5 tips to be the most productive you…in 2022!

2022 is right around the corner. These 5 tips will help you take on the new year with the confidence and structure to have the best year possible.
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1- Stop Multitasking – The old thought process was, if I can do multiple projects or work on a number of tasks at the same time, productivity would increase and one would get more completed during the day. This is NOT the case. According to the Harvard business review our productivity goes down by as much as 40%. 

No one multitasks, they actually switch tasks. Bottom line is you start multiple projects or tasks, but never get them completed as you are bouncing around trying to work on multiple processes. Stop the myth of multitasking. 

Prioritize your project and tasks and tackle them one at a time, with all of your energy and focus. You will get things done quicker, without error and you will realize that you get more things taken care of during your day.  

2- Wake up Earlier – For some folks this is a tough thing to pull off. Most people value sleep more than a lot of things in their lives. The good news is once you get in the habit of waking up earlier the benefits far outweigh the negatives. Stop hitting that dreaded snooze button. Get up and get at it.

Waking up earlier allows for your body to wake up without being jolted to a start. Think about how you rush around, trying to get your day started because you hit that darn snooze button 3 or 4 times. If you wake up earlier, your body gets adjusted, while keeping your stress levels low. 

It allows you to control the morning. This will help you be more upbeat and positive during the day. Give it a try. 

3- Eat the FROG! – It is proven that we are at our best early in the day. We have all had those things hanging over us that made us feel apprehensive or uncomfortable. Maybe it is a hard conversation with a peer or customer. It could be that hard phone conversation, explaining that you made a mistake and that it will result in the customer missing a project deadline. We all work hard to avoid these situations, however we all know they will still occur from time to time.  

Take on the hardest task first and knock it out. Then repeat. You will realize that once these are completed, you will not have that dark cloud hanging over you for the rest of the day. It frees up your time and sets you up to win!

Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.

Mark Twain

4- Find an accountability partner – Accountability helps keep one on track to complete certain goals or tasks, while also setting yourself up to do the things that you say you are going to do!

Accountability partners can keep you motivated and create an energy that will help you take on even the toughest of tasks. They can be your sounding board, offering advice from a neutral standpoint. One of the greatest perks is they can remind you of your goals and keep you on the right course to be successful. 

One key point to having a positive accountability partner (AP) relationship, is looking in the mirror and not taking what your AP says as a negative. They are there to help you achieve greatness. This only works if you allow yourself to listen and grow from the feedback. 

5- Capture your to-dos as they come in – One of the biggest mistakes we make is not capturing things that need our attention. This is something that is overlooked by most of us daily. It does not matter how you capture the information, using your phone, using a journal, writing it down on a sticky note, the main thing is to CAPTURE it so it does not get away and we do not miss out on a project or tasks that needs to be completed. 

Think about it. How many times have you taken a phone call, read an email or had a conversation that required you to take action and you simply forgot because you did not capture it. You thought you could remember it. Take the chance out of it. Capture the task. 

Bonus Tip

Building Routines – The single biggest advantage of building routines is the fact that you will never be surprised!. That is right. If you have routines in place you know what to expect. Think about how knowing what is next could help with your stress level each day. 

Some folks like the thought of having routines in place while others can’t imagine being under the guidelines of a predictable schedule. During times of stress, however, having a solid routine will help you feel more in control. 

The key is to add structure to your day by utilizing routines so that you feel more in control, while lowering stress levels and being as productive as possible. Find out a routine that works best for you and stick with it. You will feel better, be more productive and increase your free time so that you can enjoy the life that you want to live.

I served, so I could get FREE stuff.

Veterans day means different things to different people. Why it bothers me that people assume they should get FREE things on this day.

Let’s get this out of the way, before we get started. I am a Veteran. I proudly served in the U.S. Navy in the early 80’s. My father was retired military and my brothers, uncles and grandfathers were all military veterans. My family and I strongly believe in military service. This little article is not about that. This little piece is focused on the assumption of some, that they are entitled to FREE STUFF because they served this great nation with military service.

One of the things that used to really bother me when I was working in the retail world, was people who would get upset, even angry if they were not given a Military discount. Yesterday while out shopping, this happened. A lady was at the check out and she was cursing and yelling at the young clerk. The employee had told the customer that she was not entitled to the veterans discount, that the discount only applied to veterans. The lady, red faced and very emotional stated the following; “No, I did not serve, my father did. He has passed, but I always use his discount.” ….. Say What???

The clerk, who was visibly upset, gave in and let her have the 10% discount on her $30 purchase.

It took everything I had to not jump in and help this employee. I wanted so badly to ask the lady why she felt she was entitled to the discount. Why she felt that her fathers sacrifice entitled her to a discount? I wanted to ask her, if she thought that her father joined the military so that some day he would get 10% off at a store or a free IHOP breakfast.

