Do you want to “do it all”? Yeah?
Well, I’ve got news.
News you likely don’t want to hear.
You can’t do it all.
And you definitely can’t do it all at once.
When folks reach out to me, it’s often because they are trying to crack the code about how to “do it all.”
So many obligations. So many ambitions.
And it’s part of my job, a big part of my job, to shift this thinking.
Because if you’re trying to do it all, you’re in a losing battle. And you’ll never feel good about your time. Because you’ll never be, well, done.
We could all work 18 hours a day for the rest of our lives and there would still be more to do tomorrow.
There will always be more work, more books to read, more movies to watch, more people to help, more people to meet, and more chores to do.
You can’t do it all.
Does this mean you shouldn’t have goals, ambitions, interests, relationships, a career, a family, friends, hobbies, etc?
And I’m betting that you’re thinking that I’m going to start talking about prioritization right about now.
And, you’d be wrong. Sort of.
I’m going to talk about an adjacent idea.
I call it the pie of life. Like a pie chart, you know.
So, I want you to imagine that all the elements of your life are pieces of a pie.
There’s a slice for family, for work, for friends, for hobbies, for volunteering, for exercise, etc.
The size of pie itself doesn’t change, but the pieces can.
There are phases of life, say, when you first have kids, where the slice for family is going to be very large and to accommodate that, the slice for, say, hobbies, gets very small.
And, as your kids get older, perhaps that childcare slice gets a little smaller, and other slices get a bit bigger again.
Or maybe you take on a brand new job, or start of company, and the work slice becomes massive for a while, but later, this can change.
I don’t know about you, but I find this “pie of life” concept really comforting.
It helps me to remember that while I can’t make more hours in a day, the slices aren’t static.
I can change the equation.
And sometimes, the equation is changed for me. And that’s okay too.
That’s a phase.
Just like everything else in life.
So, when you’re feeling stuck, draw your pie, as it currently exists.
Then draw a pie that might be a few % better for you.
Make a small change.
Shift things around.
And remember, this too shall pass. The bad and the good.
No, you can’t do it all. But you can work with the time you’ve got. And that’s bound to be more satisfying anyway.