Wednesday, 23 June 2010

There is Always Time for the Important Things in Life

Let me begin by apologising that I have not been leaving as many comments as normal on all those marvellous blogs I read. I have so many tasks to get done before I leave to go on holiday at the weekend. Also I am looking after my allotment and that of Archie while he is off on holiday.

Even as I write this I hear myself say, excuses excuses. Yesterday I did have a very busy day and I did read blogs and if I had really made the effort I should have posted my comments.

I remember telling my students at exam time how important time management was. That there was never ever an excuse for not being prepared for the important things in life. It is so true, yesterday I did find time to paint.

I also remember the story of the lecturer. A lecturer at a university is giving a pre-exam lecture on time management. On his desk is a bag of sand, a bag of pebbles, some big rocks and bucket. He asks for a volunteer to put all three grades of stone into the bucket, and a keen student duly steps up to carry out the task, starting with the sand, then the pebbles, then the rocks, which do not all fit in the bucket.

"The is an analogy of poor time management," trills the lecturer, "If you'd have put the rocks in first, then the pebbles, then the sand, all three would have fit. This is much like time management, in that by completing your biggest tasks first, you leave room to complete your medium tasks, then your smaller ones. By completing your smallest tasks first you spend so much time on them you leave yourself unable to complete either medium of large tasks satisfactorily. Let me show you.."

And the lecturer re-fills the bucket, big rocks first, then pebbles, then sand, shaking the bucket between each so that everything fits.

"But Sir," says one student, slouched at the back of the theatre, "You've forgotten one thing.."

At which the student approaches the bucket, produces a can of lager, opens it and pours into the bucket. "No matter how busy you are," quips the student with a smile, "There's always time for a quick beer."

I promise before I leave to make time to leave a parting comment and maybe while on holiday to do the same.

This blog is linked to my other.  The Tempest


  1. I've heard this story before, Ralph, though have to admit not with the beer element. That is just a perfect ending! I hope you have a great holiday!

  2. I like that story. At a school where I used to teach, the principal started the first staff meeting with that very demonstration! His point was, we're going to work hard this year and we have a lot of pressing commitments, but there is always time for your family and friends, you just have to remember to put it in there! It's a good story! Thanks!

  3. Good Morning Ralph, they gave me more steroids yesterday, so today will be a great day! I read your blog every day and of course I have the same 24 hours that I used to have but these days they aren't including a lot of energy. Two chemos left and I will be writing essays for you!
    I talk about my youthful travels to Europe in my Blog today! Europe on Three dollars a day! I always threw my watch away when I went to Europe.
    I didn't want to think of Time as a commodity to be used and used up, spent and saved, wasted or even passing. So, here is my challenge to you!
    Leave your watch at home and enjoy your holiday!

  4. I've heard this as well and would just like to add that sometimes we need to make time for 'unexpected' important things in life. Such as an encouraging word to a sick friend, running a errand for the elderly, etc.etc. When our days are planned down to the minute, there is no time for the unexpected.