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Taming the to Do List One Item at a Time

It is terrific to know you can tame your to do list just like you eat an elephant, one bite at a time.

My husband has never been afraid of hard work and struggle. He taught me and is teaching our children to eat an elephant. He always asks, “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer of course is one bite at a time.  As you know, an elephant is a big thing. It can seem almost an insurmountable job to eat an elephant. If you think about the big picture only, you may think you will ever get from the start to the end of the meal. However if you look at the elephant as merely one bite, one little bite, that is not so hard to imagine. If you look only at one bite at a time, instead of being a struggle, the job of eating an elephant will becomes quite doable.

Our to do lists are often a struggle to get though. But, at the end of the struggle is victory and joy. Check out this song called, “Stuggle” from Tye Tribbett for an idea of what I am talking about.

This is part of my to do list for today. As you can see, it has a whole lot of stuff on it. I understand there is no way I can get all of these things done at one time.
The eat the elephant thing teaches us that we can accomplish any task if we attack it a piece at a time. Take a good look at my to do list for the day. All the things on that list will take hours or even days to accomplish. It is quite scary to think about all the work that is needed to get this stuff done. But, nevertheless, I have to get it all done. It isn’t negotiable. It has to get done.  So, I need a plan. I need a system of some kind in order to get everything done. This is where the eat the elephant plan comes into play.

I am going to get done all the things on the list. One item at a time. My way of choosing an item to work on, is to pick one thing I want to do because the reward is great. Next I usually pick a task I hate so I can knock it off the list. I go back and forth like that until the list is complete. Once I will pick one item, any item and do that item,  my list will be one item shorter. I probably will do the create meal plan thing first. I can sit at  my computer and whip that out easily and go to the market, which I hate, to get the food to match the plan. Next I will work on the children’s book piece because that will make me smile.

Over and over, piece by piece, item by item and bite by bite I will eat my elephant. I will get my to do list completed.  Your to do list is really long. There are so many things you have to do.  All of them have to be done. Get out your to do list and start chomping away at that elephant. So the question for you this Terrific Tuesday is how are you going to tame your to do list and eat your elephant?