This is a blog to thank Susan for reminding me of what I knew and had forgotten – doh!
Chunking is a concept from Neuro Linguistic Programming to help us get things done.
Chunking up is when we make the job, challenge, concept or task bigger by combing it or exaggerating it in order to make it more accessible. So, for example, Eldest Son came back from first day of the new school year grumpy. If I had just noticed that, I might not have done anything. I paid attention and also noticed that he was more tired, more hyper and more argumentative, so I started to see a pattern. Then I remembered what a he has been a delight to be with all holiday; he has got on really well with his brother and I, he’s been funny, fun, warm and affectionate.
So by chunking up I start to ask myself what is different. I’ve concluded that school makes him (us all?) feel tired, time pressured and stressed. I don’t think it is the pre-teen hormones after all. As a result of chunking up I’ve put in more relaxation time and ‘being time’ after school.
Here’s another example of chunking up from the summer. I had a whole list of house-hold tasks to do, which I don’t like doing; sewing in name labels, ironing, sorting out the kids uniform and getting them to help me tidy their rooms. Each of those tasks felt like a drain and I kept putting them off. So in the end I chunked them up; I put them all together and did them all on one rainy day. We had music playing, our scruffy clothes on and we just blasted it. We rewarded ourselves at the end of the day with a film.
- What could you chunk up?
Chunking down is when we break big tasks down into small tasks and this is where I have to thank Susan. I have been writing a book for 2 years called ‘Getting on with Getting Over it’ to help people recover from bereavement, divorce or separation . I’d written over 60,000 words but there was so much more to write and say and I just felt overwhelmed and stalled.
‘Why don’t you turn them into a series of shorter books’ said Susan…so obvious but I had got locked into thinking I had to do the One Big Book.
I had been feeling so frustrated because I know when I was going through those things I wanted help and the books available at the time were all about ‘how to’ and all the legal stuff. What I wanted and needed was some information and options so that I could work out what to do for myself and the kids. I also wanted other people’s experiences to know I wasn’t alone, but also to get ideas from them so that I could rebuild my life. I couldn’t find those books so I wrote them instead because I wanted other people to have what I had needed.
She was so right to suggest chunking down the book into mini books, or blooks, as my son called them. I could get what I had written onto Amazon and Kindle and once I’d done that I felt freed up to write another 2 chapters.
At some stage they might all be one big book but I’m dead proud of them as they are right now.
- What could you chunk down?
I was so energised by getting stuff done that I also managed to edit and publish my PhD about naughty boys and emotions (and how meditation and emotional literacy helps).
As I was re-reading it to edit I realised how much there was in it that has relevance to all relationships. I had created models for how to avoid conflict, how to stay grounded and how to create intimacy and I really think they are of use, not just to teachers but to all of us in our work and family life.
So thank goodness for chunks and thank you Susan for reminding me about them.
Enjoy your chunks.
Ps I’d love you to read some of the books or let friends know about them (and if you do read them please leave a review on Amazon- thank you – I hope you like them
Pps…I also found a great place in Greece to run courses while you’re on holiday…watch this space…