This Podcast was recorded from a LIVE Periscope. Episode 121
Theme Your Work Days
If you’re new to the Remarkable Retailer, today’s episode is the fifth part of a series on Theming Your Work Week and in case you missed either the introduction, or the first 4 episodes, you can easily get caught up by listening going back to Podcast Episodes 010 – 013 right here on the Remarkable Retail Blog.
Several months ago I implemented a simple technique that has helped me become more efficient, get more done and makes my life a little less hectic. After a conversation with my friend & colleague, Carol Keplinger, owner of Timeless Traditions in Overland Park, Kansas last week, I recorded Episode 117 as an overview of how to block schedule your work, and have decided to focus on this subject on our scopes each day this week.
It’s called theming your days.
Whether you love planning and execution or hate it, theming your days can help you do both without having to hold actual planning sessions and meetings with yourself every day. There’s nothing complicated about it…in fact, this has become a habit in my life that has almost become second nature. Although never perfect, it is a way that even when you are super busy and can be pulled into a million directions, it brings you back into focus, at least once per day.
I love that our listeners are taking ACTION by theming their days…Yesterday Carol sent a screenshot of her computer with one Sticky Note on her Dashboard for each day of the week, along with the THEME for each day.
Here’s what Carol said, “I thought the sticky notes would help me stay focused. If I am working on financial projects on Monday but remember an idea for an email, I can just hit the “hot corner” on my laptop which takes me to my “sticky notes” and add it to my Creative Tuesday note. Then, I can get straight back to work and not have to worry about forgetting something important. This won’t take place of my calendar but it will hopefully take place of all the pieces of paper on my desk! Have listened to your “Theming Your Work Days” Periscope series several times and keep getting good ideas. Keep up the GREAT WORK!”
Of course, I copied her right away and posted a photo of my dashboard on the Remarkable Retailer Facebook page yesterday so you could see it…a picture’s worth a thousand words right???
Another simple tool that goes along with the Theming your Days concept is file folders. Yes, plain old file folders, or if you’re like my friend, Carol, super fancy, awesome file folders! I keep a file folder with a label for each day of the week, Monday – Saturday in my desk drawer and drop in pieces of paper or information that I would use on those particular themed days. It gives you a place to corral all of those lose papers (although you wouldn’t know it to look at my desk today!). That idea is from David Allen’s book “Getting Things Done” that I read a couple of years ago.
Today we’re going to focus on Thursday’s theme: Weekend Prep & Marketing
In our business, our Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are slower, and business picks up Thursday, Friday & Saturday. This is why in the “Theming Your Days” plan that I use, the first part of the week is used for concentrated, detail work. Financials on Monday, Email & Social Media Marketing on Tuesday & Connection – Building professional relationships & education on Wednesday. Things change later in the week! The last half of the week we are busier with customers in the store, getting ready for weekend events, sometimes we have an outside retail show on the weekend, etc.
So here’s what our Themed Thursday looks like: Take a look at what will be going on for the weekend (we call the weekend Thursday, Friday & Saturday) in our shop. Do I have signage made for special offers? Do we have an event going on that requires extra food or drinks to be prepared? Is the store looking clean and organized for the weekend? Our teammate that does most of the decorating works Monday through Wednesday, and products keep rolling in the back door, so we may work on displays, getting merchandise to the warehouse, etc.
Thursday is also the day that I am double-checking our social media presence for the weekend. I try to have my iPhone handy and take photos of groups that are coming to shop together…I email the guest a copy of the photo, then post it to our store’s Facebook page as well. Our customers love to see real people out having fun!
We pre-populate our Facebook page with 2-3 posts per day on Tuesday, then pop in more “LIVE” type of posts as the week rolls along, and Thursday is a great day to focus on gathering photos of customers, new arrivals and materials to get that done.
Sandy, our gourmet guru will also take a look at our gourmet inventories and choose a dessert or soup or other item to sample over the weekend. So the good news is, Thursday’s Theme is a little “looser” than the first days of the week, but it is important to stay focused on what moves your business forward…and that is TAKING CARE of your CUSTOMERS! J
Today’s ACTION Plan:
Like I’ve pointed out in previous episodes, I want to be in full disclosure here…just in case you think that my week runs in perfect harmony with the themes I have on each day, it just doesn’t work out like that! My life has it’s fair share of craziness just like yours does. Things go wrong. Ice Storms Hit. A staff member gets sick. You have a week of market and get off schedule…that’s real life.
However, by theming your days, you know right where to get back on to get your most important work done! Another thing to keep in mind is that if you get “off schedule” you just start back with today’s theme! Make up only those tasks that are essential to running your business and move along…you will catch up next week.
Also, I don’t spend all day working only on the “theme” for that day. The change I have made though, is that I am not jumping around from theme to theme as I know that if it is marketing work, it will be done on Tuesday. If it is financial, I will take care of it on Monday, etc. Of course, there are always going to be exceptions and you must personalize this to your business!
Yesterday I had a sales rep in who was trying to catch up her crazy life after being at Market for several days. She was dealing with email overload, orders, sales calls, being back on the road, etc. We talked for a little bit about Theming for her business, and I think it really made sense to her, even on the rep side of our business. She travels 3-4 days a week, every week, and I think theming would be so helpful to her!
Whatever business you are in, I would encourage you to give “Theming” a try! Our goal is to encourage retailers and entrepreneurs to have a successful business and a somewhat well balanced life.
I know TIME is your MOST VALUABLE ASSET, and I never want to waste a single minute… THANK YOU so much for joining me today! I love being a part of this group of Remarkable Retailers!
My goal is to bring daily energy, experience and insight along with tips and tactics to help you grow your business!
If you’ve just discovered these Podcasts, or our Remarkable Retailer Scopes, let me introduce myself: my name is Vicki Adrian…I have been the small business owner of Adrian’s Boutique in the community of Buhler, Kansas for over 33 years. I love to brainstorm and bring experience and insight to help small business owners work through challenges and thrive in today’s economy. I believe that the BEST way to build a successful business is to create a Rock Solid Client List and then to take care of those customers for life!
If you would like to work with me to Build Daily Habits and grow your business, just click the tab above that says “Work with Vicki” where you can set up an appointment to “Talk Shop” anytime!
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