Do you know your Big Rocks?Mar 22, 2023
Let’s talk about how Big Rocks changed my life.
Welcome to the SPS Newsletter.
“If the big rocks don’t go in first, they aren’t going to fit in later.”
— Stephen R. Covey
“Stephen, can you walk me through your Big Rocks for this coming week?”
I responded, “I’m sorry, what are Big Rocks?”
This was my first 1 to 1 meeting with the Western Director of the company I was working for.
I was a new manager at the time and a few years into my personal development journey. I had come across goal setting and prioritization. But not Big Rocks.
The conversation that followed with my director changed the way I looked at personal productivity.
He broke down the Big Rocks concept, which was created by Stephen Covey.
This simple process is now one of the performance cornerstones of my life. And a concept I use with all of my 1 to 1 business owner clients. A process that helped me call out all the dumb sh*t I did in my days.
So what are Big Rocks, exactly?
Simply put, they are the most important tasks or goals that you need to accomplish in order to move your business forward. They are the things that, if left undone, will hold you back from achieving success.
The sh*t that needs to be done.
The term “Big Rocks” comes from the idea of filling a jar with rocks, pebbles, and sand.
If you start by filling the jar with sand or pebbles, you won’t have enough space to fit in the Big Rocks. But if you start with the Big Rocks and then fill in the smaller items, everything fits.
In the same way, if you prioritize the most important tasks first, you’ll have enough time and energy to take care of everything else.
Big Rocks made so much sense to me.
Like peanut butter and jam sandwiches. It just works. And works well.
Identify your Big Rocks and make sure you focus on them.
I immediately took this idea and based my whole weekly schedule around Big Rocks. My sales went up. I found more time and energy for healthy habits.
So how do you identify your Big Rocks? Here are a few tips:
Set clear goals: If you don’t have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish, it’s hard to know what your Big Rocks are. Take some time to set specific, measurable, and achievable goals for your business.
Identify your critical tasks: Once you have your goals in mind, identify the tasks that are most critical to achieving them. These are your Big Rocks.
Prioritize ruthlessly: Once you’ve identified your Big Rocks, prioritize them ruthlessly. Focus on the tasks that will have the biggest impact on your business.
Make time for your Big Rocks: Block out time in your calendar for your Big Rocks. Treat these tasks as non-negotiable appointments with yourself.
Now, you may be thinking, “But what about all the other things I need to do?”
That’s where the idea of doing less dumb sh*t comes in.
Let’s face it: we all waste time on things that don’t really matter.
You get sucked into social media. Spend too much time checking email. Or get bogged down in meetings that could have been an email. These are your pebble and sand activities.
If you want to make progress in your business, you need to be ruthless about cutting out the dumb sh*t.
Streamlining your processes
Setting boundaries around email
Limiting your time on social media
Saying no to unnecessary meetings
Delegating tasks that don’t require your expertise
By doing less dumb sh*t, you free up more time and energy to focus on your Big Rocks.
Here’s an example of how this works in practice:
My client Keilan runs an outdoor apparel company. His goal was to increase revenue by over 20% in 2022.
His critical tasks included:
Building relationships with key partners
Developing a targeted outreach campaign
Hiring a new virtual assistant to do pebble work
Launching products into brick-and-mortar stores
These were his Big Rocks.
Now, he needed to prioritize them ruthlessly. He decided that outreach was the most critical task. He blocked out time in his calendar to work on it every day.
Because of the blocked-out time for outreach, he made $50k in sales in weeks. Then built a relationship leading to a contract of over $1 million spread across the next few years.
At the same time, he was doing less dumb sh*t. Not spending hours scrolling through social media or attending meetings that don’t add value. He delegated repetitive tasks to a virtual assistant so he could focus on his Big Rocks.
By focusing on his Big Rocks and doing less dumb sh*t, he was able to make real progress toward his goal of increasing revenue by over 20%.
Now, I know that some of you might be thinking, “But I don’t have time to focus on my Big Rocks!”
Trust me, I’ve heard this excuse a million times. But the truth is, you do have time. You just need to make it a priority.
As a self-performance coach, I have worked with countless business owners who struggle to make progress in their endeavours.
But once they adopt the way of the Big Rocks they become a performance ninja.
3 Rocks a day - 15 Rocks a week - 60 Rocks a month - 720 Rocks a year.
Let’s put this into daily practice:
Select 3 Big Rocks:
These are the tasks that are the most impactful. The most important to you and your personal goals. But each rock should not take more than 60 to 90 minutes to do.
Now you may need to do some reflection to identify these. Or look at how you can break larger activities and projects into smaller tasks.
Next, ask yourself, How long can I focus on one thing?
Most people when starting out can only focus on a task for about 30-40 minutes at a time.
As mentioned each of your Big Rock tasks should take up to 1.5 hours to complete. You might need to reduce the number of Big Rocks you do each day to 1 or 2 until you build up your focus muscle.
Planning your Day:
To be successful, you need to get at least 3 segments of deep work done in a day. These segments can each be assigned to a Big Rock task or split a rock between them.
In your schedule, plan time for 3 dedicated deep work segments. Start with 30 minutes and build up to 60 and then 90 over the coming weeks. Use a timer, stopwatch, or music cue to help you stay on track.
I recommend getting 2 of your deep work segments done in the morning and 1 in the afternoon. This leaves your evening free for relaxation.
You will get your life right when you get your Big Rocks right.
Remember to let me know what you struggle with regarding your Big Rocks. I am here to help.
Make it a good one,
Maximizing your self-performance is the key to you creating even more freedom of time and money, and I will help you do that with my P-R-O Accelerator Program
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