Success in life comes with a big price – the more you have to offer, the more people want a bigger piece of you.

In your career, you become a respected expert, so you’re always getting requests to help out.

In your personal life, your status increases, you become more desirable, people want to invite you to social activities that may not appeal.

You gain more commitments that require time to maintain like a house, or a family who you want to spend time with to love and nurture.

But despite having so much, that drive that got you there in first place still exists, you want to advance in your career and have more money, you want to hit that next gym milestone, and you still have desires to write that book you’ve been thinking about…

So much to do, and never enough time.

Damn there are downside’s to being so ambitious.

What is the answer to achieving those goals, when you have everything else going on? How can you fit more in such little time, or make more space to occupy extra time that can be used elsewhere?

In this post we will explore different ways of thinking to handle this limited time:

Perfect Manifesto: 6 Considerations To Balance A Busy Life With Your Ambition, by James M. Lane

Accept you can’t do it all

The advice I give to any ambitious parent is not to be too hard on yourself if you’re not getting everything done you want, nor are able to progress at the pace you planned – raising children is hard and time consuming.

Even if you don’t have children, when it comes to managing your time it’s important you remember that there are only 24 hours in the day, and even with the best intrinsic motivation, you need to accept you won’t be able to do everything you want.

Don’t hate yourself for not doing what you planned

It’s easy to be self-depreciating if you’ve not spent the time you’d like working on a goal. Even if you had the freedom to do the work, but instead felt you couldn’t be bothered and chose to watch Netflix instead, please, don’t be too hard on yourself.

Learn to be self-compassionate to yourself if you didn’t get your task done, you are after all only human. Spending time dwelling will not help, instead, forgive yourself, move on, and try again at the next opportunity.

Stop looking at what others are doing

Comparison is the thief of joy.

Comparison on social media where everyone lies about their achievements is a guaranteed recipe for misery.

You will feel behind in life if you live your life always looking at what someone else is doing, because no matter how good you are, there is always someone doing better.

Focus on your own progress, aim to be better than yesterday, stop looking at the success of other’s as a measure you are supposed to live up to. The only person you need to compete with is yourself.

Define your priorities

If you don’t define your priorities, someone else will define them for you.

By taking the time to look at what matters to you, you are able to identify what you need to do and succeed.

By being more aware you know where your focus lies and allows you to handle the requests of others – either putting these tasks at the bottom of your REAL priorities or rejecting them together.

Doing too much takes up your precious time, doing things for others mean you’re taking up your precious time working on things that don’t contribute to the end goal.

You can do various exercises to define what are the important things that matter to you, what aren’t, and what are the timewasters. A technique I recommend is The Quadrant Theory, that Stephen Covey talks about in his book “The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People”

Quardrant theory – image from

Have good balance

As office culture moves to working from home, a lot of people struggle getting that balance right. They find work life overtakes home life and vice versa.

A good work-life balance is about setting boundaries, so when you’re done, you’re done.

Someone sends an email after 5pm and expects you to response before you start your next working day at 9am? Tough!

It’s either not important enough, meaning they can wait. Or if it is, it’s a lesson learnt by the sender, not to leave these things so late.

Achieve that equilibrium – be tough about what your boundaries are.

Don’t try and do it all

When there is so much to do, it’s easy to make short term sacrifice to try and keep up.

Whether it’s giving up your free time, cutting into your sleep, working through your lunch break, it might seem a good hack to keep up, but will inevitably burn you out.

The best solution to look after your wellbeing is not trying to do everything. Admit what you can’t do, focus on a couple of priorities, ask for help.


In this post, we’ve explored various ways of thinking about managing goals, with so little time.

To summarise:

  • Accept that you won’t be able to do everything you want.
  • Don’t hate yourself if you’re not achieving what you planned to set out – get good at forgiving yourself.
  • Stop comparing yourself to others – focus on your own success.
  • Define your priorities – what matters most to you, allowing you to focus on putting in the work towards these.
  • Have a good sense of balance – set your boundaries so that you protect your time, and maintain a good work-life balance.
  • Don’t try and do everything – you can try and find hack’s to keep on top of your responsibilities and work towards you’re goals, but it will inevitably lead to burnout.

Wishing you the best in your success.

James @Perfect Manifesto

Copyright © 2023 James M.Lane


5 thoughts on “6 Considerations To Balance A Busy Life With Your Ambition

  1. Enjoyed your blog James and is pretty timely for me as I feel pulled in different directions and look to find a good balance lately.

    I feel from your post I’m getting most of it right, but it only takes one little thing and suddenly we can catastrophise everything and can allow ourselves to get blown off course.

    If this happens I’ll read your post again as a reminder!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Paul for commenting.

      It does, for me I’ve done a lot of work on being assertive but still experience moments with persistent people who want to pull you into work on their priorities!

      Good luck with maintaining that balance and may you achieve your ambitions.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like the quadrant idea.
    I’m gradually getting better at being kinder to myself, if I don’t get done what I wanted to achieve and I’ve cut down my time on social media. I seem to have more time now!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Always been kind to yourself, otherwise other people won’t either!

      Yes it’s a good approach the quadrant- I still have time in my diary for the Monday each week where I look at what I want to achieve.

      Thanks for commenting!


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