Lighten the Load – by Vicki Hess, RN, MS & Certified Speaking Professional

Lighten the Load, Vicki Hess blog post title image

I was at the airport recently and saw a couple whose luggage weighed too much. They were scrambling to lighten their load and reallocate items from one bag to another. I felt like I could read their minds…”we can’t leave anything behind…this is our good stuff that we brought for the BIG trip.

I have noticed that many of us fall into this trap at work these days. Our proverbial “bags” are over stuffed and we can’t seem to figure out what to take on our journey and what to leave behind. Our bags keep getting bigger and bigger and we are exhausted from trying to carry too much around. Then we wonder why we are so tired all the time.

Let’s go back to a simpler time when The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People was first published – way back in 1989. Even though much has changed in the world of work, there is a key principle that still holds true when it comes to lightening our load. We need to focus on what is Important and Not Urgent to determine where to most wisely spend our time and minimize all other activities.

To help you accomplish that goal, here are three questions for you today:

  1. What is one urgent, but not important task you can “unpack” and leave behind?
  2. What is one not urgent, not important task you can give up for good?
  3. And to paraphrase Mr. Covey…What one thing could you add to your “bag” at work that would make a tremendous positive difference?

Now it’s time to engage your teammates and supervisor in a productive discussion about letting go and lightening the load. Ask for others’ opinions about what you can all let go of.

Is there a report that you’ve been producing for years that isn’t helpful anymore? Lighten the load. 

Are too many signatures required to get something done? Lighten the load. 

Is there a procedure that could be streamlined to save a few steps? Lighten the load.

Get the idea? Be creative. Look at your big time suckers through the eyes of an objective person. Use data to support your own conclusions. Be flexible and open to suggestions, but in the end…make sure you lighten your load so that you can take off on the next leg of your journey to Professional Paradise and beyond!

See you in Professional Paradise!

Guest Blogger: Vicki Hess, RN, MS, Certified Speaking Professional

Vicki works with healthcare organizations who want to positively impact employee engagement so they can meet their strategic and tactical goals including patient satisfaction, quality, productivity, finances and more. Vicki believes that employees should be seek out opportunities to be satisfied, energized and productive because it’s good for them! She helps leaders and team members create their own Professional Paradise no matter what’s happening around them. Check out Vicki’s other posts and download FREE resources at

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