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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].



When Sales Beat Projections, You Know Wilkerson Did Its Job

There are no crystal balls when it comes to sales projections. But when Thomasville, Georgia jeweler Fran Lewis chose Wilkerson to run the retirement/going-out-of-business sale for Lewis Jewelers and More, she was pleasantly surprised to learn that even Wilkerson could one-up its own sales numbers. “Not only did we meet our goal, but we exceeded the goal that Wilkerson had given us by about 134%,” she says. After more than 40 years in the business, Lewis says she decided a few years ago to “move towards retirement.” And she was impressed by Wilkerson’s tenure in the industry. Overall, she’d recommend the company to anyone else who may be thinking it’s time to hang up their loupe. “As a full package, they’ve done a very good job and I’d definitely recommend Wilkerson.”

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