Home Mindful Living My Buffet #WednesdayWisdom

My Buffet #WednesdayWisdom

by Vidya Sury February 14, 2018 17 comments
Little by little, a little becomes a lot #wednesdaywisdom #mindfulness #inspiringquotes

Getting back to work after a sick break is hard. I imagine it is the same no matter what kind of break it is. And the overall feeling is one of overwhelm. Of course work has piled up.

Besides juggling deadlines and pacifying clients and being really creative with the reasons for delay, there’s also the routine stuff that has to be done. I am referring to cooking/eating/bathing/etc. all of which claim time during the 24-hour day.

I was talking to my friend about this when she laughingly said, “You’ve got to eat that elephant one bite at a time”.

Seriously, is there any other way to eat it? For one thing, elephants are massive. And rushing it will only result in indigestion and anxiety, neither of which is good for health.

My to-do list is currently that elephant. I am circling it, wondering where to begin.

How can I wrap my mind around what I have to do?

How to prioritize and take care to bite only what I can comfortably chew? Especially when I am going through tummy troubles as well, right now?

Here’s how I plan to tackle it.

I am going to treat my to-do list like a buffet.

I’ll take a good long look at what’s on this buffet.

Then, I will pick tasks that will make me happy, to begin with, and add them to my plate, so that when I am done with them, I have that nice feeling of satisfaction.

How do I know what not to put on my plate?

I am giving myself permission to take a deep breath and only go back for more when I am ready.

When I don’t overload my plate, I allow myself to enjoy every morsel and share my happiness with others.

I am tackling my workload in bite-sized pieces so I can stay stress-free. This way I will also accomplish more.

And while I am at it, I will rearrange my to-do list like a menu and divide the tasks into appetizers, main course and dessert.

  • Appetizers will be the easy stuff that can be done quickly.
  • The main course will be the bulk of the day’s tasks that will occupy the biggest chunk of time.
  • Dessert, well, dessert will be what I do at the end of the day after I take stock of the rest of the “meal”.

By dividing my work this way, it will seem easier to handle. Perhaps, in the process, I will even move some items to tomorrow’s menu or buffet.

How do you manage your work when you return from a break?

Little by little, a little becomes a lot. – Tanzanian Proverb

Peace is a journey of a thousand miles and it must be taken one step at a time #wednesdaywisdom #inspiringquotes #mindfulness

#WednesdayWisdom is a series with short bursts of easy-to-consume wisdom in the form of stories, quotes, anecdotes, and humor.

Share this post ❤

You may also like


Shailaja Vishwanath February 14, 2018 at 9:44 pm

Always tough to return to work after an illness, Vidya. Totally get that feeling.

Health is priority, so I’d say don’t rush it for now. Your method seems just right. Take on only what you can do and manage in bite-sized chunks. Hope you are fully back to form and fighting fit very soon.

Sending you warm hugs and lots of love.

Reema Dsouza February 14, 2018 at 11:14 pm

Perfect time for me to read this! I was sick and I was on leave for the whole of last week. I think you can understand my situation back at work this week! Phew! Each day is so hectic. But I’m managing things doing them one at a time.
Hope you are feeling better now! Take care 🙂

Rachna Parmar February 15, 2018 at 8:04 am

It is tough to work when one is unwell. As freelancers we don’t have the luxury of taking sick leaves. 🙁 But your approach is good. Yet, give yourself time to be completely back in shape. Else last time I got back to full vigour I fell sick again! Take care, Vidya and feel better soon.

Angel Stew & Devil's Brew February 15, 2018 at 9:04 am

What great advice. “You’ve got to eat that elephant one bite at a time.” I think it’s my new favorite quote. Seriously, is there any other way? Whether you’re backlogged at work, home, wherever, whatever. Life in general. One bite at a time. Definitely, words to live by. I’ve been a little under the weather lately so bed has been my refuge. – Ugh. Being sick is so inconvenient. Feel better my beautiful friend. <3

Varsh February 15, 2018 at 9:48 am

Hope you’re feeling better, Vidya. Your buffet-list advice is the most sensible one I’ve read. Pick and choose and do what works best for us.
Take good care of yourself. Sending love, warm wishes and lots of positivity your way.

Nabanita Dhar February 15, 2018 at 3:10 pm

Hope you are feeling better, Vidya. Your friend is right, one bite at a time.

Take it easy as you get back into the groove.

Sending you lots of hugs <3

Laura Tong February 15, 2018 at 6:43 pm

Such a wonderful and encouraging way to tackle our overwhelming to-do lists – thank you for your wonderful wisdom. Sending love and hugs for a super speedy return to great health super soon. xxx

Vinay Kumar Satyanarayan February 16, 2018 at 9:04 am

Wonderfully put!
Its not only when you working but even while being retired. The only difference is that we are not accountable to any one!
Attack the top three priorities head-on, the first thing in the morning!
Keep it going Vidya…elephant tail soup is very delicious…seriously… I had to end with it all life long as a creative writer!

SHALINI BAISIWALA February 16, 2018 at 11:14 am

Awesome way to organise your list of chores Vidya – made me smile at the analogy! Your posts are so spiffy and full of witty wisdom!! Its a pleasure reading your blog.

Birgit February 17, 2018 at 7:27 pm

You are right, slow but sure wins the race and that applies to your health. I think taking this way and learn via the elephant is the best way. Please feel better soon, eat bland foods and don’t exert yourself too much right now

Sanch @ Sanch Writes February 19, 2018 at 1:48 pm

Always tough to get back to work after any type of break…sometimes it feels like it’s a punishment to take a break! I like the idea of treating your to-do list like a buffet. 🙂 Hope you get well soon and in the mean time, keep giving yourself permission for down time.

Soumya February 20, 2018 at 11:58 am

You’ve got to eat that elephant one bite at a time – My mantra from today 😀

I hope you are feeling better now, Hottie! The problem is, sometimes too much hotness can make other sick 😛

I suck at taking breaks, I get cranky, annoyed and miffed with everything around. Slowly, I’m giving myself the permission to slow down and not do anything at times.

Debbie L Hampton February 23, 2018 at 1:51 am

I like the buffet analogy. It’s very fitting. I think I’m going to use that approach too. 🙂

Cathy Taughinbaugh February 23, 2018 at 10:07 pm

Love reading this Vidya. Perfect timing me for me as well. The To Do list can overtake your life at times, so baby steps sound like a better way to go.

Paige Burkes February 24, 2018 at 3:08 am

So glad you’re feeling well enough to get back to work (we all love your work). I’ve used so many different productivity hacks to manage my to-do list. I’ve never thought of it like a menu and buffet and I love the analogy!

Elle Sommer February 25, 2018 at 12:48 am

I’m happy to hear you’re feeling much better Vidya. I totally recognize your ‘buffet’ approach…though I haven’t called it that.

I’ve found when I have what could be called an overwhelming amount to get through, like you I just pick one thing…put the rest out of my mind and focus on that before I even give a thought to anything else.

This works for me…and it sounds really similar to what you discovered works for you.

Stay well my lovely,

Zeenat Merchant Syal February 25, 2018 at 7:47 pm

Love this analogy of the buffet Vidya! So glad you are feeling better now. And its serenditpitous that I just finished writing a post on prioritizing 🙂 Will post it tonight.
xoxo, Z~


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge