Monday, January 10, 2011

So . . . just how DO you eat an elephant?

I was watching my Twitter feed this past weekend when a tweet came across my screen from Kirsten Holscher (aka @FTF_Coach):

Q. How do you eat an elephant? A. One bite at a time. - Overwhelmed by a big job? Break it down into manageable tasks!

We've all heard the Q & A before, but for some reason, we fail to translate it into something meaningful. Kirsten's assessment is simple and realistic.

With a new year comes new goals, resolutions and promises made to ourselves to "change the way we will do it in 2011." The year starts, we've got great intentions, the lists get made . . . and then what? We walk into the office on a Monday morning, sit down at the computer to check Facebook, Twitter and a few blogs we follow, only to realize that half the day has slipped away without accomplishing anything productive. We then proceed to slide back into our habit of looking at the list and making excuses why we don't have enough time today, or perhaps we just do a couple of the easier little things and leave the big ones "until tomorrow". Then tomorrow comes and we do it all over again.

I felt this way myself when walking into my less-than-organized office one day. Knowing that I had to tackle this project, I even resorted to cleaning the bathroom instead of organizing the clutter. It was simply overwhelming. During a phone conversation with Kirsten, I said "I'm not even sure where to start."

Her reply was "at the door and to the right . . . but since you're left-handed, you can go to the left if you prefer." Simple.

This weekend I had an email exchange with another photographer who is struggling with a similar task. Revamping a website can be daunting, but there's no need to fear doing it. Mine is under constant revision. Rather than try to reorganize the entire thing in one evening, I work on one area at a time. Maybe it's a single page. Today, work on weddings. Set aside tomorrow for HS Seniors and plan to tackle families the day after that.

When broken down into easy-to-understand pieces, the task becomes less daunting. Once you begin to see progress, you actually become energized to complete the job and see the final product.

Take a look around your studio and find the "elephant in the room." (Poor elephants get no respect!) Tie on your bib and take a bite; pretty soon, you'll have it well under control!

- David Grupa

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