Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Micro tasks to digest crises

We often think that we need to block out an entire day to get the 'job' done: whatever that job is. That we need to have 'clear space to think' , or an uninterrupted day. 

And if we could only have that time, we could complete what we need to get complete. 

I think we may indulge in the wrong metaphors: that we need a grand action for a grand task, instead of diligence, and the accumulation of many actions. Instead, we could think of ourselves as Aslan's mice. If any of you have read the Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe (as illustrated with this post by Pauline Baynes; Lewis, 1950, p. 147), you may remember that the mice came and nibbled away at the great lion's bonds during the night. With so many small creatures, and the aggregation of many small efforts, all the bonds were removed. 

Tara Brabazon said in a blog post earlier this year that "there's a kind of bravery and courage that you just cannot see. It's a bravery that you have to choose for yourself. You choose it in little seemingly insignificant choices, [which] you make every single day. You keep making these tiny good choices, over, and over, and over; until you realize that your entire life is different" (2021, 20:27). Tara was quoting Brittany Burgunder - a Californian woman who has fought her own demons with anorexia, compulsive eating, and bulimia. Brittany has lived this in her world; tiny action by tiny action. 

This process of chunking things down to their component, small, even micro-decisions is powerful.  It is not the big, grand gestures that get the work done; it is in the nibbling away of the small, relentless tide that allows us to suddenly experience the expanse of the sea, now the mountain of work is at our back.

We can break through any bonds that bind us, providing we make one small decision after another. It is the cumulative effect of the decisions which get us there. 

Something to remember.



  • Brabazon, T. (1 May 2021). Vlog 267 - Rescue Yourself [video]. Office of Graduate Research Flinders University.
  • Lewis, C. S. (1950). The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (9th reprint, 1969). Puffin Books. 

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