Martha Treats #162


The Pile-Up

Perhaps this is a scene in your world? Little stashes of small pieces of paper, a business card or two, instructions for something you just bought, receipts, a book to return to a friend that just never seemed to get returned. We allow them to linger on a table by the door, in the car, in our desk center drawer. Why? Because in the moment requiring our decisiveness we hesitate, we say we don’t have time or are just plain unwilling to deal and decide what to do with it. Eventually those little stashes attract more to add to the collection. And if we don’t tackle the stash it is set aside or better yet hidden to deal with “later.”  But we all know that later doesn’t really exist. It’s an illusion.

A pile-up of cars on a freeway is usually the result of one moment of unconscious driving. The piles of stuff around our lives are simply a snapshot of what we chose to be unconscious about. While not as dramatic as an accident with potential bodily harm, we do pay a price for not completing as we go. I call it foggy. We lose our edge, our sharpness, our enthusiasm as it lingers among the stashes.

I say it is time to stand up to the stashes and decide once and for all if they stay or go and where they are going to live. Today I handled a couple things that have honestly been in my desk in-box over the holidays needing a decision. It felt great.

Even our stuff doesn’t like being left in a pile-up. Each one deserves our loving attention to take it to completion.

Martha Invitations  (4 this month)

1.  Reveal any hidden stashes and put them in your in-box.

2.  Practice removing from your car what doesn’t live there and find it a home.

3.  Ask yourself what the next action is for the thing that seems so challenging to complete. 

4.  Read David Allen’s recent newsletter titled Time to Purge.  It will inspire you to move into action to clean the leftover pile-ups from 2015 and go forward into 2016 with enthusiasm.   Thank you David!


Martha Treats and Hour of Focus are free services for my clients and subscribers. I work with individuals and teams around the world in Taking Action to Completion. The result is greater confidence and perspective, both personally and professionally. Learn more about my consulting services on, or reach out to me at

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