Sunday, October 25, 2009

Eating Frogs and Elephants

A wise man once told me that if you have to eat a frog, it’s best not to look at it too long.

For you uneducated, that means if you have a tough job to do, go ahead and do it, it will not get any easier. I generally try to subscribe to this rule but don’t always succeed. It takes intentionality to always get the hard things out of the way first before tackling the easier tasks. Besides, sometimes the hard things are the biggest jobs.

This brings me to the elephant part….How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!

Last week, while, again, cutting my grass (lots of thinking time there) I realized that I was constantly trimming the edges of my yard and making a pretty large “square” in order to have a clear, relatively large, area to cut. After a few “rounds” on the big area I would unconsciously cut it into smaller squares, and then cut them one at a time. Apparently the larger job was just too much for my mind to handle, so I cut it down to manageable jobs, then completed them one at a time until the entire yard was cut.

Sometimes I think we look at the size of the job and get discouraged, especially if it is a tough, big job. If we could intentionally think in terms of breaking the large job into small tasks they may become more manageable. Just like eating an elephant, your short term activity, multiplied by time, equals your long term accomplishment.

Do the tough ones first, break the job into manageable tasks, and don’t ever, ever quit. There you have Tim’s recipe for success.

Frogs and elephants…breakfast of champions!