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If Not Now, When?

Mrs.Alison Priestley
Mrs.Alison Priestley (17 posts) Head of Primary View Profile

Have you heard the saying “ if you want a job doing, ask a busy person” ? This saying seems somewhat paradoxical however on closer investigation it does seem to hold true.


(Photo from Sigma in collaboration with Gandini Juggling


When we have a million and one jobs to do we know the only way to get through them is some careful time management and the ability to prioritise. Busy people with full and usually successful lives, have developed the ability to do just this, they are able to order the jobs and to estimate how long each one will take. Interestingly, according to the UK civil society almanac 2019, those in employment are more likely to formally volunteer on a regular basis than those who are unemployed (22% vs 19%).

During this time of quarantine when we have all experienced some monumental changes in many of our working practices, the art of juggling tasks has become quite normal. I have been in many ‘zoom’ meetings with children clambering over the participants and time limits on the laptops as other members of the household have their meetings to attend. We have families developing homeschooling as well as trying to hold down a professional career and doing the essential online shopping. Juggling has become a vital skill.

Learning how to prioritise has never been more important. It is true, that for many, social isolation and quarantine has created more time and space but has this been used wisely? I know that in the long summer holidays it can take me all day to do a load of laundry but when i'm working I think nothing of popping a load in before school. During my normal working week I easily fit in all the household chores and can still leave my weekends relatively free, but given a holiday  - it all takes forever.

Many parents who felt quite overwhelmed at the start of virtual learning have now settled into a system that works for them. The focus has gone from trying to do everything to doing what matters most. Many families have realised that learning is not just about school work, it is about life, from learning the importance of keeping a tidy bedroom to figuring out the mathematics in a recipe. So many people are talking about how this pandemic has helped them grow as a family, they have taken time to really get to know one another whether this has been through sharing a game or watching our closest family members interact with their work colleagues or school friends.

The luxury of time is always transient and as we see the elderly in our society we are only too aware of fleeting our time on earth is. We all have busy lives at the moment, especially those who are raising families. Let's take time to think about how we juggle our time, what matters most and what will really make a difference. Don't put things off too long, that moment may never actually arrive, do the important things now because if not now, when?