The following post is a sneak peek into my latest book, Master Your Time in 10 Minutes a Day, which officially launched on Amazon Kindle Free Promotion on January 28th.
This post discusses content found in Chapter 11 – THE SAND GRAINS METHOD. This article is not an excerpt from the book, but rather, a brief discussion of the concept as Amazon is pretty stringent about content from books being published elsewhere online, even if it is your own content.
Please enjoy the following article. If you would like to sign up to receive updates on the launch and a reminder when it is available for FREE DOWNLOAD, sign up at the bottom of the article.
Increasing your “Productivity Density”
Take a moment to do a little visualization exercise with me. Imagine a glass jar, something, perhaps, like what Grandma used to store her fresh strawberry jam in.
Imagine you have a lot of small stones, maybe grape-sized, that you think are nice to look at and you want to put them in the jar. So you wash out the jar, sit down and start dropping stones into the jar.
Before too long, the jar begins filling up. You know at some point, you will need to stop adding stones so you can still fit the lid back onto the jar.
Once done, you lift the jar to hold it up to the light and look at it. The jar, full of stones, is now pretty heavy. With the lid on tightly and without room for even one more stone, the jar is full isn’t it?
Your jar, your life
Every day, you wake up and for the rest of the day, you add stones to the jar. Make breakfast for the kids? Plunk. Drive to work? Plunk. Drive home? Plunk. Make dinner? Plunk. Pay some bills? Plunk.
By the end of the day, you are ready to go to bed, ready to put the lid on that day’s jar. You reflect on the day and think “Well, another day, another full jar.”
But look again.
How full is it really?
Pick up that jar one more time. Look closely, look inside the jar. Look past the stones and you will see tons of gaps, small spaces between the stones that hold nothing but air.
This is the foundation for the Sand-grains Method. Imagine if, instead of only adding stones throughout the day, you added one or two stones and then a sprinkle of sand. If you then repeated this all day, what you would find that night would be a jar much more full than the one with only stones.
Stone vs. sand
Often times, the stones represent the demands of daily life. Working, doing chores, preparing meals for the family – these things are often not optional. There is nothing wrong with the stones necessarily, they are often quite important and may even be things you find tolerable, if not enjoyable. The thing about the stones, however, is that for most people they don’t represent passion or fulfillment and they often seem to crowd out things that do represent true purpose.
But, by using the Sand-grains Method, you can instantly begin reclaiming space in that jar for the things that do excite you, the dreams that propel you forward. Even the loftiest goals are full of sub-tasks that take less than 5 or 10 minutes to complete. Examples:
● Perhaps you have been meaning to put together a website for a business you want to start. Ok, in between cleaning up from dinner and sitting down to pay bills, hop online and buy your domain name. In less than 5 minutes, you’ve taken an essential step toward your goal.
● Maybe your goal is to become more connected to your spiritual side and improve your health. Why not spend 10 minutes doing Tai Chi between showering and eating breakfast?
● Want to write a book? Hop onto Amazon or Google and spend 10 minutes typing partial search terms into the search bar to get an idea of what people are searching for in the niche you want to write about.
Make every day a walk on the beach
If you stop to truly look around you, ‘sand moments’ really are always around. Every day is full of them, popping up just begging to be utilized.
The key is breaking your tasks down and finding those little nuggets of the goal that take just a few minutes to complete. By filling your to-do list with these Sand-grain tasks, you will always be ready to snatch up these moments and make them productive. Instead of logging on to Facebook to kill a few minutes and reading about what your friend had for lunch, you will cross another item off your to-do list.
Another benefit? Sprinkling these little victories throughout the day boosts your mood and gives you energy to tackle the next stone.
The “Sand-grains Method” and many other powerful tools for reclaiming your time are explained in detail in my book Master Your Time in 10 Minutes a Day, which launched officially on Amazon on January 28th.
2 thoughts on “Time Management – The Sand-Grains Method”
This part was one of my favorite parts from the book.
Though admittedly my favorite time-managment strategy — and the one I struggled hardest with to implement as a habit — is the first-things-first strategy from Stephen Covey’s book. In this case it would mean that you put the rocks in first, before the sand.
That’s why a chapter prior I tackled “eating the frog”. The most important things all too often are the one we dread most; because they are usually huge.