überplanung-im-dienstplan

Do you ever feel unproductive after a workday despite having done a seemingly endless number of tasks? It’s likely because you didn’t prioritize your tasks correctly and allowed unimportant activities to prevent you from attaining your primary objectives. The pickle jar hypothesis comes into play here. The Pickle Jar Theory advocates balancing your daily tasks while honoring the estimated time needed for each.

People fill our days with essential, lesser-important, and trivial activities. The Pickle Jar Theory offers a visual analogy to distinguish between important and time-consuming matters.

What is the Pickle Jar Theory?


The Pickle Jar Theory is a model for time management and a better division of work. It uses a jar filled with different sizes of stones to represent tasks that need to be completed over a certain period. The jar is a visual representation of how long each task should take.

The stone’s size represents the task’s importance and determines how long the task takes to be completed. The jar also represents the time you have available to work daily. While the jar has no set rules, it is helpful to keep in mind the underlying principles behind it, as described below. You can use the jar to track your progress throughout the day. It is a good method to be more efficient at your workplace.

Origin of the Pickle Theory


The Pickle Jar Theory developed from the popularized concept of a jar of rocks. The jar is filled with different stones to show various tasks that need to be done over time. James W. Newman first mentioned the theory in his book The New Manager’s Toolkit, published in 1984. He compared work and life schedules to the scheduling of a trip: when you depart, when you plan to arrive at your destination, and the number of stops you plan to make along the way. In the same way, you schedule your work and your personal life.

Difference From Other Time Management Techniques


The Pickle theory is a visual way to manage your time and track your daily tasks. It is, however, a much more straightforward and less scientific approach than other time management techniques. You can use a calendar or to-do list to keep track of your daily items, but these are not visual like the pickle jar method.

Additionally, the pickle jar method does not require special tools like a calendar or to-do list, unlike the Pomodoro Technique and the Time Blocking Method. The pickle jar is a fundamental and straightforward concept, making it easy for anyone to understand and use.

You can also make use of timesheets at the workplace. This way, you can keep track of all the employees and their work.

day-theming-time-sheet

TimeTrack: Timesheet

TimeTrack is a platform that helps you keep track of the time you spend. So, instead of finding the right folders or writing everything in pocket diaries, TimeTrack can help you adhere to the most important principles of time management in your daily plan and help you remain productive.

Rules Underlining the Pickle Theory


You should pay particular attention to the sequence in which you arrange your tasks if you want to properly apply the jar of rocks principle to your lifestyle. For example, if you start your day with diversions like social media, emails, phone calls, or office chitchat and then continue to stuff your jar with pebbles, you will quickly see that it is nearly full. Now, there is nowhere to place the rocks in your jar, which represent the day’s most crucial tasks. Your day will hence not be used to its full potential.

The jar is a visual representation of how long each item on your optimized to-do list should take. The same size jar is set on a table with a clock next to it. It helps in better division and segregation of things. The jar represents your time, the clock represents the time of the day, and the table represents the activities of daily life.

The clock has two hands: one that points to the present moment and another that points to the end of the day. The Pickle Jar theory follows a simple Rocks, Pebbles, and Sand model.

Fill the “jar” with the most important activities to get back on course and make the day efficient.

After that, tackle essential but unimportant tasks one at a time.

Doing so will allow you to complete your most important activities first and attend to others later. You must be aware that highly efficient folks use their assets and are not preoccupied with the amount they accomplished rather than what exactly it was that they accomplished.

Rocks, Pebbles, and Sand


the-pickle-theory-jar

 

Sand

The sand represents all the little, unimportant tasks, such as checking social media notifications, WhatsApp messages, chit-chatting with coworkers, daydreaming, workplace diversions, and other disrupting activities which can take up many hours.

Pebbles

The pebbles stand for chores that are more important than sand. They consist of duties that may be put off or assigned to others. All the phone calls, email responses, and making appointments, or trivial unexpected tasks are examples of urgent chores that may wait. Although they appear to require attention right away, they are not as crucial as rocks.

Rocks

The fist-sized rocks stand for the day’s most important tasks and you need to meet deadlines to complete them. These are the tasks that, if left unfinished, can cause serious consequences for you.

For copywriters, rocks can mean preparing and writing articles; for computer programmers, they might stand for coding and testing, etc.

How Does the Pickle Theory Materialize?


The jar represents your time, the clock represents the time of the day, and the table represents the activities that take place during the day.

First, mark your medium size jar with the amount of time that you think each job or assignment should take.

Next, place the jar on the table and mark the clock with the present moment and the end of the day. Now, you can use the jar to plan tasks and track your progress throughout. The jar is filled with rocks, pebbles, and sand. Spend time writing down your task lists and to-do lists.

Each item represents an item on your to-do list. Rocks represent bigger tasks that take a large chunk of time, pebbles are medium-sized tasks that take an average amount of time, and sand is used for small and short tasks.

The jar is a visual representation of how long each task should take. Thus, the size of the stone represents the importance of the task and determines how long the task takes to be completed.

Practical Implications of the Pickle Theory


The big glass pickle jar is a simple way of visualizing your workload. Rocks, pebbles, and sand can be applied to the daily activities workers deal with. It is important to note, though, that the item size does not reflect the amount of time spent on the activity.

The pickle jar theory can be beneficial if you’re feeling overwhelmed and can’t find the right starting point.

The ability to prioritize our responsibilities is one of the theory’s primary benefits. You need to think deeply to sort through what is crucial and what is not when you only have a jar to load with a maximum of four rocks.

Researchers have found that people prioritize urgent tasks over significant ones. People frequently avoid significant jobs in favor of urgent ones because they appear simpler and provide faster payoffs.

As a result, in order to obtain long-term benefits, one must distinguish between unnecessary urgency and crucial reality.

Who Is the Pickle Theory For?


pickle-theory-planning

The Pickle jar theory helps determine which tasks are important and how much time you need to allocate for them.

This system can benefit a variety of people and organizations. It doesn’t matter which industry you work in or what kind of tasks you have – the theory can be applied by pretty much anyone.

While the jar method is a simplified visual aid that may help you keep track of your daily tasks, it is essential to note that it may not work for everyone. Also, make sure to include rest days in your schedule.

If you feel like this method is too much work for you, you can use the TimeClock app. It is a smart and innovative way to keep track of your work hours and time spent.

Conclusion


The Pickle Jar theory is a simple yet effective way of managing your time. It is a visual way of keeping track of your daily tasks and progress. It is, however, a much more straightforward and less scientific approach than other time management techniques. You can use a calendar or a to-do list to keep track of your daily items, but these are not visual like the pickle jar method.

You can also use TimeTrack for this purpose. It is a useful tool that helps you keep track of all the tasks and time spent on them. It is also available on mobile phones and is called the TimeClock app. Mobile working time recording allows you to record your working times anytime and from anywhere – whether in the work office, home office, or on the road. Digitize your company with the introduction of employee self-service and save time!

The mobile time tracking allows you to track your times to the minuteanytime and from anywhere. The mobile time clock is especially handy to add forgotten times. Your working times are automatically synchronized and are immediately visible in the web app.

Record your working hours on the go with the TimeTrack mobile app!