The answer to this old story is of course, “One bite at a time”.
It’s a good analogy to stay focused, not get overwhelmed, and cope with the plethora of things you have to do to get complex tasks done. Trouble is it has one fatal flaw:
You get bored as hell eating elephant. Every. Single. Day. “Hey what’s for breakfast!? Elephant. What’s for lunch!? Elephant. What’s for dinner!? Elephant. You get the idea. And it’s not filet mignon mind you. It’s chewy meat, the skin is dry and tough and certainly not very tasty, and there’s a ton of it. Some days you wake up and you’re absolutely, positively not in the mood to eat elephant for the 400th day in a row. A light spinach salad would be a nice change of pace, you know?
I’m kidding, but I’m also not. The analogy is indeed great. In practice though it’s tough to swallow.