• Ben Pechey

The Agony of Small Jobs


Washing tights

An unfinished book

A final episode of a series

An ASOS return

Three issues of Vogue unread

Changing the bed

One line email replies untyped

Putting the clean dishes away


The small job, the thing that takes mere moments to action, finish and file away. These are the things that cause me the most angst.





Amongst an already anxious mind, these small jobs goad me, haunt me, and reduce me to an indecisive mess full of fraught energy unspent. In these moments I am frozen, unable to move forwards, filled with guilt and existential dread.


The small job angst is also not helped by a mind that tells you others’ have bigger, more impactful problems. This internal conversation - sponsored by intrusive thought - makes the whole small job inactivity feel much much worse than it was, to begin with.





I don’t have solutions for this - if I did, I probably wouldn’t be typing these words. I am not sure I could help myself here, or even provide a route out of this mindset. I just want to get my thoughts out of my head at this point.


The small jobs are the things that make me the most anxious, and of late, have become the hardest thing to shake myself out of. The act of committing this to paper, or now my keyboard (in fact I do handwrite some of my content first for ease of removal from my brain) does feel less of a burden.





Yet I know there will still be days totally filled by the agony of the small job. So I am leaving this as a helpful reminder - that not only is this okay, but it is not a problem in the short term. On the days or weeks when the agony of the small job dominates, simply take this as a sign to rest. Fuck it, we deserve it!


This is a simple kindness we can offer ourselves. Pushing through, and essentially making things ten times worse is not helping you one sodding bit - so stop doing that. Emotions of any sort are something that we can read. These emotions, or emotional response to life, is a clear sign that it is all getting too much.


Take that sign, and be kind to yourself, rest, even if you think you don’t need to.


Shot by Rachel Pechey