Time Management and Golf Balls

There is a popular metaphor about time management and golf balls, which is about making time for the important things in our lives. Often time’s people get so tied up with work that they make no time for family and the other really important things in life.

time management and golf balls

The story goes that a professor holds up an empty jar and fills it with golf balls. He asks his students if the jar is full. To which they reply yes.
He then adds some pebbles that fall in between the golf balls and again asks the students if the jar is full. Again they reply yes.
Next he adds some sand, which falls in between the golf balls and the pebbles. Again he asks if the jar is full and the students are now not so sure, wondering what else could go into the jar.
Next he takes out 2 beers and pours the contents into the jar. The beer then fills the jar to the brim.

The relationship between time management and golf balls.

Although the story is originally about making time for all the important things in our lives, I think it also serves as a great metaphor about time management.

The glass jar represents the time that you have each day, with each element added, representing the activities one might engage in each day.

The golf balls are your most important tasks that will propel you toward achieving your goals. They represent your highest priority projects and greatest value towards achieving your goals. They may be the important but not urgent tasks that move you toward your goals.

The pebbles represent the tasks that are urgent and important, but that contribute less to important goals. These tasks can quickly fill your day if you do plan for them. By reducing these tasks you will have more time to work towards your goals.

The sand represent the urgent but not important tasks and should get done after the important and urgent tasks. These activities are usually routine or maintenance tasks that do not directly contribute to the achievement of your goals.

Of course many of these activities, as well as the neither important nor urgent ones, might be deleted or delegated. Or you might defer some of the neither urgent nor important tasks to a time when you can look at them at your leisure. Example reading a particular article that you are interested in. We looked at the 4 D’s of time management in the previous article.

What about the beer you might ask? Well the beer represents the fact that you should always make time to spend with friends and family. Making time to relax and unwind. By having a proper time management system in place, time management and golf balls can go hand in hand. You must always make time for things other than work. You will find that you are able to achieve more in less time. Instead of firefighting and rushing to meet deadlines, become more productive, spending less time on activities that that do not serve you. You might find that your stress levels decrease, which can make you more focused and productive in the time that you do engage in each activity.

Make time for beer.

I hope you found this article in the time management series useful and that you make time to relax and unwind. If you need any help in time management or business coaching in general, then please feel free to reach out. We are always happy to help.

As always, please like and share this article, so others might benefit in it also. Remember, if you can believe it, then you can achieve it.