Scaling Back… When It’s The Right Thing To Do


Gail Clifford



We so often think of growing and scaling; we don’t always realize when scaling back is the best option.

Take, for example, packing for a trip. “Take twice the money and half the clothes.” Sage advice. If you’re even better prepared, you can take clothes that you’d planned to throw out and dispose of them along the journey. Double benefit: you have that space for souvenirs on the way home.

My Uncle Oz, a Hawaiian-born awesome surfer dude, loves to scale back when visiting a resort. He doesn’t need to squeeze every nearby attraction into his week. He likes to hunker down at the resort, get to know it well, spend some quality time in the water, and then do just a few things. Embrace them completely. I’m usually the opposite, but I’m learning when it’s the right thing to do.

Ever move? Especially overseas. Smart to scale back, get rid of all excess material before packing. You’ll be so glad when you get to your new home and have things that you want. Don’t find the movers have packed your kitchen garbage and a stack of papers you don’t need after all. When you pay by the pound, this is important. When you’re moving to a more compact home, this is critical.

Feel overwhelmed following all those “perfect” appearing people on your favorite social media? Put down your phones and pick up a child, or a map, or a travel brochure instead. By scaling back on your engagement in non-face to face activity, you may find the quality of your life improves. Scale that feeling.

Family, especially children, need both quality and quantity time. Automate what you can in your life. By scaling back on the items in your life that don’t really need your attention, you create the time for things that matter.

Take the time to scale back. You’ll be glad you did. You’ll find you live your life more by design than ever before.

Gail Clifford, MD

Physician and travel writer, Gail and her family travel extensively learning how to build bridges between cultures, and living, working and learning in other countries as often as possible. By crossing cultural and economic lines, Gail is proud of the family’s ability to empathize and help others while they teach the family something new. Freedom has been a challenge for members of the family so empowering individuals, especially young women, is of particular interest.

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