When I’m packing for a trip or a workshop in a hurry, I have a tendency to throw everything in. It takes time and mental energy to clearly think through in advance what I am going to wear or need, and if I don’t invest that effort, it seems easier to take it all.

The sad fact is that it is quicker in the short term but lugging everything has long-term consequences. I inevitably bring far more than I need and pay the price on the back end by acting like a sherpa carrying it around, expending energy to pack/re-pack to fit it all in, and wasting time looking for something because there is too much there.

The same principle applies in other settings — if you don’t edit in the process, the main idea gets lost in the multiple pages of a proposal; if you buy too much you can’t see what you have in the closet or pantry, and if you save too many mementos the ones with real meaning get blended in, etc.

Spend a few extra moments to plan and you’ll benefit in the end. Less is less — less hassle, less hunting, less waste, less back-breaking. Do yourself a favor and prune.

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