What’s In Your Jar?

Big Rocks - EmilyMarko.com

In my newsletter this month, I shared some tips on productivity. I mentioned that a great way to start upping your productivity is to first reflect on your current priorities.

I shared a concept from my past life in corporate training and development – the Big Rocks. This is a concept used to help prioritize your life, which focuses on making room for the most important things you value in life, the Big Rocks. If the small stuff, the sand and pebbles, is given priority, there isn’t room to fit what matters most to you. Because the small stuff is – well, small – it can easily fit in between the Big Rocks. The small stuff sure can add up though, and if that is where the focus of our priorities are then your days will be so full with sand and pebbles the rocks will never find room.

So be sure to fill your jar with your Big Rocks first.

Check out Franklin Covey’s fun video that explains their concept.

I have been practicing this concept for the past week and I already feel more productive! Prioritizing is not always easy and I had to say No to some things of interest in order to stay focused on my Big Rocks, but I felt good about those decisions because ultimately I was staying true to what I value most.

So my challenge to you is: Identify your Big Rocks and then schedule one of them into your week before you schedule anything else in. Every week try to add another big rock.

I created a free downloadable template to complete as a reminder to stay focused on what matters most. Try it out!

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Are you giving enough time to the people or things that matter most to you? 

Need help identifying what matters most – try this template.

Think about how you fill your jar on a daily basis?

What does your jar say about your priorities?

Is there any small stuff you can stop doing?

Let me know how your challenge goes!

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Mind Over Matter

MindOverMatter - EmilyMarko.com
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.”
– Henry Ford

I have been on a challenge kick lately. Last month I signed up for a 35-day Jazzercise Challenge AND Propelle’s 21-day Affirmation for Success Challenge. It seems I am on the search for even more challenges too because last week I jumped into Propelle’s 7-day Visibility Challenge and I am patiently (sort of) waiting for the summer challenge to begin at Jazzercise!

It amazes me at how effective and addictive these challenges are for me. I think it is a mix of my need to succeed once I commit and feeling a need to not “let down” the other participants and challenge hosts. So I basically feel accountable to myself and anyone else who knows I made the commitment.

Of course, that is the point – to stay committed and form a habit from the challenge. Long ago in my cubicle job, I participated in a Franklin Covey training course pertaining to time management and forming habits. I learned that it takes a person 21 days to make or break a habit. So all those arbitrary number of day challenges aren’t so random after all – there is actual science behind it.

Success Affirmations - EmilyMarko.com
Summary of my Affirmations for Success Challenge

Either way, the coolest part about these challenges is how fun and easy it was to succeed. The pessimist in the back of my mind may have started to say “I never could do that…” but when I really thought about it – what was the worst thing that could happen?! The risk was super low and the reward was high!

I finished my challenges feeling pretty darn good, physically and mentally. I gained some muscle, lost some winter weight and received a new workout shirt. Instagram isn’t so mysterious to me anymore, plus I have a more positive mindset on my success. Best of all, I am still hooked on attending Jazzercise classes as much as possible and I have been brainstorming ways I can use Instagram and other social media for my business success.

It really is about Mind over Matter – you just need to let the positive voices in your mind do the talking. To continue these habits does take some reminders so I posted a summary of my Success Affirmations at my desk and I started to schedule my Jazzercise classes on all my calendars (digital and paper) to infuse it into my days.

How do you practice Mind over Matter?
Are there any challenges that have worked for you?
What have you learned from those challenges?
Why not try a new challenge out? Let me know how it goes!

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