I have had to speak with former military veterans who are upset or disturbed by the fact that we did not offer a military discount year round. I always let them know that I had also served and I would thank them for their service. Some would then tell me that I should understand and that “we” are entitled to the discount. I would inform the customer that I personally did not join the military for the “FREE STUFF or DISCOUNTS” this would usually take care of the situation. It just blew my mind that some individuals thought that they were owed things, because at one time they signed a commitment to serve in the military.

I love the fact that business owners and companies offer these types of things to honor veterans. It is the right thing to do. Honoring veterans is a great thing and I wished we had done it as a nation earlier in our history. I am old enough to remember how returning veterans were treated during the Vietnam era.

In closing, I think that most veterans appreciate the gesture of discounts and free meals, but I also think that most do not feel entitled to these rewards. I know that at 17 years old, sitting at the recruiting station or as a 19 year old taking in the sunset on the helicopter deck of a submarine tender, FREE STUFF and DISCOUNTS were not on my mind.

So to the lady mentioned above. You should be ashamed of yourself! ( I know your father would not be happy)

A special shout out to all Veterans. Thank you for protecting this great nation! Thank you for SERVICE.

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I was Terminated… and I am fine with that!

There is a time when you look in the mirror and realize that you are at peace with your life and how things are working out.

To be honest I am in uncharted waters. I had never been terminated from any position over my 40+ years of employment. I consider myself a loyal employee. I show up and try my best every single day. I do not jump between jobs. I was employed 9 years with the same company before joining the BOB. I was just short of 13 years when this happened.

On October 5th of this year, I was asked to meet my leader at Denny’s and I was informed that I was no longer employed. It hit me hard as I like to do things on my timeline. However it was not a huge surprise. The good thing about this situation was the fact that a plan was in place for me to put in my two week notice just a week later. Things had not been good for a few months. The combination of my leader and I losing confidence in each other does not make a great working environment. The change of direction had been in the works for a few months. My wife and I had spoken about it and realized a change was needed. This meeting just put the wheels in motion sooner than we had expected.

It has been 30 days since I was “let go” . It is a scary time, as we are now down to one income stream. We have opened a new small business and things look promising at this time. I miss so many people that I used to work with. My leadership team, the great associates, most customers and the other leaders from around the area. There are so many people that impacted my career for 13 years. I will miss seeing and interacting with them. I wake up each day with a new found sense of excitement. Each day is on me! No one is coming to help out and I am cool with that. The change was needed.

So where do we go from here? I have started a new business that seems to be taking off. I have also been contacted to do some consulting in the areas of time management and organization in the retail space. I will be a contributing writer for a few sites concentrating on Retail management, customer engagement and employee relationships. These will be a good, bad and the ugly type of articles, addressing a number of areas in the retail world.

This site will focus on those two areas, along with small business web development and social media presence for small business. So stay tuned. Think about subscribing to get the scoop on what is happening at Manage The Mayhem.

I will be writing each week on this blog about my experience in the retail world. The good, the bad and the ugly will be addressed. If you are looking for me to bash my former employer, you will be disappointed. I loved working for the Orange and will continue to support that company with my heart and funds. I will write about my experiences and will address some of the areas of retail that are tough to deal with. Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Take care everyone, be kind and never lose sight of who you are!

Strengths & Opportunities

We all have them. The important part, is understanding them. Grow from them, but do NOT let them hold you back!

I have worked in retail management / customer Service for more than 25 years. I have seen the Good, the Bad and the Ugly when it comes to all things retail. For the past 13 years I have been in a leadership position with the Home Depot.

As of last Tuesday, I am no longer employed by the company. There are a number of reasons for this. Just like the seasons change, people change and it was time to move on. I will go into more detail as we progress along with this journey, so make sure you subscribe.

I want to stop right here and ensure that we are all on the same page. I love the Home Depot and will always be a champion for the company. They took great care of me and my family for many years. This is not a site that will bash the company. I loved my time being orange.

One of the things I was often told was a big strength for me, was generating routines. Project Management and my propensity to be very organized. All of this while generating positive sales results. Just to be blunt, I get things done (Execution is KEY) with detail and Success!

This blog will be focused on sharing and teaching these KEY Elements.

  • Routine Generation
  • Time Management
  • Organization
  • Technology and Tools that will help with all of the above
  • The Good, The Bad and the Ugly of Retail and Customer Service and how to move forward with a positive mindset.

I will share the tools, along with the thought process for you to become a MASTER in these areas. Mastering these skills will allow you to have more control of your time and energy. It will allow you to focus on things in your life that will generate success. This will apply at home, business and in life! These skills are universal and will make your life more enjoyable and productive.

Don’t miss out! Join me on this journey! Click here and subscribe! It assure you, it will be worth your time. Until next time, Take care of yourself, be kind and stay safe!