Titelbild Zwei Personen bei der Büroarbeit

Mastering the work process through self-organization

Just five minutes. Four minutes. Three ... two ... one minute. End of working day! But just as you turn off your computer or laptop, it comes to mind: you forgot to reply to an important email. Or has your entire work accidentally fallen by the wayside?

If this happens to you more often, you should work on your self-organization! This is similar to learning an instrument: getting smart in a book or online is usually not enough. In order to structure your work processes well, you need certain guidelines, you have to practice them, regularly question and optimize them.

Learn self-organization in 5 steps

A popular method for improved time management is called ALPEN. This is a relatively simple but very effective way to plan your daily routine. Each letter represents an action:

A = write tasks
L = estimate the length
P = schedule buffer time
E = prioritize decisions
N = follow up

Per Hand eine Aufgabenliste in ein Notizbuch schreiben
  • Write down tasks: Just since they are digital, to-do lists enjoy great popularity. What do you have to do everything? Which dates are on? Here you have everything in view, the self-organization succeeds as if by itself! If you prefer the analogue version, you can of course also write down the most important tasks of the day. B. on the whiteboard.
  • Estimate length: Only those who know how long a task lasts can estimate how much time they will spend remaining realistic on other tasks that day / week. Set yourself (intermediate) deadlines.

  • Schedule Buffer Time: It does not have to be up to you that timings can not be adhered to. Often things come in between, which were not foreseeable before. Optimally, you only plan for 60% of your working time and leave 40% as a buffer open from the outset.

  • Prioritize decisions: Here you must realistically assess which tasks have priority. What needs to be done immediately? What can wait? Which tasks can you delegate?
Personen arbeiten auf dem Fußboden
  • Follow-up: If you keep to the four points in advance, you have already achieved something. But that's only half the battle! After work, you should check your self-organization. Were your assessments realistic? Where was it hooked and why? What can you do better in the near future so that your time management becomes more realistic?

Changing habits in everyday working life

Perhaps, in the evaluation of your self-organization, you realize that it would be better to synchronize timings that you have estimated yourself with others who are responsible for the tasks? For example, if you work with creatives, they can often better estimate how long a task lasts. Or you realize that workflows in your team could generally be better structured? Then address this directly and develop common structures that are suitable for all of you. Maybe you've always found yourself losing your focus on prioritization? Then work on it! Remind yourself again and again when you realize that smaller tasks keep you from the actual task.

These are just a few examples! Maybe you find in your self-organization quite different "criticisms". That you identify them is the first step. Ask yourself how you can improve them and practice change until they sit and come of their own accord.

Tools and tricks for observing one's own behavior

If you are already using Microsoft Outlook, you already have the best framework to work in a structured way and optimize your time management. Because Outlook can do much more than just send you the electronic mail. You are already using the calendar. Let's remember the most important tasks and appointments. Do you know Lync? You can use the program integrated with Outlook as telephone replacement, for chat or for online meetings. Also Evernote for notes can be integrated. In addition, there are plenty of tools, such as Todoist or Getting Things Done, to help you grasp all your tasks and organize you better. Remind yourself of deadlines and make sure that regular work processes automatically. You might also be interested in these scheduling tools.