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Shane Decker

The Short List

Organize tasks to avoid procrastination and improve concentration.




ORGANIZED CRIME is a bad thing, sure. But for retailers, being unorganized is the real crime — for your business, your employees, your customers, and for your own personal growth. Here’s why.

When you’re unorganized, you procrastinate more. When you procrastinate, you get stressed. Now you’re not in a good mood, your management skills go down the tubes, no one wants to be around you, and your closing ratio goes down because clients can tell you’re stressed.

So how do you become more organized? Well, everybody has a long list of to-do items; this could be 30, 40, or 50 items. Usually it’s a mental list and not written down. That can be overwhelming, so we put off doing any of it.

The solution is the short list — one you write every evening before you go home. Here are the rules of the short list:

  • It will have three to seven items on it.
  • You will have it done every evening before you go home.
  • The short list always has one item from your long list.

In a month or so, your long list will have 20 to 30 fewer items, and the short list will also have two or three urgent items to be taken off each day. Mentally, you feel better because it gives you a sense of accomplishment.

When you write down tasks, you don’t have to worry about them on your way home or that evening, because you know you’ll take care of them the next day. So your family time becomes more enjoyable, you’re more relaxed, and you’re staying on top of what’s important.


With the short list, nothing falls through the cracks. Sales and closing ratios improve because you can concentrate on the client in front of you. Leadership improves because it becomes more proactive and less reactive. The store wins because it not only looks better, but it’s a more comfortable and happier work environment.

So promise yourself to have a new short list every night before you go home to complete the next day. Your store and your customers will thank you!

Shane Decker has provided sales training to more than 3,000 jewelry stores. Shane cut his teeth in jewelry sales in Garden City, KS, and sold over 100 1-carat diamonds four years in a row. Contact him at [email protected].



Celebrate Your Retirement with Wilkerson

For nearly three decades, Suzanne and Tom Arnold ran a successful business at Facets Fine Jewelry in Arlington, Va. But the time came when the Arnolds wanted to do some of the things you put off while you’ve got a business to run. “We decided it was time to retire,” says Suzanne, who claims the couple knew how to open a store, how to run a store but “didn’t know how to close a store.” So, they hired Wilkerson to do it for them. When she called, Suzanne says Wilkerson offered every option for the sale she could have hoped for. Better still, “the sale exceeded our financial goals like crazy,” she says. And customers came, not only to take advantage of the going-out-of-business buys and mark-downs, but to wish a bon voyage to the beloved proprietors of a neighborhood institution. “People were celebrating our retirement, and that was so special,” says says.

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