Rocks, Pebbles and Sand - Prioritizing Tasks

Today I came across an interesting article which forced me to re-think the way I’m going forward with building doom chat. The article is called “Big Rocks, Pebbles and Sand - How to manage it all?

It’s an interesting theory, TLDR; here is the premise:

Let’s say you have an empty glass jar and you are given some big rocks, pebbles, and a bucket of sand. You should fill the empty jar with these 3 items in such a way that it should make use of the maximum capacity the jar can offer.

Now the obvious question, is which Item should go first?

Answer: Rocks!

Then the pebbles go next and the sand at the end.

Even though it’s just a simple story, It has a very valuable lesson inside it when it comes to prioritizing your tasks. We should Identify our Rocks, Pebbles, and Sand before blindly hacking towards an end goal.

I have put together a small framework with the help of Eisenhower-matrix to identify the Rocks, Pebbles, and Sand of our environment.

Author sitting on a rock

Quadrant 1 – “Do it immediately”

These are the tasks and to-dos that need immediate attention.

Quadrant 2 – “Decide when you’ll do it”

You have to be strategic about this section of the matrix, perfect for long-term development. Items that belong here are important, but they do not require your immediate attention.

Quadrant 3 – “Delegate to somebody else”

These types of tasks usually don’t warrant your attention because they don’t produce measurable output.

Quadrant 4 – “Do it later”

The time-wasters that prevent us from accomplishing the more urgent and important tasks in the first two quadrants.

This will be the chosen framework for prioritizing product development at doom chat from now on!

An interesting way of implementing this can be by creating 4 labels (P1, P2, P3, P4) to represent 4 quadrants and using a tool like Trello for todos with appropriate labels attached, Add this to your regular SCRUM and you now have a nice framework for prioritizing your org’s tasks. 🎉🎉

Thanks and Have a nice day! 👋