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  • Need More Time?

    Flowers and Profits®

    As the shop manager, your time is one of the most valuable assets the company has. It should be guarded carefully. However, it's easy to spread yourself too thin by taking on commitments or picking up the pieces when an employee lets you down. Here are a few ideas to help you safeguard your time.

    One of the most common problems is interruptions. It's important to set priorities for each day — each hour if necessary — so that you get the most important things done.

    Probably the most common reason that managers feel pressured is the simple act of procrastination. If you've put something off for more than a day, chances are you don't want to do it or have some reason for wanting to avoid it. One of the best ways to break this pattern is to begin the day tackling your least favorite jobs. Prioritize your day's list by getting those jobs off your plate first, and you'll find yourself having better days.

    You must balance the need to be customer-oriented, but if you can give yourself blocks of time away for the phone, you'll accomplish tasks that require concentration more efficiently. This practice may take some getting used to, but because you will be working more efficiently, you will be better positioned to help customers in the long run.

    Just because you have time to do something doesn't mean you should do it. Practice saying "No". Ask yourself, "is this something I must do or want to do?" If the answer is "no" to either question, then decline.

    Another technique is to stop doing so much yourself. Every time you begin a task, ask yourself if it can be delegated or if it has to be done at all. Many times an employee can handle the job you need done. They might not do it exactly as you would, but they'll be richer for the experience and the end result might be the same.

    Delegate more of your work and responsibilities to people who are interested in and capable of accepting more. Match the person to the task, making sure that you have selected a good fit. Be very clear to communicate what you expect. Asking the person to restate their understanding for the job will help you judge whether they fully grasp the task.

    Delegating doesn't mean you're never involved. Keep tabs on the project as it's moving along. However, be careful not to "micromanage" or your employees will not develop the skills they need to complete jobs on their own in the future. Expect some mistakes and always treat them as a learning experience — you made plenty of them on your way to becoming a manager.


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