Time isn’t the enemy.
For the past few months, I’ve felt behind, constantly chasing after my to-do list.
Yet every week it gets longer instead of shorter. I think to myself that I just don't have enough time — that there aren’t enough hours in the day or enough days in the week for my work, let alone for all the fun things I want to do.
This pressure is what Leo Babauta, creator of Zen Habits, calls the Time Scarcity Demon. Babauta writes:
“The problem isn’t that we have too little time — we all get the same amount of time each day and each week. It’s the exact right amount of time, because it’s all there is. It’s possible that we have too many things to do. But actually the real problem is that we want to do too much in the time we have.”
It's a simple notion, but it changed my perspective. Time isn’t the enemy, time just is — it’s a simple but enabling idea.
The problem for me is that I am greedy. I want more: more time and more from my time.
But the reality is that I have the same time as everyone else. And though we might want more, we are probably better off just being present in the magic of this moment and appreciating what we have accomplished with the time we’ve got.
Simplicity is all about understanding what we have and realizing that we often don't need more, even if we might crave it.
Check out our Simplicity Guide to dive deeper into Babauta's shared wisdom, along with the concepts of lobha — the Buddhist concept of greed — and dana, its antidote.