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How do I get things done when I'm always interrupted?

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  • How do I get things done when I'm always interrupted?

    I am a manager in retail. Everyday I have certain things I know have to be competed before I leave. The rest of the time is spent helping customers and helping them solve their problems as well as helping the associates and keeping them on task. I don't really have a lot of paperwork. But how do I stay focussed and do one thing at a time when I am expected to multitask and complete everything I start? I feel overwhelmed and unsupported. Any suggesstions?

  • #2
    what I am doing and am workng on

    I have similar between the hours of that I bring kids home from school and their bedtime, with the added factor that spouse can walk in any old time, regardless of what was designated earlier in the day (spouse's schedule is determined by many external factors), and may be hungry, tired, celebratory, worried, or often needing to quickly get somewhere else. This is so much like waiting for customers (who like my dear spouse), deserve your complete and total attention when they make themselves available, and some will be in a hurry, others chatty, and may or may not get involved in various things in the store. But mean while, you have to attend to your tasks (some routine, some changing) and respond to interuptions from your associates and higher ups (just like I get kids needing things, having conflicts, phone calls that change my direction, etc.). Altogether it is exhausting. So here is a suggestion:

    I have a check list of 37 things that are nice to get done every day but if left undone for three create a crisis. Each one by itself takes about 5 minutes. Some, when done in groups take less time per item (it is 5 minutes round trip to empty one waste basket to outside trash but only 15 to get them from all rooms in the house in one trip. But when stressed, it is easier not to think and just do. This list really works, you checkoff as you go, and three days without checks tells you your priority. I would think that in retail, the items would be fewer but maybe hourly (polish counter, sweep, etc).

    The next step that I am working on is to use a notepad to show me what I need to resume after an interuption or change of course. You could do this just as you collect any "IN" stuff as you go along but maybe jot the time down. that you stopped or put an asterik next to it.

    The part that still defies me, but is getting better by using "waiting for" is when I need someone to give me information or put their things away.


    • #3
      Any way to delegate more to the associates some of the routine tasks? Are they as busy as you?