By David Brown
Edge Retail Academy’s 13 Time Management Tips
No one ever has enough time. Whether rich or poor, famous or infamous, we all have the same amount of time in a day to use as we wish. Those who are successful have mastered the art of managing their time effectively. They have learned to use their time to its maximum value, from both a personal and professional point of view.
Invariably we know the importance of time, and often, with the benefit of hindsight, it’s easy to see where a day can fritter away. However, controlling that time while you’re in the thick of the action can be another story in itself.
The secret to good time management is setting yourself up to win in the first place. Here are our best 13 tips to managing your time so you can get the most out of every day.
1. Schedule a weekly planning time. This not only gives you the chance to fit the big picture stuff in but also ensures that the smaller tasks have a time allocated to them. Starting a day without a plan will see you pushed and pulled in all directions
2. Don’t see anyone without an appointment. Vendors, in particular, can often arrive unannounced and take an hour or more out of your day. If you are willing to make yourself available for more than five minutes at a time without an appointment you will lose control of your day.
3. Set an end time for every task. We’re all aware that we need to schedule certain tasks to happen – where we can fall down is not determining when that task needs to end. Setting an end time prevents us from having our entire day thrown out of alignment because of one issue. Set an end for each task, even if it means needing to reschedule a time to come back to it.
4. Control your human interaction. We humans like to talk! The more freely available you are to staff the more they will ask you. Resist the urge to get your fix from being the source of all knowledge. Beware of those customers who always ask for you even though they may only need a battery.
5. Say no. Steve Jobs once famously said that the success of Apple wasn’t the ideas they had, but the ideas they said no to. Insignificant matters or inconsequential activities can eat up your day and take you down blind alleys you don’t need to be in. Don’t take on things you don’t need to be responsible for.
6. Delegate. Your job is to do the $100 tasks, not the $10 ones. Analyze each task you do today and ask the question “Could someone else do this at least 80% as well as me?” If the answer is yes, give it to them.
7. Rank between urgent and importance. It can be easy to get caught in fire-fighting mode because of other people’s priorities. Before doing anything that seems to be urgent ask yourself, “Is this also important?” Most of the time you’ll find it’s not.
8. Know your optimum performance times. Are you a morning person? Or perhaps you perform best in the early evening? This is your optimal time to complete your most important tasks. We all have energy swings, knowing when you’re at your best will help you get the most out of your day.
9. Turn off notifications on your phone and computer. We live in an online world and the constant ping of notifications can pull at your attention. Don’t check Facebook during work time and schedule times of the day for e-mails rather than checking them regularly.
10. Unsubscribe to e-mails you don’t need. When did you last clean out your e-mails? You may not open some of them but they are a reminder of how hard it is to get to things. Unsubscribe from e-mail lists you don’t need to be on anymore.
11. Don’t be over ambitious. It’s said we over-estimate what we can do in the short term and under-estimate what can be achieved long term. Know your primary objective for the day and be happy to settle with just doing that.
12. Be conscious of procrastination. We all do it – but that doesn’t make it right!
13. Take regular breaks. It can be easy to skip lunch and just push on through when you have a lot to do, but research shows this makes us less effective and we achieve less. Give yourself a short break regularly and don’t over-do it.
David Brown is President of the Edge Retail Academy, an organization devoted to the ongoing measurement and growth of jewelry store performance and profitability. For further information about the Academy’s management mentoring and industry benchmarking reports contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 877-569-8657.
Story original ran in Southern Jewelry News.