Is it really possible to achieve work-life balance? (And all moms work, regardless of whether it’s in or out of the home.) No matter the job description, we all know that there is always too much to do, and not enough time or energy to do it. Can that to-do list perfectly balance our need to make challah dough, help the children with their homework and complete that work proposal?

It’s normal to think we can do it all. But we can’t. It sometimes takes the self-discipline and precision of a black-belt karate champ to stay focused on the tasks at hand.

The trick is to separate what’s really urgent from what’s merely important. Urgent tasks are the these-must-be-done-this-week-or-major-financial/emotional/headache-repercussions-will take-place tasks. Here’s an exercise that often helps me prioritize my to-do list:

The next time you go shopping, take a good look at all the possible items there are on the shelves, and then take a good look at your shopping cart. Clearly, you will need to be making choices as you walk through those aisles, as all the potential items won’t fit into that cart. You get the idea already, don’t you ? You can't fill your cart all the way up on aisle one, or you’ll be in trouble around aisle three.

If only those hectic weeks in our lives came with a shopping list, things would be so much easier. It can sometimes get tough deciding which “to-dos” of ours can be left on the shelf until next week and which ones must go into the cart this week. I don't have a magic formula; however, by tweaking those “to-dos” based on the urgent matters of the week or month, you will have a better idea of what gets priority.

So, does work-life balance really exist? There will always be more that we want to put in our “carts.” But by prioritizing our goals and cultivating our “to-don’t” lists, we’ll be one step closer toward that shiny work-life-balance checkout.