Does it seem like everyone else has pulled their lives together in a way that feels impossible in your own? Does it feel like everyone else has time to drive the carpool, plan vacations, succeed at work, and still have a vibrant social life?

Maybe it only feels this way as we scroll through our Facebook news feeds. The demands we face, both professionally and personally, can be overwhelming, especially when we start comparing ourselves to everyone else.

Plus, there’s lots of talk about work–life balance. What does that even mean? Even a semblance of balance is near impossible and suggests that we can never hold down both our work and our lives at the same time.

It’s Not an Either-Or

I refuse to subscribe to the notion that our lives are separate from our work. The only thing we can control is where and how we spend our time. Maybe it’s not about balance at all. Maybe the key lies in our time management skills.

Time management is such a boring phrase. It suggests lists and timecards and filling out boxes. Balance sounds far more “zen.” So, I propose that we balance our time more evenly.

How does that work?

Time is a fixed commodity, and once it’s gone, we cannot get it back. So, where and how we spend our time is something we really should take charge of.

I prefer to think of it like this: each of your major priorities are rooms within your home… not separate buildings that you must commute between. Some of these rooms are, in no particular order, family, work/administrative time, hobbies/passions, exercise, friendships/networks, and spirituality…I’m sure there are others as well. Organize yourself so that you’re spending enough time in each room to feel at home there.

As you make a concerted effort to prioritize your time, you’ll notice that it is possible to take your life one step at a time. Multi-tasking doesn’t do much good if you are not focused enough to complete the eight million tasks at hand, right?

Pro Tip: Get Plenty of Sleep

I’d like to leave you with one last thing. Sleep is incredibly important. Did you know that 75 percent of Americans are sleep deprived? Sleep deprivation causes major health problems like obesity, a weakened immune system, and a decrease in our ability to deal with everyday stressors.

Of course, you may have to put more sleep in your calendar in order to actually make it happen!

~Tony Johnson

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