Well I did it again. I have a project before me that is huge and the deadline is creeping up, fast. Also to some degree the project is getting bigger with some unexpected new ideas that will make the project look better and work better. The improvements add time to an already expansive project. I woke up on the morning I wrote this wondering “Can I pull it off?”
The truth is, this is one of those rare cases where failure is not an option. Some people I love and care about very deeply, whose mission I fully support, need me to come through. This must be done and it must be done well and on time. No other option. So how will I do it?
Well there’s an old saying, “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer is really pretty simple, “One bite at a time.” And that is how I am going to finish this project. One bite at a time.
I’ve know the project was coming for months, but I only got the final materials a week ago. If I waited for those final materials, right now I would be having panic attacks. This is a big elephant. Since I knew it was coming, I also knew there would be some preliminary work I knew I could get done ahead of time. So even before I had all that I needed I got to work, I chipped away at the preliminaries and I’m in decent shape.
There is still a huge amount of work to be done, and this is not my only project but the one bite at a time philosophy helps with this as well. You know how sometimes you’ll burn out on a project or you’ll simply lose inspiration. Well when I lost passion for this project, I switch to taking bites out of another one and vice versa. This way I am making continual steps in my journey.
I also try hard not to waste time. When the family is sitting around in the evening watching TV, I have my sketchbook or my laptop in my lap, plugging away at the more mindless tasks-those that can be done while I am also engaging with family so that my family is getting my attention. Please note: this works for activities like watching TV where we are all engaged in something else. It would not work if we were playing a game or having a deep conversation. For things like that put your work down and pick it up later.
This week I am traveling. One leg of my trip will involve about 16 hours on planes and in airports, another is about 12 hours. I will spend a lot of this time “eating the elephant” unless God gives me a divine appointment to speak into someone’s life.
Lastly, you can accomplish amazing things by getting up an hour earlier, so I will do this as well.
It would be easy to go into a panic over whether or not I can get this done. It’s really important to me to do it well, but I won’t panic. Worry is imagination misused. Instead I plan on “eating the elephant.”
One bite at a time.
What’s your elephant?