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Never forget the elephant

You can’t eat an elephant all at once.  You will have heard the expression – it means that you have to slice it up and eat it piece by piece.  

Chunking things up, task by task – it’s so easy. You cross the tasks off the list and you know that you are progressing.
 
Identify the first thing that matters and plan to get it started, to finish it off. Now there’s already a dwindling list. And the mountain doesn’t seem so hard to climb. It’s simple enough. It’s therapeutic. The dopamine kicks in. You feel good.
 
But, there must be more to life than just a to-do list.  Learn to appreciate the moment, the instant, not the past, nor the future, but what gives you inspiration.  Create an environment around you that allows your imagination to fly, your spirits to soar and your work to flow. 
 
Don’t give yourself tasks that are too large, too long or too complex. Remember that in a year it won’t all seem so important. Let time take care of itself – other events will happen that will change everything.  The future isn’t fixed. 
 
Have a talk with the people around you. Ask them questions. Don’t ever forget to ask why – it will save you so much wasted time.
 
Avoid unwelcome intrusions. Keep focused on what matters. It’s a project. Manage your own energy and you’ll manage the energy of others.  
 
If you make your list at the end of the day, it will help you sleep. If you do it in the morning, it may be something like this: Switch on coffee machine, heat coffee, put coffee into cups… Life’s worth living again.
 
I didn’t know how this blog would develop, but now I know that it starts with an elephant and it finishes with an elephant. 
 
Everyone’s list is different. If you touch the leg of an elephant in the dark, you may think it’s a tree, the tail a rope, the trunk a snake, the flank a duck, and if it quacks like a duck. Stop, editor, we have no more time this time.


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Metanaction.com : Ian Stokes, freelance project director


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