Steve Covey,author of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People recommends that we focus on our big rocks. What are big rocks? “As we consider the hundreds and thousands of things that can be done in the year ahead, what are the specific things that matter most? What are the areas in our lives and the goals that we have that must be prioritized? Generally speaking, if we don’t carve out space and time for the things that matter most, our priorities often get pushed aside by the daily demands of life. So what are the things in your life that are just too important to be pushed aside?” Does the big rock analogy work for you? What if you flipped the metaphor and focused on tiny acorns instead?
In my mind, a big rock image feels so hard to move. If “my big rock” is something that should be my highest priority, I’d like to have an image that feels more about growth, opportunity, and even beauty! Imagine if you started your day and said…”What is my tiny acorn that I want to grow today?” How does that shift your mindset about your priorities?
Tiny acorns need care, nutrition, tenderness, and warmth. When an acorn gets nourished, it grows into a mighty oak. What’s your greatest priority that you want to grow and nurture into a mighty oak today? this week? this month?
For this week, try shifting your priority list away from that heavy, hard to move big rock metaphor. Instead, focus on that tiny acorn metaphor that is in your care and needs nourishment, care, patience and attention. What are your tiny acorns this week that you don’t want to lose track of? How does thinking about these things shift your energy? performance? outcomes?
Perhaps your acorns this week are:
- Time with family and friends?
- Crafting a vision for your organization?
- Completing a compelling report?
- Taking a walk at lunch time?
- Spending time with a colleague in need?
- Having a critical conversation that will serve your team? family? community?
What shifts for you when you prioritize this week through the lenses of an acorn that grows instead of heavy granite and a big rock? Let me know what you find out. Whatever metaphor works for you, use it. For me, I’m all about growth, beauty and opportunity.