Today’s Momentum Monday lesson is from my mother’s instruction manual for life. Chapter 8, entitled simply “Eating Elephants”, details the best way to ingest a generous serving of pachyderm (or any other mammoth mammal). Recommendation: one bite at a time.
What counts as a Gigantic Elephant of Epic Proportions task? Anything that takes up your mental energy – a single phone call that you are dreading or a giant project that just seems too insurmountable to start (and anything and everything in between).
Isn’t that the simplest, least painful way of tackling a gigantic task?
Straight on and dig in! So often when faced with a gigantic task of epic proportions, we hum and we haw, we fret and we worry, we put it off and we push it to the bottom of the list. And so that gigantic elephant of epic proportions parks his backside in the corner of our office and every now and then looks over our shoulder….waiting to be eaten.
Looking over our shoulder to check on our elephant wastes a lot of time and takes up our mental energy. We watch him groom himself, get comfortable and take a nap, promising ourselves that tomorrow we will eat him. Then tomorrow comes and we get busy and “Gosh-Golly – there’s just not enough time left to eat an entire elephant!”
Zen and the Art of Eating Gigantic Elephants of Epic Proportions
#1: Cut Elephant Up into Bite-Sized Chunks – Break the project down into bite-sized chunks. Preferably something you can finish in less than an hour.
#2: Nibble on Elephant One Bite at a Time – Get started even if it’s the smallest, easiest task – whatever it takes to get moving forward.
#3: Finish Chewing Elephant – It’s essential that you finish chewing each bite before moving onto the next. Not only will it give you a sense of accomplishment, it’s a more efficient use of your time.
#4: Nibble on the Next Tiny Bite – As you start building forward momentum, take the next tiny bite and the next one and the next and before you know it, you are halfway done eating the elephant!
#5: Voila! You’re DONE! – Give yourself a pat on the back – that was a huge undertaking!
How do you eat an elephant? I’d love to hear how you get more done and build momentum!