I often feel a ridiculous amount of frustration trying to balance normal life with the need to be creative. I doubt I am the only artist who feels this way. In fact I'm positive I'm not. Just about everyone I know who feels a drive toward creative pursuits is in a constant state of trying to figure out how to make time to do the things they love without falling too far behind on life's responsibilities.
I completely understand this struggle and fall victim to it all the time. Why make art when laundry needs to get done, dishes are in the sink, your friends want to get together for a drink, your day job is calling, or worse yet, that little thing called sleep is oh so tempting? It's so easy to put off that big time consuming project when there are many easier, less scary, things we tell ourselves need to get done.
However, the more we let this happen to ourselves, the more unhappy we become. Why? The truth of the matter is that making art and pursuing a creative outlet is just as important..no, more important...than all the other mundane tasks we bog ourselves down with. The real, honest to goodness, fact of the matter is that everything in life can get put on the back burner if we choose to put it there, being creative included, it's just a matter of choosing to do so or not.
Usually I cope with this in two ways. First and more importantly, I think it is important to understand that it is ok to be frustrated and to feel pulled in different directions. If nothing else, it means you have a creative drive and that should be embraced. Feeling that pull is part of who you are and part of what feeds your soul. Don't resist it and instead acknowledge that it is there and find comfort in it.
Second, simply find the time! Even if it is doing something that feels a little silly like appointing one day a week, or even one day a month, to the sole pursuit of working on a project and absolutely nothing else. Write it down in a calendar and stick to it the same way you stick to a regiment of getting to work on time. I've actually found this to work for me in the past and lately I've been thinking I need to start doing it again.