My friend, Elizabeth Dixon, started a website last year entitled, Bite an Elephant. If you don’t know the origin of the phrase, I’m guessing it comes from the old riddle: “How do you eat an elephant?” Answer: “One bite at a time.” Elizabeth is dedicated to helping people be successful, one step at a time. I’ve been exploring my own means of eating the elephant recently – Micro Moves.
I don’t know if you’re familiar with micro moves or not. I’ve tried to find who coined the phrase, but as of yet, have not been successful. If you know, I’d love to hear from you. I was introduced to the idea by McNair Wilson. He’s a creative genius, a former Disney imagineer and has served as a mentor and coach for me over the years.
The way McNair described micro moves is so simple you might call it elegant. A micro move is nothing more than breaking down the largest of tasks into a series of very small projects or tasks – “moves.”
His example was to think about cleaning out your garage. That’s something most people can relate to. And, for many people, the thought is overwhelming. McNair suggested selecting one box or one shelf a day and attack it – not the entire garage. Be consistent and make your moves as frequently as possible, daily if you can. He said your individual moves may take only 10 or 15 minutes, but executed consistently, it will add up. You’ll wake up one day in the near future, and that garage will be clean!
So, I’ve been experimenting with this idea as we prepare for an upcoming move. Based on my experience, I have a few tips for your consideration.
Although I think the ideas works on anything we need to do, the bigger the project, the better. My belief is the huge projects are the daunting ones we’re most likely to avoid.
Each move doesn’t have to be of equal impact or time commitment. Saturday, I invested 3 hours – Sunday only about one hour. Both count. Although you may want to allocate an hour a day on cleaning out the garage, don’t sweat it if one day, you can only invest 15 minutes – micro moves. The little bits of focused time add up.
Tell someone else what you’re doing and your plan of attack. Accountability is a really good thing. As I’ve written about before on this site, I think it really is a gift we can give ourselves and others. If you tell someone you trust about your plan, their encouragement will increase the likelihood of your success.
Saturday, I finished cleaning out the garage and started on the basement. Micro moves are helping me prepare for our big move in a few months. Next stop, I’m going to try some micro moves on several big projects at the office. If I learn anything new, I’ll pass it on.
I hope you’ll join me, and take a bite out of your elephant today![GLS_Shield]
Author: Mark Miller
Mark is a business leader, author, communicator, photographer, husband, and father. He spends his time helping leaders grow.