Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Eat My Elephant One Bite At a Time by Eating My Frog First

[Perhaps, I should change my blog title to "Always Later Than I Said!" I am sorry that I haven't been able to keep up with my word. This is another area that I need to work on. I hope this is also a part of me that will be transformed through my blogging journey...]

With the realization that it is better to do something than nothing, I jumped in and get started with clearing up my once again messy desk. At the end of the day, it did not get much better. It is not even a tiny little bit noticeable. But I am glad that I did something about it. I guess this is the idea behind "Eating your frog".

To me, the clutter on my desk is my frog.

It is such a problem that I very often find myself running away from it. Not literally, of course. But I do literally work on top of the paper clutter, rather than cleaning them up. Every time I see them, I feel like I will make more mess if I mess around with it. In fact, my fear isn't ungrounded. I have made trillions attempts in clearing up my desk. My very recent time was during Project Simplify:

Before Picture in Project Simplify

After Picture in Project Simplify

Each time, I ended with a few containers of paperwork that needed follow up work and a cleared desk.

Boxes from Project Simplify

The problem is, with a relatively cleared desk, I tend to think that my job was done the following day! The boxes were forgotten and I would start working on my desk as usual and new clutter build up...

[I intend to put a picture of my current desk "condition" right here, 
but I cannot find the cable for my camera. 
I guess you can picture it!]

Eventually, a move day came, the containers were uncovered. With a pressing move date, these containers just went straight into boxes and moved with us, untouched! Now, I have a total of 8 boxes from previous move hiding in closets and the garage, with an additional 4 under my desk! I guess it is safe to say that, those paper clutter is my big fat elephant too.

Since they say you eat your elephant one bite at a time, the combined wisdom with "Eat Your Frog" for me today is:

Do one thing about it for 15 to 30 minutes, do it before working on other chores, everyday.

It may seem simple for many but my biggest challenge has always been persistence. Why 15 minutes to 30 minutes? I tend to get overcharged and work a lot on the first day easily but I also get tired/bored/scared of the work like this easily too. By setting a shorter time, I hope I could keep it easy and keep it going. In the meantime, I am planning on more steps to follow.

Do you have an area that seems like an elephant to you? 


  1. I am right there with you! I think you are right that doing something is better than doing nothing, It sounds like you have a really good plan. I'm so glad to see you are posting more often again. I look forward to hearing how it is going.

  2. Thanks again for your encouragement. It also helps when I know that there is actually someone "watching" :) I need to update soon...