I have a secret to share: In private practice there is no such thing as work-life balance. Even if there were, pursuing work-life balance would be incredibly boring.

Instead of seeking work-life balance, you should instead be seeking a life that is based on your priorities. You should also keep in mind that your priorities will change over time. When you are single, you may want to focus on work and having fun. When you are married with children, your priority will be your family.

A lawyer I coached many years ago ranked her priorities as follows:

  1. Family
  2. Faith
  3. Health
  4. Work

There is no way to add more hours to your day. Other than the weekend when daylight savings time “falls back” to standard time, there are only 168 hours each week. The real question is how well you use those hours to achieve your priorities.

Suppose you sleep 8 hours a night, or 56 a week. Suppose you bill 40 hours a week and you invest another 10 hours a week on your career development, client development and other firm activities. That leaves 62 waking hours of personal time for family, fitness, community, church, recreation, hobbies, commuting and other activities.

That is really a significant amount of time. How you spend the 10 hours a week (or whatever number) of investment time will ultimately determine the quality of your career. How you spend the 62 hours (or whatever number) of family and personal time will ultimately determine the quality of your life and family relationships.