The secret to work-life balance is . . .

“Outsourcing,”  according to my pediatrics mentor.  “I don’t take time to cook or clean or run every errand.  I outsource.”

Now, to my readers on a limited budget, I share in your eye roll.  ‘If only’ summarizes exactly how I felt when hearing that advice.  I’m in debt.  Massive debt.  I’m not about to pay someone to wash my clothes and cook my meals!  (Let’s face it: I’m not even eating the “freshest” meals when I have a cheap, calorie-dense option within arm’s reach.)

But, my preceptor is not wrong.  Especially with daylight savings stealing an hour of my weekend, I am very aware of the limited time I have in a day.  24 hours, 18 when you subtract the maybe 6 hours of sleep I will attain, 13 when you subtract the hours I am in class on an average day.  I’m not even going to put studying into the equation, because the numbers will turn to negatives all of a sudden!  And yes, I would like to outsource the thirty minutes I will spend doing laundry and the hour of cooking and cleaning in the course of a day.  But, I don’t really want to outsource everything extra in my life, like meeting with patients, spending time with friends, and writing this blog post.


So, like I said, my preceptor is not wrong.  And if I could outsource little things – say, cleaning toilets or doing laundry – I would likely jump at the opportunity.  But, realistically, all I can do is prioritize.  I can ask myself what I would do in the time saved by outsourcing, and I can prioritize those ‘ideal’ activities so that they do have a place in my life.

The compromise: I won’t get everything done.  If I cook and clean, accomplish my work and attend my classes, and make time for writing, there will be an occasional reading that I simply skim.  There will be an occasional lunch that I microwave.  And that’s okay, because, right now, the only currency at my disposal is choice, and


. . . even at the cost of perfection.

Because this is a blog, you can probably tell what falls near the top of my priority list: alongside school, patient encounters, faith, and family, I value writing.  But I’m curious, to my readers out there, what would fill your “outsourced time”?

Let’s celebrate those priorities together so that we can make them realities in our lives!

© 2016 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.