DEV Community

loading...
Cover image for How Do You Eat An Elephant?

How Do You Eat An Elephant?

Dave Sev
IT programmer in Life Insurance. Billing. Bank Statements. Moving towards coaching IT Professionals through burnout and career planning.
・3 min read

Ever wonder why sometimes you can master a skill in no time at all, but other times, no matter how many times you go over the same material it just doesn't stick?

There are a few important ideas to consider, and each one should be able to help improve your learning significantly.

The best place to start... is at the beginning! But to know where you are now, its good to know where you are going: There are 7 actionable steps we will reveal in this post.

Starting Something New

Capture

Starting something new is always daunting. You have

  • no idea what you need to know
  • no idea what you will be required to do
  • no idea if you have the skills to be able to do it and
  • no idea what is important and what is superficial

So where do you begin?!

It always seems impossible until it’s done.
-Nelson Mandela

Here we touch on one idea, and without doubt the most important, but keep up with future posts which will touch on other ideas as to how you can Master new skills, tools and tech.

In case you're interested...

If you are looking for guidance in career development, I help IT developers create their dream jobs through self discovery, career planning and how to make the best out of your job. Contact me if you would like to discuss further.

Lets dive in.

Capture

Breaking Things Down

Ever start something new and wondered how will I ever be able to get through this, it just seems impossible? Maybe it was a course, a book, a new tech or something else entirely. When I had my first child, I really wondered...

Capture

The new venture is usually daunting, tough and it looks like there is no end in sight - I often see in my mind a giant mountain, with no roads or paths and think will I ever be able to do this?

There's a saying...

how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

When faced with a new challenge, task or venture, the first thing to do is break it down into manageable steps. Instead of having one intimidating goal, you now have a few smaller milestones to achieve.

Each milestone can then be broken down into smaller, actionable tasks.

Prioritize

The next thing to do is work out which items are the most important, and work on them first.

Capture

You can then be scheduled and put into your calendar.

Celebrate your bites

The trick is, every time you take a bite, every time you sit down and work towards your goal, completing a small task or just putting some effort, Celebrate!

You did it! You took action!

Capture

It doesn't matter if you completed your tasks or not, what matters is that you took action.

You took action towards your goal, and that is something to celebrate!

Reward yourself! Even if its something small - a chocolate, an ice cream, anything you look forward to. The bigger the milestone or task, the bigger can be your reward.

This will help you make it through the struggle, disappointments and being overwhelmed.

50% Is Just Starting

This is nothing new, as the ancient Chinese saying goes...

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" - Chinese Proverb

Capture

The most difficult part of every new path you take is the first steps. Lets quickly summarize the plan into 7 steps:

  1. have the goal in mind
  2. break it down in smaller manageable milestones
  3. break those down further in actionable tasks
  4. prioritize your tasks as to how you will approach them
  5. schedule in time for each task
  6. celebrate your efforts 7 reward your achievements

Have your tried breaking down your big goals into smaller tasks when it seemed impossible to begin with?

More importantly are you celebrating your successes when you take action?


In case you're interested...

If you are looking for guidance in career development, I help IT developers create their dream jobs through self discovery, career planning and how to make the best out of your job. Contact me if you would like to discuss further.

Discussion (0)