How can I effectively manage an organization

Self-management: methods and definition

Overworked, stressed and at the end of their tether - this is how many employees describe their day-to-day work. A mountain of tasks, orders and accounts are piling up on the desk and time is just running by. The result: overtime, Overload and work comes home with you. What helps? Better time management it is often said then. Not correct! Self management would be the correct answer. Because time cannot be managed. But you already ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Definition of self-management: what does it mean?

Self-management - sounds good. But what does that mean? Ultimately, it's about your own Consciously taking day-to-day work into hand. These include:

  • planning
  • organization
  • motivation
  • Goal setting.

Specifically includes Self management the following points:

  • organize yourself better,
  • to get an overview in the morning,
  • to plan one's tasks,
  • to prioritize
  • and of course to stay motivated throughout the day

At its core, it's about you make better decisions. However, that is hard work. We make around 20,000 decisions every day, most of them within seconds. First of all, that doesn't make it easier and secondly, it makes it tricky.

At work, in particular, we repeatedly find ourselves in situations in which we react instantly have to. There is a probability of around 60 percent that we are under time pressure there, according to the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin. Not good prerequisites. Those who have to make a lot of decisions lose a large part of their intellectual capacities.

Time management myth: why you should talk about self-management

Time management is the art of making the most of your time. Some say. Time management is nonsense by definitionsay the others. Because time cannot be managed. It always passes quickly - regardless of what we do with it. Every day has for every person 24 hourswhether we manage it or not. On the one hand this is extremely fair, on the other hand it cannot be denied that this causes more problems for some people than for others.

The term time management does not get to the heart of the problem. Because it's not about managing time, it's about your own Way of working. If you want to get a better grip on your day-to-day work, you should therefore think about self-management.

The problem with decisions: We tend to deceive ourselves

However, humans have a way of doing this Protection mechanism developed: instinct. It has been over 20 years since the US neurophysiologist Benjamin Libet noticed that our brain becomes active several seconds before the actual decision is made.

At that time there was a heated discussion about the actual Free will of people - because we may have already decided before we consciously do so.

Let's take a simple example from life full of life: a Flirt situation.

You want to address your attractive counterpart because you feel extremely attracted. At the same time, however, you are afraid of being rejected. What then happens in your head are two processes running in parallel - or in short: you weigh up which risk outweighs and which decision promises the greater success.

Scientists at Harvard University have now investigated how quickly these emotional or rational ones Thought processes to follow such a decision-making stimulus and what happens in the process. The strange thing: The emotional response occurs almost twice as fast as the rational one.

220 to 260 milliseconds after the triggering impulse we feel: "I want that" or "I dont want that". It is only from the 480th to 640th millisecond that the mind sets in and calculates, verifies and rationalizes.

In the neural cosmos, of course, the choice made has long been an old man. That's why he takes over understanding usually another job: he suggests.

We are trying to at least justify our decision. So something like: I can safely eat this piece of chocolate, because I'm doing sports tonight anyway. The whole thing is often based on that which is deeply rooted psychologically Need to be right. One could also say: We unconsciously tend to deceive ourselves.

So be aware of these effects when setting your priorities or planning your day. It is not uncommon for your preferences to play a trick on you, which your mind will justify afterwards ("That still has time until tomorrow ...").

Methods: How does self-management work?

Even if you now know what to do with Self management is meant, you do not yet know how to actively operate this. Here are a few suggestions:

Start with goal setting

The first step is ever one Set goal. Carleton University psychologist Patrick Hill found in a study that having goals gives life an important direction. Determined people are happier, pay more attention to their health and also live longer. But how do you set a goal for yourself?

  • Your goal must be clear, however, the way to get there may only be roughly sketched. You should always be able to react spontaneously and improvise. Too tight a plan does not allow this.
  • Do not make yourself a slave to your goals. That may sound drastic, but there are people who stubbornly hold on to a goal that has been set, come what may. As admirable as perseverance is, if your circumstances change, you should be able to adjust or abandon your goals.
  • Passion sets goals automatically. If you are fully committed to something and are passionate about it, there is no need to set yourself any goals. You then know exactly what you want to achieve.

