This is a widely used narration on time management, and one of the most thought provoking stories I have ever come across to understand the importance of priorities.
A professor stood before his class and had some items in front of him. When class began, wordlessly he picked up a large empty jar and proceeded to fill it with rocks right to the top, rocks about 2" diameter.
He then asked the students if the jar was full? They agreed that it was.
So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them in to the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles, of course, rolled into the open areas between the rocks. The students laughed.
He asked his students again if the jar was full? They agreed that yes,it was. The professor then picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.
Professor asked the students if the jar was full this time. After a careful introspection, the class was confident to utter a quick "yes, professor". This time the professor took out a glass filled with water, and poured it inside the jar. Yet again, the students were taken aback as the water conveniently filled all spaces left inside the container.
"Now, this, is a full jar" said the professor, "and I want you to recognize that this is just like your life."
The rocks are the important things - your family, your partner, your health, your children -anything that is so important to you that if it were lost, you would be nearly destroyed.
The pebbles are the other things in life that matter, but on a smaller scale. The pebbles represent things like your job, house, or car.
The sand is everything else, the "small stuff.""If you put the sand or the pebbles into the jar first, there is no room for the rocks.The same goes for your life.
If you spend all your energy and time on the small stuff, material things, you will never have room for the things that are truly most important.
Pay attention to the things that are important in your life and spend time on the important.