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So many distractions! As a manager how do I stay focussed on what’s important?

Below are a few tips around staying on track as a manager in a busy retail environment and making sure you focus on what’s important. There are many things that demand your attention on a daily basis and with so many competing priorities it’s very easy to get overwhelmed and lose sight of your goals.

A little confession first though… I’ve only found some of these bits of information out by learning the hard way, having done the complete opposite at times!

· Set clear objectives each day – it doesn’t have to be anything fancy, just notes jotted down on a pad or use Outlook’s to do list. What I like about writing things down is ticking them off at the end of the day – or adding them to the next day’s to do – you will be surprised just what a great, simple tool this is for helping you stay on track throughout the day and beyond

Obviously some tasks are not going to be completed in such a short timescale, so break them down into smaller projects that come together to complete the whole – this helps stop procrastination

Don’t put off what you think is the hardest job – it will only play on your mind, and I’ll guarantee it’s very rarely as bad as you thought it would be!

· Minimise distractions –In today’s digital world distractions are everywhere! You don’t very often need to respond to emails instantly, so put dedicated time aside at regular points in the day to deal with them. Similarly, don’t get drawn into checking on your social media, turn notifications off when you’re working

As a manager in retail, it’s hugely important to be available for your team. If you lead well then your team will help and understand when there’s a deadline that must be met and give you the space – they’ll also know you’re there and it’s not an issue if it just can’t wait

· Manage your time – don’t try to multi-task, you’ll just water your achievements down. You know when your most productive hours are so allocate these times to the critical tasks. Know when to step back and take 5 minutes!

· Delegate & collaborate – it’s easier and quicker to do it yourself right? – wrong! Play to everyone’s strengths, delegate and collaborate and everyone becomes a winner with staff feeling empowered and valued. Don’t be frightened to ask for help – it’s not a weakness. Today’s manager should be a leader and coach·

· Maintain a proper work / life balance – putting things off until everyone else has left for the day may give you the quiet time needed but it’s just not sustainable. Giving yourself down time to enjoy family, sports and hobbies will make you refreshed and more productive during the normal working day

· Find time to look at industry developments – learn and adapt. Taking the time out to see what’s on the horizon means that there will be less fire fighting and more time for strategy. Look at industry journals, online publications, and business SM to keep abreast of everything

As a manager in a retail environment, it’s a must to stay focussed on what’s important and by using the above you will see productivity, results and your wellbeing improve.

If R7 can help with anything related to this, please don’t hesitate to get in touch

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