Free Time is Important to Get Into Your Calendar Too

Joseph Stubblebine
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Whether you're working in retail, publishing, or any other industry, certain times of the year are extremely busy, and it can be hard to know when to take a break. However, without good time management, free time can be hard to come by, and you'll run the risk of getting burned out. It's essential to include free time into your weekly schedule so that you can recharge.

Good time management can make the difference between getting a break and having to work all day. Many time management tips, however, seem to assume that nothing unexpected ever seems to happen, which is ridiculous, particularly if you're in retail or working in a restaurant. So how do you cope with the unexpected?

Good managers delegate and allow subordinates to make decisions and authorize things so that you don't have to micromanage everything. Good time management often involves trusting others to make decisions for you, such as allowing supervisors to authorize refunds. While you may always need to make certain decisions, such as authorizing overtime or pay increases, you can trust your employees to create displays in a set order or complete most tasks without strict oversight. Remember that responsibility is a good motivator, and delegating certain tasks to certain trusted employees can be justified as training, particularly in time management. That way, they can handle most unexpected things that crop up.

And that's the key to good time management. By ensuring certain tasks are completed by other people, you free up time to relax. Of course, you will need to quickly look over the tasks your employees complete, but you don't have to be continuously looking over their shoulders.

Some employees will, of course, take this opportunity to slack off. However, by ensuring each employee knows what his or her responsibilities are, you can track employee performance. Set actionable and specific goals for each person. If you're in charge of the night shift in a supermarket, for example, you might set how many pallets each person is expected to go through, roughly taking into account the amount of products on each pallet. A pallet of toilet paper will take substantially less time than a pallet of tins or beauty products.

Perhaps, though, the most important part of freeing up time is to learn when to say no. However, never say no directly without qualifying the statement. Explain why working a seventh day would be detrimental to the company. After all, you need rest so that you can function adequately and at an appropriate level. So explain if you work that seventh day, you'll be too tired to get through the rest of the week.

Most time management tips tend to involve delegation, and that works, but it's important not to lose sight of the overall goal: making time for yourself. Good time management ensures you get your free time so that you can recover from the week.


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