Blog 2036 – 04.22.2021
The Best Way To Eat An Elephant
It may seem a silly proposition if you take today’s title seriously. I am, of course not proposing that anyone actually eat one of those majestic creatures, but suggesting that tasks that seem impossibly large can be undertaken and completed in short order best by taking, “One bite at a time.”
As a part of my regular day job as a contract welding and utility inspector, I am required to complete annually a series of Safety Skills courses and Operator Qualification courses specific to any particular assignment that I may be given. What with the Covid-19 shut down of so much of the economy I have been without a work assignment for over a year. As business is beginning to get back to normal I informed my contract work agency that I was confident that all my Safety training had expired and needed to be re-done, so they lined me up to take all sixteen online courses. I completed them all in one day. Actually I did the first module on Tuesday afternoon and completed the other fifteen yesterday.
The list was so long you had to click “see more” twice in order to see the whole list. But surprisingly taking just one bite at a time the elephant sized meal was consumed in seemingly no time at all. And I am so glad it is done. One less thing as Forest Gump would say.
I never ceases to amaze me how quickly the things to do on my To Do List get done no muss no fuss, and in record time, when I resist the pressure to hurry or lose my focus by attempting to multi-task, or half-ass, two or more things at a time. The experience of having to back up and start again and again has taught me that the best and fastest way to do quality work is first things first, one at a time, and taking the time to do each step right the first time, till the job is done.
Years ago I read a pamphlet called, The Tyranny of the Urgent. I particularly liked the picture quote of Viggo Mortensen today. It is a great lesson he learned as have many who went on to leave a large and lasting body of work behind. They used to say, “If a thing is worth doing it is worth doing well.” And you can easily tell, by what they produce, those who truly believe that to be true. Give each task that you undertake the best you’ve got and you will find that others will see and appreciate and even when they fail too you will still find the greatest satisfaction in a job well done.
Your friend and fellow traveler,
All I Ask Of You