Tips for an efficient time management

PINKTUM effektives Zeitmanagement 2022
Estelle Klemp

Tips for an efficient time management


What is time management?

Setting goals

ALPEN method

Batching - Working together what belongs together

Pomodoro technique

10 practical tips for more efficient time management

What is time management?

Even the philosopher Seneca stated: "We don't have too little time, but too much time that we don't use properly". And this is exactly what improved time management is all about - managing and allocating the available time in such a way that the essential tasks are fulfilled.

Who hasn't been there? You're drowning in a pile of tasks that all seem important, and you don't know where to start. But with the right approach, you can overcome this hurdle. Here you can also learn how to strengthen your resilience:⁠-⁠learnings/skills-for-oneself/resilienz-die-innere-widerstandskraft-stärken-081-de/

First of all, you should define the big, superior goals as well as the small goals and tasks. Once these have been specified, it is much easier to prepare a to-do list that includes a precise time schedule. Setting up the list is the basis for your future time management.

First things first - define goals

Since planning is based on setting goals, these goals are the basic prerequisite for efficient planning. Goal definition can be versatile. Setting goals includes for example the company goals, team goals and job goals, as well as the sub-goals that can be derived from them. In addition to professional goals, personal goals can also be defined, which are essential for weekly planning. Based on these goals, a to-do list can be created using the ALPEN method.

Efficient to-do lists using the ALPEN-method

The ALPEN-method is a helpful way to create a daily or weekly plan in order to organise the work. This plan is best created the evening before so that one can start the new week or day full of energy in an organised way. The acronym ALPEN stands for the following approach:

A: To-do-lists of all planned activities, tasks and meetings

L: Estimating length of time

P: Planning buffer time

E: Establishing prioritized decisions

N: Noting down level of success

First, all activities and tasks to achieve the defined goals are noted followed by the expected time required. It is also advisable to consider buffer times - it often happens that unexpected events occur or that we underestimate the time for future tasks and fall victim to the so-called planning fallacy. The next step is decision-making - the most important step in the ALPEN method. Which tasks are important, which are not, and which activities can be delegated? Based on the categorisation into important/unimportant and urgent/not urgent, the tasks can be worked on. Finally, check whether you have achieved your goals. This way you can make changes and optimise your plan.

Batching- Working together what belongs together

Another method to optimise time management is batching. Here, similar tasks are bundled together. We use this tool in everyday life, for example, when we do our weekly shopping instead of shopping for each meal separately every day. By means of batching, the basic effort is reduced and the total working time decreases. When applying the ALPEN-Method, batching can be applied in the first step - writing down the activities. At this point, all similar and repetitive tasks can be marked and grouped into categories. Instead of being faced with a patchwork of tasks, one can work on the tasks in blocks and concentrate on one specific task. The result: increased productivity.

How the Pomodoro clock ticks

Do you want to concentrate on your tasks without getting distracted and reduce the pile of tasks you've been putting off? Then the Pomodoro technique may be perfect for you. This method involves 25 minutes of focused work, a 5⁠-⁠minute break, repeating the process three times and then taking a longer break. But remember to use the method flexibly - when you're in a flow, just keep working and take a break afterwards. Give it a try and see if you can find your own rhythm.

10 practical tips for more efficient time management

Finally, here is a summary of the most practical tips that will help you to be more organised in your daily and working life.

  • Set long-term & short-term goals

  • Write everything down - this relieves your memory and facilitates focused attention

  • Keep a prioritised to-do list and plan for buffer time

  • Batching - grouping tasks according to how they belong together

  • Communicate your goals to a trusted person

  • Eat the frog- do the unpleasant tasks first, then the pleasant ones

  • Reward yourself when you achieve a goal

  • Minimise distractions: Keeping the workplace tidy and your smartphone out of sight

  • Consider your individual daily performance curve

  • Develop habits: Challenging tasks become easier the more routinely you perform them

Apart from time management, you wish for more tips on how to prevent or cope with stress at work? In this blog post we will help you to improve your stress management and apply different coping strategies:

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