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How Do You Eat an Elephant?

Posted 5 years ago

Goals are an endless occurrence. Get this done, get that done, be here, go there. But it’s the elephant sized goals that are the most intimidating. They’re big — sometimes REALLY big. However in truth, the size of the task is really only the sum of its parts. But it’s the sum that keeps us stuck in first gear. We say to ourselves, “it’s just too big a project to start today”. But what if we chose to see the parts, instead of the sum? This week, Dr. Tony Alessandra breaks down his Platinum Rule for tackling our largest goals. The answer may be smaller than you think!

How Do You Eat an Elephant?

by Dr. Tony Alessandra

Question: How do you eat an elephant? Answer: One bite at a time! Successful people approach their goals by breaking large tasks into smaller ones.
I use the word chunking to describe this process. For instance, when I landed a contract to write my first book, Non-Manipulative Selling, I had six months to write it. On my “To Do” list every day of those six months was: Write book.
Six months went by, no book. The publisher gave me another three months. For three more months Write book appeared daily on my “To Do” list. Still… no book. Finally, the publisher gave me a final three months or else I would lose the contract and have to return the advance.
Fortunately, a colleague gave me the concept of “chunking.” He asked me how many pages I had to write. Answer: 180. How many days to write it? Answer: 90. He told me that every day my “To Do” list should say: Write 2 pages of book. I must write two pages. If I got on a roll, I could write four or five. However, the next day, I still had to write a minimum of two. By following his advice, I finished the book in thirty days!
A final technique for managing your goals comes from Dr. John Lee, time management expert. He says when a task pops up, apply one of the four D’s: Drop it, Delegate it, Delay it, or Do it. Consciously choosing one of those strategies every time you face a task will keep things progressing smoothly.
Platinum Rule® Strategies for Self-improvement and goals:
High ‘D’ styles are great at “doing” and “delegating”, but could improve on how to delegate. They need to take time to explain each task, realize that others will take longer to start and finish than they would, and not forget to say “please” and “thank you.” A little kindness and praise goes a long way to getting others to want to help you.
High ‘I’ styles are great at starting big projects, but struggle to finish many of them. They need to focus on accomplishing the small steps each day. They thrive on small pats on the back. They need to continually remind themselves (through positive affirmations) that they are becoming more focused and more productive each day.
High ‘S’ styles are very persistent people. They stick with projects until completion. However, they need to work on their confidence by soliciting less feedback during the process and presenting larger chunks of work for approval.
High ‘C’ styles are great at perfecting projects, but they sometimes get lost in the details. Remember: 95% correct (and out the door) beats “perfect every time” but late. They need to find someone else to “perfect” their work and learn to finish sooner.


goalsDr. Tony Alessandra has a street-wise, college-smart perspective on business, having been raised in the housing projects of NYC to eventually realizing success as a graduate professor of marketing, internet entrepreneur, business author, and hall-of-fame keynote speaker. He earned a BBA from Notre Dame, a MBA from the Univ. of Connecticut and his PhD in marketing from Georgia State University (1976).
Known as “Dr. Tony” he’s authored 30+ books and 100+ audio/video programs. He was inducted into the NSA Speakers Hall of Fame (1985) and Top Sales World’s Hall of Fame (2010).  Meetings & Conventions Magazine has called him “one of America’s most electrifying speakers”.
Dr. Tony is also the Founder/CVO of  Assessments 24×7.  Assessments 24×7 is a global leader of online DISC assessments, delivered from easy-to-use online accounts popular with business coaches and Fortune 500 trainers around the world.  Interested in learning more about these customized assessment accounts? Please CONTACT US.