Today things started to feel like they were going back to normal. I only had one Volunteer session to teach and I was able to get a lot taken care of as far as my contract goes. I even had time to take the client folders that we get and put them into well organized sectioned and pronged folders so they can easily be looked at by auditors. I had two groups of folders, ones with all the necessary information already in them and some that needed me to put in the signature page that certifies if a client meets contract requirements. If some things are missing here and there it could be ok as long as the signature page is there and completed fully.
I finished the first group of folders and went to grab the signature pages that I keep in a folder on the right-hand corner of my desk to get the second grou going. They weren’t there. I decided they must be under some other papers so I looked all over my desk. They were nowhere to be found. The folders had the signature pages of all potential clients for the contract from April to the present. They represented at least thirty people toward the 95 person contract goal. If I lost that many clients there would be no way that I would meet my contract requirements.
I tore my office apart. I looked in other offices that I occasionally visited even though I knew I would never take my signature pages with me. I thought about what I was going to say to my supervisor. I thought about what I was going to say to my contact in Springfield. I thought about crawling under my desk to hide.
Hours later, while talking on the phone, I looked to my left. There, in the file pockets hanging on my wall were the very folders I was looking for. It came flooding back to me. I remembered cleaning my desk and realizing that I didn’t want to put the pages away but needed to make some room. I remembered noticing the file pockets on the wall that I never ever use and thinking that it would be a good time to start using them. I remembered putting the files there, in plain view, at arm’s length. I breathed again.
I am one of those people who lives well with clutter. I understand my clutter and know where things are within it. It makes sense to me. There is a certain method to it. Give me a stack of papers a foot high and I’ll know where in that stack the thing I need to find is. Not that I habitually keep foot tall stacks on my desk but you get the picture. It’s when I put things away that they get lost.
And now, because my Mom asked for it and I sometimes do what my Mom wants, here is a description of “The Jar Method”. There are tons of versions of “The Jar Method” out there but this is the one we use in class. The rocks can be used to represent all kinds of things depending on what point you are trying to make.
1. Get a large jar. This jar represents the time you have available in life.
2. Get some large rocks- These represent the big things that you have to do in life
3. Get some pebbles- These represent the things you enjoy doing
4. Get some sand- This represents all the little things you have to do
5. Have some water on hand- This represents the extra mess
Fill your jar with large rocks until you can’t fill anymore. Your jar is now full with major and urgent events. Add your pebbles to the jar and shake the jar so they fill in all the cracks between the large rocks. This shows how much fun you can still fit in life when you deal with the big things first. Then pour in some sand it will seep to the bottom filling all the empty space just as all the little things can be fit into your life when you manage your time well. Imagine picking up your jar and noticing how much it weighs. Then pour in the water and watch how much heavier it becomes. The water represents all the ways you allow stress seep in and weigh you down.
Now think about doing this in the reverse order. If you filled your jar with water first it is likely that you could fit a decent amount of sand inside. You might even get in a pebble or two. However, when you try to add large rocks, they aren't going to fit. Even if you eliminated the water, you can’t fit many large rocks into a jar filled with sand and pebbles. Keeping this in mind will help you decide what tasks in life you should tackle first so that you have room for everything you need to accomplish.
1. I’ll do anything/ For my sweet sixteen/ And I’d do anything/ For little runaway child
2. Though you may not drive/ A great big Cadillac/ Gangsta whitewalls/ TV antennas in the back. Be Thankful, not by Curtis Mayfield or Massive Attack (who is it??). Partly identified by Ern
3. This here’s a cheer for all the fellas/ Trying to do what those ladies tell us/ Get shot down cause you’re overzealous/ Play hard to get females get jealous. Bust A Move, Young MC. Identified by my parents.
4. People are strange/ When you’re a stranger/ Faces look ugly/ When you’re alone. People are Strange, The Doors. Identified by Lizza
5. Growing up it was just me and my mom against the world/ And all my sympathies were with her/ When I was a little girl