to cover in today’s episode of the podcast.

[04:28] - We hear a story that Alex read in the book First Things Firstby Stephen Covey .

[07:05] - Alex gets to the end of his story, and begins to explore the point taught by the powerful example.

[08:09] - We learn about the difference between efficiency and effectiveness, as well as what productivity is.

[10:34] - The goal here, Alex explains, is to find your big rocks, your gravel, your sand, and your water.

[12:15] - Alex works on three projects at a time. He talks about how this functions for him.

[13:49] - Alex takes a moment to define “priority” in a way he learned from Steven Pressfield.

[16:18] - We hear another example from Stephen Covey, involving his time management grid of quadrants .

[19:03] - Imagine that there’s a giant square divided into four quadrants. Alex describes what’s in each of these quadrants, and what that means for you.

[23:09] - Today’s Alexism is this: “True growth demands to temporarily sacrifice your security.”

[24:11] - Alex makes an important distinction for listeners involving the size of a contribution and the resistance to it.

[24:59] - We hear a quick review of the powerful insights that Alex has explored throughout this episode.


Up next
  • Related Media


    Add Comment

    This feature is only available to members (Sign In or Sign Up).