The Highly Successful Retail Manager (HSRM) makes a point of taking complete control over the time allotted to complete his work.
He sees time as the precious resource or commodity that it is.
He has firm goals that are well defined and he has determined his priorities; never operates without a ‘to do’ list; he is well organized and schedules everything, leaving nothing to chance; he knows how to delegate and how to say no so he does not get distracted and start operating on someone else’s agenda instead of his own.
HSRMs ask themselves “What does success look like?” and then plans time to deal with success factors.
For example, meeting sales targets is a top success factor so the HSRM plans the day/week/month with sales targets in mind.
It may be that he reviews results and then talks with every one of his employees about their sales performance, every day or week, etc.
If succession planning is a top success factor, then the HSRM makes sure that it is in the plan. And so on.
For the HSRM, the key to success in time management is planning and taking required actions.
HSRMs find that their approach to time management is such that other people, both subordinates and peers, catch the sense of urgency that he demonstrates.
Everything the HSRM does leaves no doubt that he wants to take action on issues, handle them in the timeframe he has allotted and move on.
It is clear that he will not waste time with trivial issues and his subordinates know not to bother him with them.
Instead they learn how to take care of those issues themselves.
That does not happen immediately, but, over time his subordinates become great time managers just by following his example.
No discussion of time management would be complete without mentioning procrastination.
The HSRM has mastered the skills needed to avoid procrastination because he is a person of action and there is just no room for procrastination in his busy work life.
HSRM’s make a decision not to put off any important project or task that will advance their cause.
They just get at it and, in time, they train themselves not to procrastinate.
Time Management Process for Success
The HSRM follows an eight step process for time management:
The HSRM has clear and well defined goals. In order to plan the best use of their time they figure out where they stand and where they need to be to reach their goals.
Any activity or task that will not move the HSRM closer to his goals is not worthy of investment of time.
It helps to keep a log of what you are spending your time on for a period of a week or two and then review it to make sure that all of your time has, in fact, been spent working toward your goals.
Make a ‘to do’ list
Daily or weekly, a ‘to do’ list must be created. It must include only those things that are priorities for you and not necessarily for others.
It is your ‘to do’ list and only you have the right to decide what should be on it.
Schedule everything as an appointment
This is how HSRM’s manage to get to everything on their list. Nothing is left to chance.
For example, if they plan to do something at 9:30 a.m. and have scheduled that activity as an appointment of, say 45 minutes, they do it in 45 minutes or less and then move on to their next appointment.
HSRM’s are very organized. They have a system for reducing clutter and easy retrieval of documents and information.
It does not have to be a sophisticated system as long as it helps you to find what you need when you need it and keeps clutter out of sight.
The HSRM has competent people working for him and makes sure he delegates according to their particular strengths.
A subordinate may not be able to handle an entire project but, broken into manageable pieces, the HSRM can count on someone else to assist.
Know when to say no
Although it is not always possible, the HSRM knows how to determine what he should say no to.
If someone asks him to take on a project or task that will not necessarily advance his cause, then he needs to say no.
When he has no choice but to accept the task, or project, then he looks for other items on the ‘to do’ list that can be moved to another time slot or delegated.
Remain flexible and reschedule often
HSRM’s allow for the unexpected. There must be some time left available so that you can be flexible when the need arises.
Finally, the HSRM knows that any activity, task, project or meeting can fill the time allotted to it, whether needed or not, so he tends to allot less time rather than more.
Some will view this as being unrealistic but the HSRM sees it as making the best use of time.
When a shorter time period is allotted, things are generally handled more efficiently and effectively.