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Put a Couple of Elephants on Your Plate
~Fran Briggs

How do you eat two elephants? The same way you would eat one; one bite at a time. Monstrous tasks often appear to be complex and overwhelming. That's why it's so very important to isolate the parts from the whole. Break your elephant-sized project into several smaller tasks. Target one area and cut it down to size. Lather, rinse, and eat. The key is to begin! It doesn't matter if you have 2 or 22 elephants on your agenda. Put one of them on your plate today. Target one part, and start!

Every one on us-including the most seasoned trainer-can benefit from a review of the basic principles for effectively conquering even the most monstrous task on our agenda. However, doing so requires following specific steps. The first step is to commit to the completion of your project. Two, identify and secure the tools and resources you will need. And three, write down the time and day you expect to have your project completed. Many people know what they need to achieve, but they fail to take these preliminary steps. Simply taking these steps will increase your efficiency, accelerate your success and get it all done, sooner.

Create Your Own Systems for Success

A great time to go to work on your task is during your peak period of productivity. Critical is identifying or creating new systems for your success. For example, when approaching piles of paper, separate and shred on Tuesday, file and process on Wednesday, and repeat until you're finished. Give yourself permission to ask for help when tackling large tasks. Have a "dinner party" with the perfect ambiance and double your efficiency. Make sure your environment is climate-controlled and the appropriate amount of light. Remember, your life is full of distractions, don't allow the phone, doorbell, uninvited guests or disempowering thoughts to interrupt your "meal."

Challenge Yourself

Challenge yourself to take 20 "bites" or more every day until you complete your task. Competing against yourself can actually make your project fun. Feeling a bit full after just a few bites? Take a 10 - 15 minute break to digest. Go for a walk, check in with a loved one or read a magazine. Then, pull up your sleeves and go right back to the table.

Begin Today

Take the thirty or more minutes you would normally spend watching TV, and put an elephant or two on your plate, today. Dig in! You'll not only produce greater personal and professional results, you'll take a bite out of wasted time.

 


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