While driving in the car the other day (Lord knows I spend a lot of time in the car these days), I decided to solicit some advice about how to tackle all of the things I’ve currently got on my plate.
Luckily for me, I had a middle schooler in the passenger seat of my car, so, naturally, I asked her.
“Honey,” I began, “what do you think about all the things Mama has going on these days? How do you think I can get them all done?”
She barely thought for a moment before she replied: “Well, it seems like you are doing a lot of things all at the same time,” I vigorously nodded my head in assent as I navigated the sweeping country roads back to our house. “In school,” she said, “I try to just do one thing at a time until I’m done. And then I move on to the next thing.”
The simplicity of her response both startled and resonated with me. “Soooo,” I queried, slightly incredulously, “what if something changes, and the teacher wants you to do something else before you’ve finished with the first thing?” She admitted that happened from time to time. “Well, then I have to adjust, and I do what the teacher asks until that’s done, and then I go back to the other thing I was working on and do that it until it’s done.” After a quick pause, she added, “I really hate homework, and I’d rather just get it done in class so I have time for fun things when I get home.”
Wow. My kid is growing up. And she is pretty smart. And I should take an organizational page from her every once in a while. Just don’t tell her I said so. She is on the cusp of the teenage years, after all. I really wouldn’t want all her “right-ness” and “smartness” to go to her head. 😉
The moral of the story is: Do what you’re doing until you’re done. The end.