Prioritizing Your Rocks | The Zebra Blog

Prioritizing Your Rocks

You are likely familiar with the Rocks, Pebbles, and Sand story and demonstration…

No? Let me quickly explain:

Our demonstration includes a jar, rocks, pebbles, and sand.

The jar represents your life – the 24 hours that each of us has each and every day.

The rocks include the important stuff – spouse, family and friends, pets, hobbies, health, and the things that bring each of us joy.

The pebbles include the things that we have to focus on such as career, making sure your house is maintained, your financial life, etc. It even includes marketing such as your campaigns that bring you future business! These things are not as important as things you designate as your rocks, but they are still things that give your life structure.

The sand is all the extra stuff – watching TV, social media, and, I would argue, some of the real estate business stuff that is essentially unstructured and isn’t really helping you get to where you need to be. It fills the time and makes you feel good about doing something, but it isn’t the most effective use of your time or money.

The rocks, pebbles, and sand all need to fit into the jar as they represent what fills the day. If you pour the sand into the jar first, there isn’t enough room for many rocks or pebbles. However, if you put the rocks in the jar first, then the pebbles, and finally the sand, there is enough room because the pebbles and sand work their way around the rocks.

This demonstration is a metaphor for life and what we choose to fill our life with – the goal being to make our rocks – spouse, family, friends, hobbies, etc the priority in our precious 24 hours per day. Of course, we have to fit in real estate as well, but that is one of the best and worst things about having real estate as a career – on the one hand, it operates like sand and we can sneak in a business call between running kids to rehearsal and practice. On the other hand, it operates like sand and it can quickly take over your house and home like you just spent day at the beach and now there is sand on the floor, in the shower, in the fridge, on the dog, and in the dryer.

Because real estate tasks can be sneaky and infiltrate our lives, it is important to take a Rock Assessment at least once a quarter. Ask yourself:

  • What are my rocks?
  • How am I prioritizing my rocks now over pebbles and sand?
  • What small changes can I make to do a better job of prioritizing my rocks?
  • What are my pebbles?
  • How am I prioritizing my pebbles now over sand?
  • What small changes can I make to do a better job of prioritizing my pebbles over sand?
  • What is my sand?
  • How can I better control my sand and keep it from taking over my pebbles and rocks?

It is very easy for a busy couple of weeks transaction-wise to turn into a frantic pace that lasts for months. Therefore, make a calendar reminder every quarter or after a very busy time to realign your life and put your priorities (rocks) first.

Ready to edit out some of that sand and get those rocks back into your jar? I will be covering this and more at my upcoming Amplify class! Join me for Amplify, coming up this October 25th and 26th in Lynnwood.



By Denise Lones CSP, M.I.R.M., CDEI – The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones, brings nearly three decades of experience in the real estate industry. With agent/broker coaching, expertise in branding, lead generation, strategic marketing, business analysis, new home project planning, product development, Denise is nationally recognized as the source for all things real estate. With a passion for improvement, Denise has helped thousands of real estate agents, brokers, and managers build their business to unprecedented levels of success, while helping them maintain balance and quality of life.

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