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Amy on the Wisdom of Glass Balls + Ham Sandwiches

I’ve always valued my time. (I even graduated high school and college early because I didn’t want to waste any of it.)

I thrive under pressure and like it when I have a lot on my plate. I’m not naturally organized, but I do know how to manage my time. When my husband was deployed with the Marines, and I was the only one taking care of our kids, I had to learn how to refine my time management skills. One of the most important things for time management is prioritization or learning how to think big picture and evaluate what’s important every day.

One of the lessons I’ve adopted from the Marine Corps into my own life and our company culture is the wisdom of glass balls and ham sandwiches.

I know what you’re thinking: what?

Glass balls are those high-priority items that need extra care and attention. If a glass ball falls and shatters, you have so much to clean up, a bunch of little shards, and it can do a lot of damage. Plus, they’re hard to replace.

Ham sandwiches are those things that you can just slap together and push out the door. If a ham sandwich falls, you can just sweep it up, make another quickly, and keep going. Basically, you have to ask yourself what can be thrown together right now. 

At Pink Stork, I’ve trained my team on this principle, and I encourage each team to learn how to prioritize effectively and work together accordingly. It’s fun to walk around the office and hear people saying, “That’s a ham sandwich.” It lets me know that my team is using their time well.

When you’ve got the framing tool of glass balls and ham sandwiches, you know how to look at each day and situation from a bird’s eye view to decide what really needs your time and attention … and what doesn’t!

So what are your glass balls and ham sandwiches?