Eat an elephant one bite at a time.

I am looking for an alternative to this idiom that expresses the same idea.

The idea expressed: If a big task is given, tackle it piece by piece

  • 3
    'a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step' (although this is from the Tao te Ching) or more generally "one step at a time",
    – James K
    Commented Aug 7, 2023 at 23:28
  • You could also say you're "chipping away at" the task Commented Aug 7, 2023 at 23:57

1 Answer 1


There are probably lots of similar sayings, but the common one that springs to mind is:

slow and steady wins the race

Although it doesn't specifically mention breaking a task into pieces, this commonly used proverb is about being methodical with respect to both speed and accuracy.

A longer version of the proverb is said less often:

Slow and steady wins the race, not the person who wants to climb the whole stairs in one stride.

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