How do you eat an elephant?

I recently asked this in the Overcome Procrastination webinar I gave to a large bank. The answer I gave was “Bite by bite”. It was to illustrate how to handle big tasks. Break them down into smaller pieces so that they are manageable.

Shortly after, one of the participants emailed me and said how much he loved the webinar and gave a constructive feedback suggestion. He suggested speaking about slicing a pumpkin instead of eating an elephant since I talked about eating other animals too (frogs). I hadn’t realized that I had so many references to eating animals and liked his idea.

The only thing is slicing a pumpkin isn’t quite as shocking or memorable as eating an elephant. But it is seasonal so more people around this time will be slicing pumpkins which help remind and reinforce the analogy.

Growing up in England, around Christmas, I would also have a Cadbury’s Chocolate Orange which comes sin slices. How do you eat one of these? Slice by slice.

Sometimes it’s useful to have a number of analogies to see which one appeals most to people. Some need the more shocking elephant version, others a more digestible pumpkin one and some might take pleasure in thinking about chocolate.

All examples to remind what to do to manage big tasks. Break them down into smaller bite-size pieces. And eat them bite by bite.