Monday, 18 April 2016


In a few weeks time I'll be launching some retail training videos so, as you can probably imagine, in between other stuff I’ve been making lots of lists. This got me thinking about how we ultimately achieve our goals and the journey we need to go on to get there.

I think most of us know the things we need to do to improve our business and lifestyle. We may not always know how but the problem is, even when we do, we don't always do it!

One of the most important keys to success is having the discipline
to do what you know you should do even when you don’t feel
like doing it.’ Unknown

But of course, it’s not always as easy as that, is it?  Do you make lists? Do you prioritise your lists? Are there things on your lists that are always there regardless of time, place and project? Do you sometimes make lists and then complete a task that wasn’t even listed in the first place, denying yourself the satisfaction of crossing it off. Something I seem to manage on a regular basis!

One of the biggest problems of having too much to do is feeling overwhelmed. This usually results in one of two things, staying in our comfort zone and doing the things we like most, which isn’t necessarily the best course of action to take or, doing nothing. The most important stuff on our list is usually the stuff we fear doing the most and, the easiest way to cope with this is, not do it at all! You know this because this is the stuff that sits on your list for weeks, months, years and in cases, many years.

Don’t put off these important jobs any longer, it’s time to change your thinking, change your habits and take a huge leap forward.

Here’s an idea, write your ‘BIG’ list and break it down into bite-size chunks. Try to keep tasks to a maximum length of 90 minutes each. This is just about the right length of time to stay focused, complete a task and fit it into a day. If you’re an ultra-busy person reduce this to 60 or 30 minutes. 

With your list completed do the following
  1. Take out the all things you do on a daily basis, the small stuff. This is your daily list and it probably won’t change that much over a short period of time.
  2. Next, take out all things on your list that you’ve never done before, the stuff you find daunting, the big ideas. This is your challenge list.
  3. Now prioritise these two lists. Apply the 80:20 rule, prioritise the 20% of tasks that will make 80% of positive difference to your life and business, i.e. if your list includes 100 tasks, pick out the top 20, put them in order, the most important at the top. If you've done this correctly the top five won't be your favourite tasks.
  4. Now bin the rest. If you really find this too much handle after all your hard work file it away.Chances are you won’t be looking at this for at least another year and by then, things will have changed for the better, if you’ve stayed on track!
  5. Apply the same principle to your challenge list. Any big projects should be broken down into small chunks. Try to keep tasks to a maximum of 90 minutes. This is a reasonable amount of time to fit into your day. If you’re an ultra-busy person reduce the task-time to 60 or 30 minutes each.
The challenge list is the important one and should have lots of stuff that you’ve been avoiding, until now! If you can, tackle one thing a day from your challenge list, if this is too much, do one new thing a week. It may take you longer to get there but once you start chipping away at the list you’ll slowly start to make a difference, working smarter and developing healthy habits. And remember, always tackle the difficult tasks  at your most productive time of the day. For me, that’s early in the morning, but for you it might be different. Don’t let task avoidance and inactivity stop you from achieving your goals.

          ‘The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away
          small stones.’ Confucius

Now, write your list and then do something about it…

All the best

PS Sign up to our email list and in a few weeks I'll send you the link to the first of my mini retail videos showing you how to build a successful and rewarding retail business. Sign up here.

#retail   -consultant  -designer  -visualcommunicator  -educator
tel      07907 691711

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