Eating Elephants

How do you eat an elephant?

One bite at a time.

My Big Projects

I started working on my third book. It requires a significant amount of research (and some writing). Every week I read, and every week I write. Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. But no week goes by without at least some progress. I could even measure it, if I wanted. (But I know I’m moving forward, so I don’t bother.)

I am also cleaning up my contact lists on Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, and other websites. It’s a huge task. I have 4,000 “contacts” in Gmail alone. But every week I set aside 30 minutes, and I clean up a small portion. (You might have noticed, when you received a Twitter or LinkedIn notification from me. Count yourself lucky. It means you’re still in.)

I am also browsing for music by my favorite artists on Spotify. And I’m browsing for unknown artists within the same genres. I’m slowly but steadily turning my findings into big playlists. I do this while working, and every week I waste at least one hour of my precious time on it. But I like doing it. And it’s nice to delete Gmail contacts to the rhythm of a beat.

There’s also my giant project of finding (and owning, and reading) copies of the best fantasy and science fiction books on the planet. I enjoy browsing for books as much as reading them. And I’ve made significant progress there. This project costs me about an hour per week. I think. I hope it never ends.

And I haven’t told you about the huge to-do list for my house. And the refactoring of my profile on dozens of social networks. And my secret plan to rule the world.

Needless to say, these are all Big Projects.

I do them all one small step at a time.

Your Big Projects

Sometimes people ask me, “How do I start test-driven development on a big legacy framework?” or “How do I convince our big management layer to become agile?” or “How do I finish this big nightmare of a project?”

Well, that’s easy.

You eat an elephant one bite at a time.

I’m busy eating a herd!

(photo by Matt MacGillivray)

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