Develop strategies for planning and organizing

In the following we have put together the tried and tested, but also some less known methods for you:

  • The ABC method

    about allegedly takes into account so-called left- and right-brained people. Means: In some people, the left hemisphere dominates, they like numbers, facts, plans, systems. About 90 percent of time management books are made for them. But that's nothing for right-brainers, who supposedly tend to be chaotic, creative, spontaneous. The hairs on the back of their necks stand on end when they only think of plans or fixed appointments. You prefer to decide spontaneously and intuitively.



    That is why there is the ABC method for them: It stands for sorting tasks according to their importance:

    • A tasks: very important (do it immediately)
    • B tasks: less important (do it later or delegate)
    • C tasks: hardly important to unimportant (delegate or discard).

    So the type of prioritization is a pretty simple thing - ABC method but sounds a lot smarter.

  • The Eisenhower Method

    is probably the origin of the ABC method. It goes back to the American General and US President Dwight D. Eisenhower and is essentially reminiscent of a classic mail basket exercise. At the time, Eisenhower recommended dividing tasks into two categories: Are they important or unimportant, in a hurry or not in a hurry? In order to make the whole thing a little clearer, he recommended - as in the figure - to create a coordinate system for these categories in which the tasks can be entered later - if not physically, then at least mentally. The lower right quadrant is actually nothing more than a trash can. These tasks can be safely forgotten: neither rushed nor important. A column above it looks different (unimportant, but urgent). You should delegate these jobs. Tasks that are not urgent but important (bottom left) should be entered in the calendar and processed step by step. There are still the obligations at the top left: urgent and important. So do it immediately! Of course it would be pointless to create such a coordinate system on a daily basis. The aim is therefore to internalize the principle so that you can soon apply it intuitively.

  • The ALPS method

    The so-called ALPEN method is also quite prominent, an acronym and a kind of daily schedule and stands for:

    • A.write down tasks
    • L.estimate the length
    • P.Plan slack time (plan a maximum of 60 percent of working time)
    • E.Prioritize decisions
    • Ncheck your ax (what you have achieved)

    Unfinished business is carried over to the next day.

  • The GTD principle

    again stands for “Getting Things Done” and goes back to the bestselling author David Allen. The idea behind this is to first collect all the tasks that have to be completed and then note them down in a logical system (such as a calendar) in order to free your mind for more important things. Then you just have to decide in a disciplined manner for each new task whether it makes sense and is integrated into the plan so that you always know what the next step is. Or in short: Reduce projects to the next elementary sub-step and structure these steps according to time and place of execution! Sounds complicated, but it's nothing more than setting new priorities every day.

  • The SMART method

    should help in formulating goals, whereby the focus is on first assessing them as realistically as possible and then setting reasonable deadlines. The SMART method is anything but new, it was developed in 1956 and is also an acronym. It is:


    • Specific: Goals should be described as specifically as possible.
    • Measurable: Orientate yourself on measurable facts.
    • Attractive: Plan in such a way that you also feel like doing it.
    • Realistic: Of course, what you set out to do must also be feasible.
    • On schedule: That means planning the tasks in a timely manner. So roughly: I want to earn ten percent more by the end of the year.
  • Edward's Law

    again, it is not a method at all, it just says that the effort invested in something increases in inverse proportion to the remaining time. Or to put it more simply: the closer the deadline gets, the more you go for it.



    Also a way of getting things sorted out.

  • The Pomodoro Method.

    To be more productive, you need to learn to take breaks. So set an alarm clock for 25 minutes and pause for five minutes as soon as it rings. After that, work will continue. And after four units, treat yourself to a rest of 30 minutes. Why is the Pomodoro technique called that? Its creator, the Italian entrepreneur Francesco Cirillo, once used a clock in the shape of a tomato - a Pomodoro.

