Leading With Passion: Watch Out For Pile Ups!

My teenage son never ceases to amaze me. He is a fabulous kid and I am blessed to have him. However, teenagers sometimes have a bit of a different mindset. Recently, I went into his room to put away some laundry. I was not pleased to find a very large pile of clothing on the floor at the end of his bed. Some of the clothes were clean, some were not. The pile was so large and so mixed with clean vs. dirty clothes, the whole pile had to be rewashed, causing extra work and use of water, soap, etc. Had the pile been dealt with as clothes arrived, the pile would have never accumulated.

Frustrating as this was, I could not help but think of how these types of piles apply to our lives every day. A stack of work that has been piling up on your desk can quickly become overwhelming to the point that we often avoid it all together and stress over it every waking hour. The same thing happens with conversations we know we need to have with others. Not taking the opportunity to discuss issues as they arise creates a metaphorical pile up. This analogy can be applied to anything from work, household chores, self-improvement and beyond.

While I certainly don’t have pile ups mastered myself, I make a habit daily to do and say the things that are a priority. As I begin my day, I find it helpful to do the most difficult thing in front of me first. Sometimes that is a conversation I need to have. Sometimes it is a household chore and sometimes it may be something for work that I really don’t want to do. Once the difficult item is accomplished, it is amazing how productive I am the remainder of the day. I also find that chipping away at my to do list keeps things from piling up and greatly reduces my stress.

I know you are all going to have days where you may not be able to get to as much of your work as you would like. However, I encourage you to set aside time every day to do the things you need to get done so that you can avoid pile ups and extra stress. Get into the habit of blocking time on your calendar for your work and do the most difficult task first as often as you can. You will find that your pile ups decrease and so will your stress level. Until next time, go and lead with passion!

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About the Author

Janie Schumaker

Janie Schumaker drives the development of T-System solutions that improve clinical quality and patient outcomes. Janie uses her expertise to recommend clinical and industry best practices that help clinicians deliver better, more efficient care in the busy and evolving unscheduled care continuum. She is a prolific speaker, writer and advocate for nurse leadership, patient care, regulatory guidelines and clinical quality.

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