How do you eat an elephant?

one-bite-at-a-timeMany have probably heard this one before, and in fact, we often refer to it when working with clients that are indicating they are in overwhelm, or are experiencing procrastination.

Faced with a job well overdue, over the Christmas and New Year break, I found myself standing in our lovely well-proportioned greenhouse, gazing at the final remnants of dead plants killed off by the sub-zero overnight temperatures, the masses of cobwebs and virtually translucent glass covered in that horrible green algae, splash marks from watering and the occasional stuck dead leaf. On top of that, there were the masses of pots, trays, spent compost and tied-in canes that we had used to train peppers, cucumbers and chillies up, in those exciting late Spring and early Summer months. WOW…where to begin?

A cup of tea! Ever noticed how a cup of tea provides that space to think and plan? So with gardening clothes on, including a nice warm fleece, soft slippers exchanged for those cold wellie boots that have been in the garage since I last put them on in the early autumn, I had reached a decision.  ‘Today’, I heard myself say to myself, ‘I will just cut and clear all the plants to the compost bin’.

Isn’t it funny how, once you have started, you just get on with it! Soon the whole space looked so much better; progress could definitely be seen. Recognising that my personality type enjoys others also noticing what has been achieved (external confirmation – I find it gives me further impetus); I am energised when my wife delivers a WOW that is so much better already.  The 2nd cup of tea also helps of course.

‘Well what is going to be phase 2? And, well let’s just get that done today’,  I hear myself saying in the privacy of my own head.  Before long, the far gable end had been washed down and stood out as being  ‘as good as new’.

Over the next 3 days, different phases of the cleaning were completed, resulting in us being ready for the new season in a positively ‘shipshape and Bristol fashion’

Allow time for planning and thought.

Break the task into manageable pieces

Stand back and recognise achievement along the way

Be proud and energised by compliments and praise from others

Encourage others with positive reinforcements