This Episode:​ The Retailer’s Time System For Productivity

When I owned Mackinaw Kite Company, I developed the Retailer’s Time System to increase my productivity. I was frustrated that the things that needed to get done weren’t getting done, and I realized it was because I wasn’t blocking out my time appropriately. With the Retailer’s Time System, I was able to become more present, have more fun in my business, and ultimately get more done without constant distractions.

What are your thoughts on the Retailer’s Time System? Do you have a way that works for you to manage your time?

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Hey, it’s Bob Negen. And today, you’re going to learn about a productivity system that if you choose to use it, I guarantee will rock your world.

It’s called the retailer’s time system.

I developed the retailer’s time system when I owned the Mackinaw Kite Company because I was so incredibly frustrated that there were all of these things that I knew needed to get done that weren’t getting done.

That I had projects, like building a training program, like building a marketing plan, like, you know, being more intentional with my hiring and training All of these things, you know what you need to do, and you know the things that you need to do that aren’t getting done because your time is getting chipped away at that you’re losing your time to death by a thousand cuts. And that’s what was happening with me.

Every day I would come in with the best of intentions to get important work done. And then the day just got sucked out of me. I would go home and I would be exhausted from working hard, but I would also be frustrated because the important things weren’t getting done. And the days became weeks, and the weeks became months, and the months became years, and these things weren’t getting done. But most importantly, I was frustrated because I knew I could do better. I knew that this life of stress was not the best life for me or my business.

So I decided to get serious, and I created the retailer’s time system. Now the retailer’s time system was originally three f’s, three kinds of time, but then several years into it, I created a fourth f, which you’re gonna learn about. Here in just a moment also.

So the first kind of time, the first f is what I call flex time. And flex time is when you’re multitasking.

And when I speak live and I talk about the retailer’s time system, I say, how many of you are multi multitaskers?

And most of the room raises their hand. I know I would have raised my hand, but the problem with, multitasking is that it’s an credibly inefficient way for you to make real progress on the things that need to be done. Yes. You’re a retailer.

There’s always going to be distractions. There’s always gonna be interruptions, but the name of the game is to diminish them as efficiently and as effectively and as intentionally as possible.

So flex time is when you’re doing this, you’re doing that, you’re doing that. And so what you you’re never gonna like I said, you’re never gonna get rid of it, but you want to diminish it diminish the amount of time you multitask by being intentional and proactive about the other three f’s.

So the second f is called floor time. Now here’s my story. I would come on and I would be on the schedule. But because I had other things to do multitasking, if it got slow, I’d go to the office and work on the schedule.

And then if it got busy, they’d call me back. And then if it got slow, I’d go back and work on the schedule again for a second. And then if a vendor called, I’d go off the floor. Right?

So the whole day got pulled here there and everywhere.

And what happened was I wasn’t getting things done. And I wasn’t having any fun when I was on the floor because there was always something else on my shoulder, on my back. That needed to get done. So what I’m encouraging you to do is to schedule your time on the floor floor time And when you schedule yourself on the floor, stay on the floor.

Don’t take calls from vendors. Don’t go and work on something in your office the minute it gets slow.

Be present.

Be present with your customers when you’re working with them. Be present with your team. When there’s not when you have that opportunity, but be present, be there. Have fun. You know, I was in the toy business. And once I decided to schedule my floor time and treat my floor time the way I just described.

Wow. My life became so much more fun. I was in the toy business. I was no longer distracted.

I was selling toys to kids, parents, grandparents.

It was a beautiful thing. So I’m suggesting to you that you figure out the the proportions, but schedule your floor time and be there and be present. And by the way, when you schedule your floor time, let’s say you need five coverage on a Saturday. It’s not five plus you. It’s five, and you are one of the five. Be there on the floor. Be present.

The second, of those three is focus time.

And focus time is when you work on the important things with focus.

So it could there’s actually two types of focus time. One is sort of the, the day to day tasks that if you sit down and you do them with focus on uninterrupted time, it you’ll get it done so much more efficiently. That could be things like ordering or writing the schedule or, talking to your vendors, taking care of emails, but instead of doing it in multitasking, You’re doing it in one batch. All of the work that you have to do is in one batch, and that’s valuable. Doing it in focus time makes it much more efficient so you can use that time someplace else. But here’s where I’m Here’s the secret sauce folks.

This is where you make the money, folks.

His focus time is also where you work on important stuff. So if you don’t have a written training program yet, or if you don’t have a training program on our brilliance retailed training platform yet, you should really, you know, that is something that will be a game changer for you. That’s focused time building a training program. Writing a marketing plan is a focused time activity.

