Welcome to the Handbook of Awesome, a collection of advice to help you be awesomely productive, healthy, and happy! Although you might think this post is about rocks, it’s actually not (for that, please see our post on efficient rock storage).
A helpful way to get more of those big rocks into your jar is the concept of the Most Important Task, or MIT for short.
The great thing about MITs is that they ensure you get at least one important thing done every day.
Depending on the nature of your work, you can either use the first hour at the office to get the MIT done, or if that’s not possible, you could get up a little earlier and start on your MIT first thing in the morning. Besides booking a time-slot every day and defining the MIT in advance, you also have to make sure it‘s a manageable task.
By the way, if during the glass jar exercise you end with a lot of sand and sharp, shiny, hurting rocks on the floor, then you have done something wrong.


The time and cost performance of a project in progress can be determined by comparing the three key parameters of an earned value management system, known as planned value (PV), actual cost (AC) and earned value (EV).
You set an MIT for each day the previous night, making sure it is an attainable, clear-cut task you are sure you can complete. Once your MIT is completed, you can rest easy, knowing that you’ve already done something meaningful during the day. It can either be a repetitive task every day like “completing another 10 slides of that important presentation“, or you can set a specific task every evening.
It should be clearly defined and shouldn’t require more than 60 minutes of work, as otherwise you will end up with tasks like “Learn Mandarin Chinese“ and “Bring about world peace“. Next, you take a handful of smaller rocks, and they run into the cracks between the bigger one.
The glass jar signifies all the time you have at your disposal during a day, and the big rocks are the really important tasks you have to do.


The next morning, you start your day by working on your MIT, and do absolutely nothing else till it is done! The smaller rocks are less important things, and the sand is the little filler items, like e.g. You take it a notch further, and pour sand in, which fills in the small empty spaces between even the smallest rocks. As you noticed above, if you fill your day with those little filler tasks (sand), you simply will not have time for the big, important items (rocks).



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