I Have Enough Time: How One Simple Idea is Changing My Life + Work

clock, laptop, paintings, art supplies on marble background creative entrepreneur, art business, time management

“Of course, none of us has time to read anymore.” Everyone in the room gave a knowing chuckle. We were sharing pizza and Oreo pie with friends over dinner—a couple with 2 young kids. As a mom to 3 young kids myself and as a professional artist, I totally get that the struggle with time is real. There never seems to be enough of it to go around for all the responsibilities crowding my plate. All the hats I'm trying to wear.

If you'd asked me a year ago if I had enough time, I'd given you a resounding "no", and gone on to tell you (actually, not just tell you but try to impress you) with just how busy I was. I'd regale you with stories of not having enough time, all the while my pitch rising and becoming more stressed by my own retelling of the burdens I carry. Until something that happened a few months ago that I'm still trying to wrap my head around. I was introduced for the first time to one insanely simple idea. I HAVE ENOUGH TIME.

The Shocking Truth about Time

I have enough if it. For painting. For playing games with my kids. For delivering a meal to a sick friend. For taking a walk with no other purpose than to enjoy the walk (not only to exercise or brush up on the latest business podcast, though I have time for those things too). Even for reading books. I heard this crazy idea for the first time while listening to a podcast by Antrese Wood (if you’re interested, she runs an absolutely awesome podcast on mindset for artists called the Savvy Painter. You can check out her amazing podcast on time here.)

Rabbit trail: I have a strong aversion to things that people label “life-changing”. Seems like everyone is trying to sell you their stuff, and so all of it is labeled “life-changing”. Life-changing teeth whitening strips. Life-changing gluten-free, protein-packed cereal. Life-changing shoes that you don’t need to tie the laces, you just slip right on. Imagine a life where you never tied shoe laces again. I mean, life-changing.

But in this case I actually have to use the offensive term. Listening to this one podcast was life-changing. 🙌

In the podcast, Ms. Wood talks about treating our relationship with time as a relationship, learning to respect the flow of time instead of fighting against it, and seeing time as an abundant resource instead of a scarce one. When I heard these things, I may or may not have thought “How dare she?!” at each point she made.

Her words were like a bomb was going off in my head. What if the path to a richer life experience and deeper creativity lies in slowing down, in being calmly deliberate? In choosing to do less?

I was so confused by what I was hearing, I listened to it again. And again. Five times.

You see, the idea that I have enough time runs so deep and so hard against everything I have believed through my whole life up to this point. So it's not been an easy thing to just start believing I have enough time. The process is slow, but I am beginning to realize I've held on to 5 toxic lies about time:

5 Toxic Lies about Time

1. Life is about being wildly productive.

For all my adult years before this one, I thought that not having enough time, and frantically running from task to task through life led to being wildly productive (and that is the point of life, right? To be wildly productive?)

2. Being "crazy busy" helps me get more done.

I thought less about the quality of the tasks I had chosen, and more about the frenzied pace at which I was doing tasks. I am now learning that quality of tasks > quantity of tasks. Doing a few quality tasks at a slower pace > doing a lot of unimportant tasks quickly. Being overly busy actually squelches the best ideas and creativity.

3. Being busy gives me validity and worth.

A false sense of validity and worth, to be sure, but still a sense. As a driven, goals-oriented person, I took pride in the fact that I was busier than most of my friends and acquaintances. Being busy made me feel important. I'm now realizing that my sense of validity and worth goes a lot deeper than what I can get done.

4. Slow is for wimps.

This is the lie that it's important to move fast. I am now seeing that the best things stem from having some margin. Maybe choosing "slow" intentionally is not a sign of weakness at all but actually for the strong.

5. Time is scarce, and treating it like that helps you get more done.

Believing that I don’t have enough time helps me get more done, or so I thought. (Are you noticing a theme here of getting more done?) I'm realizing that my big life goal has been to get more done. Big life goal = achieve more, and achieve it faster. What I'm starting to believe now is that Iife is about more than getting things done. And although I still believe deep down that time is scarce, treating it as SCARCE is HURTING my ability to create, enjoy, and prioritize well. Treating time as an ABUNDANT commodity is HELPING me release stress, overwork, and the pressure to perform.

Our Relationship with Time

Since that fateful podcast, I’ve started to adjust my thinking around time. To work on my relationship with time.

I used to think my success lay in how well I could fight against time, instead of surrendering to its flow. I now am considering the idea that time just *might* be less of an enemy than I thought. Is there some paradigm where time could exist as a friend? Time would set the pace, and I adjust my pace accordingly?

If I find I have too much on my plate, I’m reminding myself: I have enough time for the things that are really important to me. If it doesn’t feel like enough, I must have a) too many things that are important and/or b) too high expectations around those things. It’s definitely time for me to sit down and consider each task by asking a couple important questions.

2 Important Questions

  1. Does this task belong on my priority list right now?
  2. Am I assigning too-high expectations to this task?

I want to be clear, having enough time does NOT mean:

-I have enough time for all the priorities of all the other people in the world

-I have all the time I want

-I have enough time for everything

-I have enough time for every "good" idea that pops into my head

-I never feel stressed anymore

-I never feel in a hurry

-I never feel busy

-I never get overwhelmed

It does mean that when I get overwhelmed, I do these 3 things:

1. Remind myself that I have enough time for the things most important to me

2. Reconsider my priorities

3. Re-evaluate (lower) my expectations

I Have Enough Time

Could this one simple and radical idea change my life for the better? What would happen if I believed I had enough time? Well, old habits die hard, and I’m not pretending to be an expert or have finished my journey. I'm just at the start of it. I do think the more I embrace this shocking idea, the more good I am experiencing in my life, creative work, and relationships.

Everyone gets overwhelmed sometimes, and everyone feels busy sometimes. I think the important thing for me is that I'm not living in that overwhelmed place always and forever. That I'm finding a way to get out of the overwhelm. Part of that process for me is reminding myself that I do in fact have enough time, not for everything, but for the things that are most important to me. Narrowing my attention and intention to just a few things at a time.

I also know that believing the simple phrase "I have enough time" has led to feeling like I have MORE time, as weird as that sounds. It's improved my focus and creativity. It’s led to more joy and energy in the studio as I paint. It's improved my business planning. It’s led to more trips to the playground with my kids. It’s led to me finding a new hobby—reading books. A lot of books. Sigh. As much as I resist using the term, I have to admit that listening to that one podcast episode has indeed been life changing. 😊 (If you happen to be an artist, Antrese Wood's podcast "The Savvy Painter" is definitely worth a follow.)

Hope you enjoyed this post—feel free to share it with anyone you think might enjoy it! 

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With creativity and gratitude,


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Thank you, Tammy; glad it was encouraging for you! Kindly, Angela


I have been so blessed by this post. Thank you for the reminder and the budge to just enjoy the moment 😊


Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Sylvia, and yes nature teaches us so many things, right? Cheers to the “lazy and unproductive” hours spent in renewal, in loving people, and enjoying this life that’s such a gift. And to sitting in the sun. 🌞


Hi Angela,
I can fully relate here. I’v been having similiar thoughts every year when spring is almost here and I would have to do so many things in my garden. I don’t even come close to finishing all the tasks, but then I realize that to nature it’s all the same… The grass will grow, the flowers will bloom, sometims in unexpecting places (how wonderful is that!) and if I redid the gravel walkway between the veggie patches is not so impirtant anymore, because the garden, meaning nature is simply devine!
All the best to you and many “lazy and unprodctive” hours just sitting in the sun doing nothing! 😁

Sylvia Eder

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