Learning is a focus time activity. You know, learning, if you have the retail mastery system, And you say I’m gonna spend twenty minutes every day just going through the retail mastery system.

You will see significant differences in your business in a few short months. I’m looking at all of you and promising you that if you schedule a half a day a week, for focused time, a half a day a week, working on the things that are truly important to your business. In six months, you are going to have an entirely different business.

This is one of the most important pieces of advice I can give to you. Focus time. Learn to do the important stuff. Put it on your calendar and make it happen. So do you see now all of a sudden if you schedule floor time and focus time, the important stuff is gonna get done you’re still gonna have flex time. You’re still gonna need to do some other things, but then there’s the final one.

And that is free time. And let me tell you a story.

Like I said, there was originally it was the three Fs. Somewhere on the internet, there’s a video with me with long hair. Talking about the three f’s, but then Susan and I join the strategic coach program.

And strategic coach is a program for entrepreneurs and our first day in strategic coach. They talked about Dan Sullivan’s entrepreneurial time system.

And it’s similar, you know, this idea that you chunk the important activities, but there had one of their activities were free days.

And a free day, according to Dan Sullivan, And, this is what I would encourage you to think about is twenty four hours midnight to midnight.

Where you don’t think about your business, where you don’t take texts from your team members, where you don’t check your social media account, where you don’t look at your email where you don’t read the, magazines, the trademarks, you just have time to yourself, to do the things that are important for yourself.

Now our coach, at strategic coach. Your name was Mary Miller. We hadn’t even met formally yet, but she sees me sitting in the back And she walked up to me and looked at my name tag and said, Bob, you look like you’re freaking out. And you know why I looked like I was freaking out? Because I was freaking out. The idea of detaching myself from my business for a full day filled me with anxiety.

You see, I thought I had made this deal with myself. I’m an entrepreneur.

Therefore, I sorta have to always work. Let me give you an example.

We used to go out on the long break, long winter break, and when when our kids were in school, we’d always go out West skiing. And I’d get up in the morning. I’d check my emails and do my things, and then I would ski for a while. And then at lunch, I’d check my email and do all those long things, and then I would skied for a while, but I never truly got away from it. And that was stretching me way outside of my comfort zone. So anyway, we get home and our kids were, you know, young, seven, eight, nine years old.

I walk in. And the first thing my son, Joe, does is he asks me, he says, so dad. Jill or anything cool. How was it?

You know, he’s asking me questions. I love that. And I told her about free days. And he looked me in the face, and he says dad, you’re always working.

He didn’t say it with judgment, but it oh, man. It was painful.

It was painful. This is wasn’t the role model I wanted to be. So I started to work on this.

And I’m gonna look at all of you and tell you that if you’re not taking time off, you are not the kind of entrepreneur that you can be. You are not the kind of boss that you should be. You are not the kind of family person you should be. If you’re going to be the best version of yourself, you have to take care of yourself. And that means taking time off. Now I know some people who only work half days and then take longer stretches off, but, what I have found, and I’ve tried it every way from Sunday, is that a full day, full day is the best way for you to refresh yourself. The best way for you to reenergize yourself.

The best way to get your energy and your creative juices back. So if you’re not taking at least one full day off a week right now. This is your number one action item.

So let’s go back and sorta recap this. So now what you’re doing, what I did, was rather than going into a week and just letting the week pull me into it and let the the week dictate what I was gonna do. Now I was being intentional.

So you put the three f’s on the calendar.

You put your day or two off your free days. On the calendar. You put your focus time, whether it’s a half day, two half days, a full day on the calendar.

You put your floor time on the calendar. Those times are sacred. The rest of the time can be flex time. But as you get better at managing your time with the retailer’s time system, What you’re gonna find is that it it’s working.

You’re getting momentum, and you’re gonna start to squeeze that flex time off of your calendar. You’re gonna find yourself becoming much, much, much more productive, which means you’re gonna be much happier which means you’re gonna be a better boss, a better husband, a better wife, a better father, a better mother. You’re gonna have a better business. It’s Believe me.

The stress that will come off of your plate by using the retailer’s time system in your business.

It’s it’s just amazing. Imagine reducing your stress by twenty five, thirty five, forty five, seventy five percent. What would that mean to your business in your life?

It’s all possible. And it’s all possible. If you make the choice and you make the commitment to using the retailer’s time system in your business.

If you wanna learn more about the retailer’s time system, There’s information on it in the personal business skills module of your retail mastery system, but I would love to know more about what you do to manage your time or what you think about the retailer’s time system. Put them down in the comments below, and we’ll see you next week.