• Sun. Feb 5th, 2023

Janeane's World

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Taming the To-Do List One Item at a Time

Taming the To-Do List One Item at a Time

No matter how long it is, you can tame your to-do list. You do it 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, it 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 become quite doable.

Tame your to-do list one bite at a time.

Our to-do lists are often a struggle to get through. But, at the end of the struggle is victory and joy. 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 idea 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. 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.

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.

If you want to read more about beating procrastination, check out the following:

Taming Our to-do Lists

To-do lists have the power to make us strong or leave us crying messes on the floor. It all depends upon who is the boss, us, or our to-do lists. Click here to read more.


Figure Out Why You Procrastinate and Take Action Now

If you are a person who chooses to procrastinate, stall and make excuses rather than take action now, find out the reason. Click here to read more.

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 day is how are you going to tame your to-do list and eat your elephant?


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