It just about sums up retail in one phrase, for me. And today was a very, very good day. Everything just seemed to click into place and I got all I wanted to get done and a bit more as well.
For me, working in retail is about how organised you are. In a customer-facing environment you can't account for every second of every day but having a plan of what you want to get done set you off in the right direction.
I start with a simple list that I carry in my pocket all day and then I cross off and add to as I go. It makes a difference to the focus I'm able to have because when there are customers and staff asking you questions severely turn you can easily start to walk from one small fire to another. It's eternally important in retail to prioritise. In fast-paced retail you could work non-stop on many different aspects of the job all day long, especially at this time of the year. To have a set of focuses in your pocket to ensure that everything is covered is an essential aid.
Add to it as you need to, cross off the items that you have (totally) completed. A further list of all the tasks you have delegated and who you've delegated them to will complete the organisation. When it comes to organising your day I find nothing better than a list. But this can be achieved in many different ways-
Pen and paper
This is the traditional way and I use a scrap of paper and write as I go, in the way I've described above.
I've met a few retailers than use a dictaphone or the voice memo function on a smartphone to record tasks. It gives the ability to record a little more detail in a shorter time than making notes. You can also play back as necessary and delete once completed. I'm not sure that it's quite as accessible as a simple note but does work for some people.
I can see (and have seen) the diary system working where you have more than one manager or supervisor. It allows the tasks written down to be store tasks rather than individual tasks. It can also act as a communication tool where each manager can see what has been identified, delegated and completed. It does work for multiple managers singe it a go of you're in this situation.
Organisation involves recording the tasks that need to be carried out, so the recording of these tasks prompts a walk around the store and identifying what needs doing. Making this a part of your daily routine will improve how you operate.