I remember the first time I saw that now-famous pin, informing me that I had exactly the same number of hours in my day as Beyoncé.
“By god, you’re right, Pinterest! Beyoncé and I are both bound by the same laws of space and time! We are both doing our best with the 24 hours we’re given, but she’s clearly doing a lot more with hers. This is a wakeup call, self! Use your time more wisely! Less Netflix, more sit ups! Nooooo moooore excuses!”
And then I drank a pot of coffee and wrote a bunch of things filled with typos and worked for so long I gave myself a headache and my hands cramped up.
Now, I like a tough-love reality check as much as the next Virgo but here’s the thing: you and I actually don’t have the same number of hours in the day as Beyoncé.
Let’s look at the numbers.
In a given 24 hour period, mere mortals like you and I run errands, cook meals, tidy our homes, and take care of our pets/children/partners. We drive places, we shop for things, we do our makeup and style our hair and choose our outfits.
We do all these things in addition to the things we actually do to earn a living. We do these things in addition to writing, consulting, coding, designing, or styling. Of the 24 hours we’re given, most of us spend at least 3-8 hours just managing our lives.
I’d wager a guess that Beyoncé (or Oprah or Taylor) spends 0-1 of her 24 hours managing her day-to-day life. In fact, if you added up the hours that Beyoncé’s team puts in every day – promoting her, photographing her, styling her, cooking for her – girl probably has 200+ hours in her day. At a minimum.
So I guess what I’m saying is, when you see that image float across your internet life, instead of doubling down on your workload or feeling like a failure, go ahead and reinterpret it.
This is what that aspirational image should really say:
“Perhaps you could be using your time a bit more wisely. Maybe take the Facebook app off your phone. But it’s not fair to compare yourself to an international pop star who has a staff of dozens. You’re doing a great job! Keep going.”
How do you balance your expectations of yourself with reality? What do you do when you get down on yourself?
P.S. This is a concept I first came across in the book The Effortless Everyday. It’s full of smart, sweet, helpful epiphanies like this. Check it out!