Choice 3: Schedule The Big Rocks, Don't Sort Gravel

The big rocks and the gravel

There is a big difference between thinking about what is important and actually accomplishing it. If we don't have robust planning disciplines and processes in place to execute what is important, then our Q2 Role Statement and Q2 Goals are merely wishful thinking.

In this comparison, the Big Rocks represent the important Q2 priorities in our lives. These are the activities that come from our Q2 Role Statements and Goals. These activities are in contrast to gravel, which represents all the little things that fill up our lives - email, phone calls, laundry, less important priorities, and so on. These things take time and attention away from the Big Rocks. 

You can never get ahead by just sorting through the gravel faster. Decide what is most important, and get those activities "in the bucket" before the week begins. 

Q2 Planning and the 30/10 Promise

If you spend 30 minutes each week and 10 minutes each day in Q2 Planning, you will dramatically increase your ability to be and feel accomplished at the end of every day. 

Q2 Planning is a process where you take some time to quiet your mind and work from the Thinking Brain to consciously and intentionally load the Big Rocks into your weeks and days first, to make sure they get accomplished. 

When you take some time to reduce the noise, get centered, and plan from a more thoughtful state, you will have an entirely different experience when you ask yourself, What is most important? The answers you get will be clearer and more accurate. 

Weekly Q2 Planning

Find a quiet place and take at least 30 minutes before your week starts to:

Review Your Roles and Goals.

  • Take time to consciously connect with the vision for your life that you captured in your Q2 Role Statements and Q2 Goals. Don't skip this step. It will rekindle your deepest passion and highest motivations.

Schedule the Big Rocks.

  • Ask the Big Rocks Question, What are the one or two most important things I can do in this role this week? When it comes to Big Rocks, you should only pick the top one or two most important things for each role. There is only so much you can do, so set the bar high, and pick the ones that will really make a difference.

Organize the Rest.

  • With the Big Rocks securely in place, you can calendar other important things that need to be done - things that aren't critical, but need to be taken care of, like the laundry!

For more on Choice 3, watch this video with FranklinCovey's Global Productivity Practice Leader and lead author of The 5 Choices, Kory Kogon.


Invest your time, attention, and energy on your highest priorities. Register to attend a complimentary 5 Choices to Extraordinary Productivity webcast to learn how.

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