Less is more

A few weeks ago I decided to walk the Camino Portugues; from Porto in Portugal to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. I had already reserved these weeks in my schedule to have some time out. What that “time out” exactly would be, was yet unsure. Only a few days in advance I booked my flights and packed my backpack.

It was my fourth time on the Camino, so by now you would think that I know how to pack for a hike like this. However, also this Camino brought me new insights, not only about life, but also about something as simple as packing a backpack. In my enthusiasm I packed a couple of items that I didn’t use at all. It fitted my luggage, so why bother, you might think. Well, these items added up to nearly 2 kg. An unnecessary weight I carried around for 10 days on my back, which means I was carrying 20% more than I needed to.

It all worked out fine, I had 10 great walking days on the Camino, but it made me think about the concept of “less is more”. I always laughed when I heard about people who cut the stem of their toothbrush in half to safe weight. Yet, every gram counts and this week I also read about Hava Adventure again. It is a new brand of backpacks that is focused on creating ultralight backpacks. Their backpack of similar size is about 900 grams lighter than my current backpack.

When I add up all those differences, plus some other items I could have saved upon, I could have easily saved 3 to 4 kg when packing differently. I realized that suddenly, less indeed becomes more: carrying a 30% to 40% lighter pack across 250 kilometer is simply easier.

Then I focussed that thought onto business, starting with a “what if” question:

“What if I would plan less?”

Planning less might bring more flexibility to respond to the moment and might bring more joy. Of what would I be able to do more? Would I be able to bring a higher added value to clients? Would it allow me to get more work done?

Even though there is plenty of time to think during a walk like this, I haven’t found the answers to these questions yet. There is only one way to find out: by doing it. So, the goal I am taking home from this Camino is to plan less and enjoy more.

What could you do less of and get more of in return?


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