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You are not alone: fitness guru struggles with work life balance

Have you ever felt that sickening feeling that you have so much to do and can't possibly get it all done? I thought it might be interesting to share an email I received this week from someone who experienced that feeling and wrote to me. the quest for work life balance touches so many people in so many ways.

Here's my email exchange:

It’s 8:30 pm Toronto time and I’m stressed.  As a overworked mom/professional in the fitness industry a with large family, circle of friends, demanding clients in a hectic workplace setting, self-imposed -high expectations to produce, act, look, feel and preach only the best.
I’m stressed.
Crunched for time, I found your article while researching info for a panel I’m sitting on in a few days on the topic none only than – fitness & stress!
The irony.
Everything seems to be crashing in on me and yet from an outsider looking in- they would say I have the “perfect life.

How can this be?
I’m skeptical on having balance.  If I get more sleep, workout – the chores don’t get done, work can pile up, “quality time with hubby” (what is that actually?) I see my mid 30’s flashing by and being an overweight 50 year old GM of a fitness club as a complete “has been.”
I just don’t think balance is possible without something slipping away. Any thoughts on where to begin?
-          The unbalanced gal

My reply:

You need to start by taking out a sheet of paper. On one side, write down everything you have on your plate. Put a check by those that are most critical. Next, use another color to put a check by those things you most enjoy doing. See what's leftover on your list. Can any of those things be dropped or delegated? Be realistic...some of us think there are things no one else can do but when we scrutinize a little further, we realize someone else can do them...(our moms, our kids, our friends, our spouse?)
Your goal should be to aim for at least eight hours of sleep a day. Don't give that up. You will need the energy you get from sleeping to conquer all those other things on your to do list. Some things aren't going to get done but the trick to feeling less overwhelmed is to make sure you are getting to the things you consider a priority and making peace with yourself about those things that don't get done. 
Let me know how these suggestions work out for you.  I agreed to do too many speaking engagements in January. I started feeling run down. In February, I turned down all requests. The lesson is that balance is a process. It requires constant adjustments.

Readers weigh in if you have suggestions to share.