When overwhelmed about how to move swiftly forward on something, we may need to “chunk” it. The term originated in the field of Information Technology (IT) dealing with chunks of information. There are three ways to chunk: up, down or sideways. Here is a simple visual sample:
Mammals – –
Cow –––––––– Dog –––––––– Pig – –
We go up to a larger, more universal context or to see “the big picture.” We need to do that when we “can’t see the forest for the trees.” We go down when stuck, don’t know what to do next (or first), and need to take “baby steps.” We may go up to remind ourselves how much we love someone and down to begin to demonstrate that in concrete ways because “love is in the details.” Chunking up we look through a telescope, down through a microscope. Most of us know how to chunk, as evidenced by all the phrases above that are in common usage, but it is also an option many of us forget, while wasting time. Sometimes we need to move from the specific to the general or from the part to the whole and sometimes we need to do the exact opposite.