The Elephant in the Room

Def:  An idiom for a truth that is either being ignored or going unaddressed.

This expression also applies to an obvious problem or risk no one wants to discuss. It is based on the idea that an elephant being in a room would be impossible to overlook, hence the greatest stealer of time – procrastination.

A study from a YouGov survey of 2,000 adults revealed that we spend on average 55 days procrastinating each year. Employees spend 43 minutes daily doing non-work-related activities like making tea or surfing the web.

Over the last 10 months in particular, more staff are working from home, perhaps for the first time, or more than previously, and may struggle to motivate themselves. We all have elements of a job that we do not like or feel overwhelming and we sometimes will do anything not to do that task.

When this has happened to me I:

  • Re-designed training to make the workshops appropriate for Zoom.
  • Wrote this article and considered other marketing ideas.
  • Cleaned the kitchen floor!

Anything other than the job sitting beside me – the elephant in my room.

Whilst being productive, the downside was that I ended up working silly hours to meet the deadline and put unnecessary stress on myself.

Some tips on dealing with procrastination – why not think about

  • Realistically prioritise what needs to be done – list all the things you need to do.
  • Baby steps – if it is a big task, break it down into manageable chunks.
  • Create a productive environment – maybe turn off your phone or email notifications, have a tidy desk and try to remove distractions.
  • Ascertain when you are most productive – when you are at your best you get through tasks quicker and more efficiently.
  • Treat yourself – allocate time to do things you enjoy, for example ‘when I’ve done this, I will have a cup of coffee’.

And finally think about why you are procrastinating – Don’t over think it but by recognizing behaviours enables us to do something about it.

We can support you with 3hr online sessions, one-to-one or in small groups. If you would like support in managing your time, contact Annie Mulady on 01628 475988 or