Choice 3: Schedule the Big Rocks, Don’t Sort Gravel®

The big rocks vs. the gravel.

It’s one thing to recognize what is important, but another to actually accomplish it. If we don’t have robust planning disciplines and processes in place to execute what is important, then our Q2 Role Statement and Q2 Goals are merely wishful thinking.

Big Rocks represent the activities that come from our Q2 Role Statements and Goals – the most important Q2 priorities in our lives. Gravel represents all the other little things that fill up our lives – email, phone calls, laundry, less important priorities, and so on. These urgent things take time and attention away from the Big Rocks.

If you work on the gravel first, there’s never time for the Big Rocks. You can never get ahead by just sorting through the gravel faster. But if you prioritize the Big Rocks first, the gravel falls into place as appropriate. It’s a simple process that happens through weekly and daily Q2 planning.

The 30/10 Promise

If you spend 30 minutes each week and 10 minutes each day in Q2 Planning, it will transform the time you spend everywhere else and exponentially multiply your productivity.

In Q2 Planning you take time to quiet your mind, then choose the Big Rocks for your week and each day to make sure they get accomplished. Pulling back from the noise and centering yourself creates clearer outcomes when you ask yourself, “What matters most?” and build the answers into an action plan.

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When people engage in the right kind of planning, their success rates go up on average between 200 and 300 percent.

— Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson

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The 5 Choices to Extraordinary Productivity


Discern the important from the urgent and not important and increase your ROM (Return on the Moment) in the midst of fierce distractions.


Redefine and prioritize your roles in terms of extraordinary results to achieve high-priority goals.


Use tips and tools to schedule your priorities (instead of prioritizing your schedule) and execute with excellence on your most important options.


Make your technology work for you, not against you, and turn it into a productivity engine.


Increase your energy to think clearly, make good decisions, and feel more accomplished at the end of every day.

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