Over the years I have been asked many times “How do you do it all? Did you invent a machine that creates more time?”
The sort of underlying belief structure this reveals in a person is an entire other series of writings. But I believe that many people who ask this have a mental image of lists of priorities and that it is a zero sum game to pick among them. Only a certain number fit into a certain number of hours, and thus any add is an automatic deletion of another.
I would like to offer another alternative - what if you could layer your priorities such that they work together, simultaneously, in an amplified way instead of competing with each other? What if you want to spend this weekend working out, spending time with your children, enjoying the outdoors, and volunteering locally? If you think you need to set up four events (Gym time! Find a movie! Plan a BBQ! Plan the school dance!), each with their own time slot, research, logistics, etc. it will quickly fill up your day and make it seem these things are competing.
But what if you could fit them together in a way that they each get better, not compromise each other? What if you could help plant a community garden at your local place of worship or Parks & Rec? What if you could spend a few hours doing a beach cleanup, or trail maintenance, or building for Habitat for Humanity?
When you see a list of competing priorities - whether a “must do” or a “would like to do” - step back and take a breath. Is there some way to integrate them? To fulfill numerous goals in a single activity? What are all the ways this puzzle might fit together? Focus on giving yourself options rather than “in or out” decisions and your mindset will undoubtedly shift toward more possibility and less scarcity.