Many of you at one time or another in the past may have had your computer go through a process called “defragging”. You might not know what it was for but someone either did it for you or explained to you how to simply tell your computer to do it.
The reason a computer needs to go through this process is that as it stores and deletes information on your hard drive and over time the clusters of information can be stored in numerous places on the hard disk. This means that for you to access a program or a file may mean that your computer is accessing the needed information all over the place. To better understand what this means imagine if you had the pages of a book randomly distributed around your house. You know where they are and in what order to read them, but you have to run all over the house as you get each successive page. Obviously that is not a very efficient or productive way to read a book.
When you tell your computer to “defrag” itself it takes all of the clusters of information that are scattered on the hard disk and arranges them back together so that the files are together and so accessing them takes much less time and is more efficient. It is recommended that you “defrag” your computer from time to time as it is even possible for programs to not work or files to not be retrieved because the information is so scattered.
As we head into the school holidays might I suggest that like a computer we also take time to “defrag” our lives once in a while? During the school year we are extremely busy with many responsibilities and activities and we move along at high speeds, taking care of tasks, meeting deadlines, completing projects, and being involved in the frantic pace that is our modern world. In fact if you take a little time to think about it you might see that your life is very similar to a computer’s hard drive. How many books are around the house partially read? How many New Year’s resolutions have been forgotten but still could be accomplished? How many plans have gone unfinished? How many ideas of activities with the kids or time for yourself have been put on the back burner?
The thing is, much like a computer, you will not “defrag” all that has happened this last semester by accident. It will not just happen on its own. The computer had to be told to “defrag” and so in a similar way you have to be purposeful and make the decision to take the time to slow down, get away from your hectic life, and spend some time bringing all the loose ends together. For each person and family this will look very different but if at some point over the break you will take the time to “defrag” you will be able to achieve much more and hum along much smoother as we head back into another busy and exciting semester next January.