When I get a new life or career coaching client who’s primary goal is time management, a big red flag immediately begins to wave for me. You see, I sit with people all day who are struggling with the pace and demands of modern life and I’ve begin to doubt that this is a personal issue that just requires better self care or more time management systems.

Here’s a metaphor that might explain what I mean– If you are at a lunch buffet and your plate is piled high with food but you still want or need to put more on it, the answer is probably not to re-arrange the food. And if we assume that bigger plates are not the answer, then you are going to have to accept that there is a limited amount of food you can put on this one round plate. And no, that’s not your fault because you didn’t load the plate right.

Our consumerist, capitalist society focuses on more, more, more. We believe we should do more, own more, make more. But the truth of our human experience is that resources are finite, including our own time and energy each day. But our working lives often demand more than we can give while staying fully human and sane.

 So if the answer isn’t wellness or time management and it isn’t your fault or responsibility alone, then what do we do about it? I believe we need to wake-up as a culture and demand change for ourselves and our friends and our community and particularly for oppressed and marginalized peoples. Some people literally can’t afford to push back, but if you have the privilege to be able to, then please do. Realize this is a WE issue not an I issue.