Connect with us

Shane Decker

Shane Decker: The Short List




Organize tasks to avoid procrastination and improve concentration.

{loadposition shanedeckerheader}

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 for more than 3,000 stores worldwide. Contact him at (317) 535-8676 or at


This story is from the June 2011 edition of INSTORE.



Wilkerson Testimonials

Wilkerson Helped This Jeweler to Navigate His Retirement Sale Despite a Pandemic

Hosting a going-out-of-business sale when the coronavirus pandemic hit wasn’t a part of Bob Smith’s game plan for his retirement. Smith, the owner of E.M. Smith Jewelers in Chillicothe, Ohio, says the governor closed the state mid-way through. But Smith chose Wilkerson, and Wilkerson handled it like a champ, says Smith. And when it was time for the state to reopen, the sale continued like nothing had ever happened. “I’d recommend Wilkerson,” he says. “They do business the way we do business.”

Promoted Headlines

Most Popular