Debunking the “Magic Elves” Myth – Just Get It Done

Hey there!

Once again, Make It Happen Monday has arrived and with it, an epiphany for me.

Thanks for allowing me to share. (Ok, I know I didn’t ask, but you’re still reading.)

I have come to realize that despite what I’d like to think of as an empowered mindset, there are a few activities that no matter how they are framed, I will not enjoy them. In fact, I may never even get to the point of not not liking them. I won’t bore you with the details but most, if not all, of these things involve detailed administrative work, as in preparing taxes, controlling and the myriad of backend technical activities that are necessary to run a business.

Yes, at some point lots of these things can be delegated and outsourced, yet as a smart business owner, you still need to have an overview of what is going on. So that said, what do you usually do with those tasks that you don’t really enjoy? If you are like most people, you push them down to the bottom of your list and secretly hope they will be done by the “magic elves”, yes, those same magic elves that come in at night and sew your favorite jacket in by several inches, so that it suddenly becomes too tight to even think of wearing. (Oddly, this usually happens shortly after the holidays.)

Of course, after their little tailoring frenzy, the lazy little trolls never get around to the things you really want done. And well…there is no easy way to tell you this, but it’s because they are a myth. Yep, your jackets are too tight, for the same reason mine are, because you have fluffed up a little; nothing more, nothing less. Oh and the magic elves won’t ever get around to those other things you need to have done, either.

So the elves don’t do it, nor do you. Instead you busy yourself with less crucial but much more pleasant activities that create an extremely plausible illusion of you being very productive, when in fact you are just busy. You move at the speed of light – as you go nowhere really fast. Some of us get so good at this that by the end of a day, we have checked off a list of no less than 47 to-do’s, we are totally exhausted and yet that ONE thing that must be finished by the end of the week is left undone. And that is the thing that exhausts us most!

When we know that something must be done and we continually push it aside, it takes energy to repeatedly ban it from our thoughts. Energy that could be used to actually get it done. Again, trust me, those elves are useless when it comes to filing anything.

So what do you do, when even the most powerful reframing along the lines of “Billing means that money is coming in for the great services I provide…” has lost its motivational appeal?

The magic answer is…. delegate it or do it. Yes, you knew it all along, there really is no magic to it.

What is almost magical is that wonderful lightness that comes over you, once you have “that thing” done and that surge of energy, because you are no longer channeling energy into avoiding something.

So what is THE one thing that if you got it done, it would make today feel like a raging success?

Hint, if you are not sure, look waaaay down your list for the task that despite its importance, seems to have no urgency on your part. Now, keep calm and delegate it or do it. Now.

A NOTE: It’s ok to just “buckle down” and get things done sometimes, however, if you find yourself trudging through every day and everything seems hard or you don’t feel motivated by anything, it’s time to take a closer look at what is really getting in your way. I help overcommitted professionals regain control of their lives and break free from struggle, stress and burnout.
Call me to find out how I can help you, +49 176 556 19 112 or send me an e-mail at coach[at]

p.s. I’m grateful to know some pretty smart people and I am always happy when I can introduce their genius to others. Check out this great article on Create Environments That Support Your Success. It is written by one of my mentors, Ali Brown. Entrepreneur mentor, Ali Brown teaches women around the world how to start and grow a profitable business that makes a positive impact. Get her FREE CD “Top 10 Success Secrets for Entrepreneurial Women” at”


Denise Banks-Grasedyck(l) with Ali Brown(r) in Los Angeles



About Denise Banks-Grasedyck, Coach. Consultant. Speaker.

I'm an entrepreneur, a wife and a mother. I'm a Freedom Fighter for the overcommitted professional and a designer of Ideal-Life and Business blueprints. Discovering and developing simple solutions to complex challenges is one of my super powers. I write about life and business and everything that intersects them.
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11 Responses to Debunking the “Magic Elves” Myth – Just Get It Done

  1. patrice says:

    This is so true. Loved the part about how the energy we use avoiding doing it is more than the energy it would just take to do it. Called me out!

  2. For part of my professional career I had an organizing business for over 8 years. I have seen how procrastination on tasks that people don’t want to do can kill a business and get a busy professional in hot water quickly. After all successful people delegate the things they don’t want to do or have time to do. They do not make excuses but find solutions. So the solution can be to pass that burdened task onto someone who loves to do what you don’t. Like you said, Denise; it drains your time,energy and in the long run can cost you money.

  3. Wait a minute!?!?! What !?!?! There aren’t any magic elves?!?!? 🙂 Denise you are as always super smart and very witty. Yes, it’s amazing how busy we can get avoiding the thing that really needs to get done. It IS exhausting. I’ll have to check my list to see what’s getting pushed to the bottom……

  4. Perhaps a magic wand if there aren’t any “magic elves” – lol! Thank you Denise! I like the idea of “keep calm and delegate on” – it was so nice meeting you and chatting w/ you last month!

  5. Aly Pain says:

    I love the magic elves in their tailoring frenzy! LOL!! Feeling a little of that right now after Easter dinner and I am still wearing my pants.
    Isn’t it ironic that the things we avoid take more energy to avoid than all the things we do in the meantime to feel busy and productive??!! And yet we try to kid ourselves that isn’t true. Making a list of tasks is only the first step. I have learned to start with the hardest and most impactful one, even if it takes me all day and I ‘cherry pick’ (do a few easy peasy things along the way for a mental break) along the way. Activity does not make productivity and I love that you have called yourself, and the rest of us out on that!

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