No matter who you are, around this time of the year is when things tend to get busy. Kids are starting school again, which means that they have homework, and parents have to cart them around to their extracurriculars. Kids leave the house at seven thirty, and sometimes don’t get home until late at night. With all of this going on, it’s nearly impossible to keep everything in order. Eventually, something will be forgotten. Eventually, something will fall through the cracks.
One of the hardest things about high school for me to adjust to was the fact that I can’t get everything done. With marching band, Tae Kwon Do, and piano lessons, most of my nights are packed with activities. This means that I don’t have as much time to work on packets, or study for quizzes, or organize my binders. It means that when I do find half an hour of free time, I do what I need to first, and then worry about what I want to do.
It’s interesting how easy it is to prioritize when you get busy. You know that you’ll only have an hour when you get home from school, so you get homework done first, starting with the assignments due the next day. When the teacher gives you ten minutes at the end of class to do whatever you like, you learn to use that time to get stuff done, rather than talking to friends. When you’re busy, it isn’t as hard to think about what needs to be done first. You automatically think about it, rank the tasks that need to be done, and get them done in order.
Of course, the system isn’t perfect. There will be an assignment you forgot to write down, or the backside of a page that you didn’t notice. There are things that are overlooked, forgotten, and before you know it, the deadline is staring you in the face. There comes that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when you realize that somehow, something got by you. It fell to the bottom of your priority list, when it should have been higher up. Something fell through the cracks.
Slipping Through Cracks Isn’t Necessarily Bad
The thing is, I don’t think letting things fall through the cracks is a bad thing. It isn’t something that we want to happen, but it helps open our eyes to the fact that we might have a ton on our plate, and it isn’t possible to get everything done.
Stuff is going to get neglected when you’re busy. It happens all the time to me. I don’t focus as much as I should on a homework assignment, I forget to finish my chores on the weekend, or, sadly, I don’t put all my effort into my weekly articles. It’s nearly impossible to keep everything from falling through the cracks. But the important thing isn’t making sure that nothing falls through the cracks. It’s making sure that the right things don’t.
Right now, on my list of things to do, homework assignments are at the top. Subjects with a lower grade have priority over subjects where I’m doing well, but they are all important. I’m choosing to keep marching band near the top as well, and my weekly articles are up there with them. As a result, my piano is falling a little lower on the list. My free-time, creative writing has taken a backseat. I’m not focusing so much on making sure that my room is kept neat. These are things that I know I don’t have the patience, ability, or time to make a priority right now.
Cracks are inevitable. We simply don’t have the time to keep everything organized and where it’s supposed to be. And while there are cracks, there will be things that fall through them, especially when life gets busy. However, the trick isn’t trying to keep everything from falling through the cracks. The trick is accepting that something will, and making a definitive choice on what you’re okay with falling. This week, remember to focus on the things that you need to, and accept the things that fall through the cracks. See you next week!
“Reprinted from Hagel Publications, Inc. dba as Courier Newspapers”