How to Eat an Elephant

Questions:  “How do you eat an elephant?”

Answer:  “ One bite at a time.”


As you’re unlikely to ever need to eat an entire elephant, this is seemly useless information.  But as a metaphor for organizing your home and your life, it’s profoundly helpful.

Even the most calm and rational among us is occasionally guilty of hand wringing and making a mountain out of a molehill.  There is almost no project or task that can’t be successfully tackled, “one bite at a time”.   When we break a huge project into chunks, it becomes more “digestible”.

The recipe for this is pretty simple.



Clearly identify the problem or project.

Note the “cooking time”- what’s your deadline?

Gather tools/supplies necessary to start the project.



Simply stated, begin!  The first “bite” is the hardest.  Don’t think about all the subsequent ones.

It’s like the old Chinese proverb, “ A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”  You might surprise yourself- the first bite wasn’t so bad and you realize you can manage another.  Before you know it, you’re well on your way to finishing whatever “elephant” is on your plate.

We waste so much time worrying about how impossible or onerous a project will be, that we work ourselves into a tizzy.  Next time you feel overwhelmed or harried, remember the elephant.  It’s big, and tough, but even so, you can polish it off, “one bite at a time.

If you continue to struggle with one bit at a time, you may want to consider joining us on Thursday for our kick of Lunch and Learn series.  Good luck with whatever your elephant may be!

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