May
24

Accomplishing More in Less Time

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Some days seem full to almost overflowing with work to do. Other days have been dominated by a project or a series of time-consuming tasks. And then there are the days that are completely busy, but at the end it seems nothing was done at all.

The “Full Bucket” analogy is a good metaphor to help explain how some days go the way they do. In brief, large rocks, smaller stones, marbles and sand are put in a bucket; each smaller item filling in the gaps of the larger pieces. Then, as the last element, water is added and finally the bucket is actually full.

This illustrates how a workday becomes full. The big projects need to be done, but some smaller tasks are just as important. When handling the rocks, be sure to remember the stones, marbles, sand and water.

Greeting and being generally civil to your clients and staff is the water in the bucket. It flows around everything else and completely fills the container. The sand is telephone calls: it is best not to let them accumulate. Email and paying bills are comparable to the marbles, while meetings and discussion are the smaller stones. The rocks represent major events like audits and presentations.

Basically, the idea is that while the rocks are the most visible part of the items in the bucket, they are surrounded by smaller and smaller objects. This relates to the projects and tasks you need to work on every day.

Prioritization of these elements can help you accomplish more in less time. What you should not to is attempt to produce perfection. Rather, do the best you can with what tools you have. And instead of striving for perfection, work towards the best possible results and trust yourself that your completed project is presentable.

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