4 Ways to Prioritize Your Time

Prioritizing your time will help you be more productive and happy!

Cris Willis

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We always say we don’t have time, but the truth is that we do not prioritize our time. There are 86,400 seconds in each 24-hour day – no more, no less.  Each is used or lost.  You must value your time.

Guess what – Planning actually saves time!

Prioritize planning your time, and you will feel like you have more of it.

Quit running around like a chicken with your head cut off. Stop managing to the crisis of the moment. Do you feel like you are running in circles and not getting ahead?

It’s time to stop and change your thinking. It’s time to take control of your time!

Here are some tips to help you get started:

1. Create a time log to find out where you are spending your time at work, then manage those activities that are consuming too much of your time.

For the next week or two, write down each activity you do throughout the day and how much time you spend on it.  It will be things like doing the schedule, checking emails, reading blogs, placing orders, working on the sales floor, meeting with reps, creating social media content, meeting with associates, picking up food for the weekend event, receiving products, paying bills, working on visual merchandising, and so much more.

Keeping track of all you do will help you see how much you can feasibly accomplish in a day.  This will also help you identify what is sucking up all your time.  Which of these activities is providing the most significant return and moving your business forward?  Do those things.

2. Set a Daily Schedule and stick to it!

Don’t start your day without a list of your most pressing tasks for the day. Before you leave work for the day, make sure you have your list made out for tomorrow. Then prioritize your to-do list so that you complete the most critical and urgent items first.

Look for any items you can delegate. Train and build up your team by assigning them more responsibility and granting them the authority to handle these tasks.  It seems “easier to do it yourself” at first, but once they are trained and have taken this off your plate, you will thank yourself for taking the time and learning to delegate.

3. Use a scheduling program or planner to keep yourself on track.

Set timelines for yourself, set deadlines – and then stick to them.  Group like tasks together.  For example, schedule your desk jobs like doing the schedule, paying bills, and checking emails together in one chunk of time.  Be sure to start your day with your most significant task while you are still fresh.  Avoid multitasking as much as possible as you are actually less productive when juggling more than one thing at a time.  When scheduling, assign time limits to your tasks.

You can accomplish scheduling these tasks each day with a planner, google or outlook calendar, or any number of online apps. Check out these articles about some of the best daily planner apps

13 Best Planner Apps of 2021

9 Best Planner Apps for 2021

4. Tackle that thing you keep procrastinating

There is always at least one big task outside your comfort zone that everyone keeps kicking down the road. Now is the time to knock that one out.  Even if it is a big one that may take several months or more to complete, break it down into smaller parts; you might have things like this on your to-do list: write a personnel manual, create a training program, learn Instagram, start an e-commerce website, or plan my open to buy. These projects will take time but will never get done if you do not prioritize them and schedule the time to do a little bit each day or week until it is accomplished.

Often, the big items outside of your comfort zone are the ones that you should hire someone to help you with.  If this task will move your business forward significantly, it is worth the money to get some help in getting it done.

Reach out to Retail Clarity Coaching for a FREE Strategy Session to talk about your big task that needs to get done.  If we cannot help you, we will put you in touch with any number of other coaches that specialize in all things retail.

Take Away: You cannot manage time – there are 24 hours in a day, and you cannot change that.  All you can do is manage yourself and the work that you do.

The objective is to change your behavior over time to increase productivity and reduce stress.

So, no more excuses. Go Forth and Get it Done!

Cris Willis

Cris is a business coach for independent retailers. With 25 years of experience owning and operating a family business, she now guides retail owners to make smarter decisions regarding inventory management, marketing, sales training, product assortment, and more. When not at work, she loves to travel the country with her husband in their motorhome.

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