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There’s nothing worse than that nagging feeling when your day is coming to a close and your to-do list hasn’t been touched. It’s frustrating, you seem to work your tail off all day, and all you can think about when you finally lock up at night is what you didn’t get done.

Here are 5 suggestions that can help you go home in the evening with the feeling of satisfaction that can only come from tackling your to-do list:

● Chunk it out: If a task seems overwhelming and you put it off over and over again because it just seems too big to get done in a day, give yourself permission to chunk out 10 or 15 minutes of your day to work on it. Those smaller amounts of time seem less intimidating and over a week, or even a month, can add up to a lot!

● Dive In: Once you get started, it’s easier to keep that momentum going. So just dive in! Think about it like exercise…it’s always hard to get going when you’re thinking about how much you DON’T want to do it! But after you get going, it’s not so bad…and afterward it feels great to be done! Start the first action; maybe it’s getting in that stock room and cleaning off just the top shelves – before you know it you’ll be working your way down to the bottom shelves and checking that niggling item off your to-do list.

● Find Your Focus: Completing your to-do list is almost impossible if you’re distracted, and for most of us, that distraction is technology. If at all possible, unplug. No email, no social media, texts or telephone calls. Ask your staff to give you a “distraction-free zone” for a set amount of time while you finish an important task. Then single-mindedly put all your concentration on the work at hand. If you feel yourself being pulled away, drop that other “important thing” you were being distracted by and refocus. You may find that before you know it, you’ve completed that dreadful item on your do-list and maybe even enjoyed it a little bit!

● Take a Break: If you’re engaging in something that is going to take lots of time, schedule in regular breaks. This allows you to clear your brain. But don’t use your break for working on other tasks; go out and take a short walk, have a conversation with a customer or an employee, or shut the lights off and meditate for 10 minutes. Then, make sure you get back to work and focus on getting that job done.

● Don’t Forget the Fun Stuff: If your whole list is full of drudgery, you’ll never want to tackle it! Include things that are fun or exciting, but still move you towards your goal. Think of these things as rewards that are planted in your to-do list. These items could be just what you need to jump-start the more daunting projects.

Don’t forget actual rewards! When you complete a goal, give yourself permission to buy that book, have an ice cream cone, or *gasp* take the afternoon off! Think about it: if you’re truly productive you can take that time you usually spend being unproductive and then do something you really enjoy. Go spend time in your garden, read a book, or even take a nap!

There are lots of great ways to tackle your to-do list and these are just a few of them. The most important thing is that you find what works for you and establish the work habits that send you home each day with a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment.

WhizBang! Retail Training
233 Washington Avenue #213
Grand Haven, Michigan 49417



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