How to allocate time

One question I have been struggling with is how to find the balance between pursuing personal interests and using my time to help others.

Basically what it comes down to is how to allocate my time.

I have always been of the mindset of trying to squeeze in as much as possible into every day. Get up early to train for a marathon, cram my day full of classes, meetings, and info sessions, eat while I work, and hit the bed exhausted after a full day. I viewed this as the ideal life – accomplishing as much as possible with the end goal of doing as much good as possible. Lately, however, I have been questioning this approach to life.

Do I continue on a path of maximizing what I accomplish in order to help as many people as possible, or do I pursue more personal interests and pursuits?

I used to struggle with the same concept with money. There will always be someone that has less than me, so where can I draw the line? Of course I don’t want an expensive house or car, but even after that, how much can I justify spending on myself?

So it is with time. I can always do more to help others, but I also have so many things I want to do (learn the piano, read the bible cover to cover, travel the world, read books, run a marathon, ride bikes and go skiing on the weekends, etc. etc.). How do I balance this, both now and in my career?

When I look at future career paths, should I take the one where I think I will be able to affect the most people or the one where I will be less busy and just get to sit back and enjoy life (and I have some specific paths in mind, but I won’t bore you with the details)?