  • The Cinderella Method.

    Do it like the Cinderella in a fairy tale: First, write down all of your habits individually on a piece of paper - the good and the bad. Then sort them into two piles. Sure, you don't just literally put off the bad ones. The others continue to take care of you.

  • The AMORE method.

    Sounds slippery - but it's just an acronym and stands for ambitious, motivating, organized, realistic and genuine - at least that's how you should formulate your goals so that you can achieve them. By the way, a relative of AMORE is the MAGIC method - only that the goals here should be feasible, (generally) acceptable, conscientious, inspiring and ambitious.

Integrate self-management into everyday life

And so that all of this doesn't just stay theory, here are a few tips to help you integrate these methods into your everyday work:

  1. Make a note of everything.

    Write down every idea and task that you cannot tackle right away. This allows you to put the thought aside and focus on your current task. However, for this strategy to work, you need to combine it with the second.

  2. Choose your tools.

    To manage your notes, tasks and appointments easily and efficiently, you need the right tools. It is crucial that you do not constantly try out new programs and gadgets, but limit yourself to tried and tested and functioning tools. Even the best system cannot function without a stable basis. Here you have to keep your play instinct in check.

  3. Separate tasks and appointments.

    There are people who use their calendars for everything. In addition to appointments, there are also the tasks of the day and notes for meetings. With electronic solutions, a lack of space is not a problem, but when you collect everything in one place, it quickly becomes confusing. You should therefore separate appointments and tasks from one another and manage them with various tools.

  4. Combine electronic and analog.

    With the latest smartphones and tablets, you can convert your organization completely to electronics, but this does not necessarily make sense. Software solutions offer clear advantages for appointments and as an archive for tasks and notes. Content can be synchronized and secured across devices, but none of these solutions match the flexibility of paper. Writing by hand also encourages your creativity and makes it easier for you to come up with ideas.

  5. Work in blocks of time.

    Interestingly, this strategy is familiar to most people in one form or another. Unfortunately, in many cases there is a lack of implementation. Working in blocks of time - used correctly - can be highly efficient. Whether you use the Pomodoro technique or generally plan fixed periods of time for certain tasks is of secondary importance. It is important that you keep this time free and rule out disturbances.

  6. Use the not-to-do list.

    You probably use the concept of the to-do list every day, but do you also have an emergency to-do list? This is a list of all the things you shouldn't be bothering about. Why? Because these tasks and activities would be a waste of time and are often completely unimportant. In many cases you know intuitively which tasks belong in this category. However, if you write these things down, you can use the list as a reminder and become aware of unproductive habits.

  7. Check before you take action.

    Are you one of those people who process new tasks as quickly as possible? Then you should change that. Because before you tackle a task, you should always first check whether this task can be delegated. In some cases, you may not be the best person to do the job and your colleague can get it done much faster. Then ideally he should do that too.

  8. Work intuitively.

    To-do lists and planning tools are important, no question about it. But when it comes to prioritizing tasks, you should do this largely intuitively. Because your intuition is not a purely emotional matter, but is based on your experience and your professional competence. Of course, you should actively plan and prepare tasks, but you should set your priorities intuitively - if these are not based on external factors.

  9. Don't fool yourself.

    Especially when it comes to unpleasant tasks, many tend to postpone them and thereby avoid them. However, procrastination has a negative connotation, so some people tend to refer to procrastination as planning in order to calm their own conscience. Please avoid this error. By doing this, you are only sabotaging yourself and building up an ever-increasing mountain of postponed tasks. Rather, ask yourself why the task is uncomfortable for you and what you can do about it.

  10. Also plan breaks.

    The importance of breaks and rest periods does not need to be emphasized. It is therefore amazing how many people plan their tasks and appointments but completely forget about breaks and rest periods. For your own good, you should plan breaks and defend against new appointments. If you don't do that, you will at some point be perfectly organized and yet completely exhausted. Not a desirable state.

Self-management: How to ensure continued motivation

Ways of getting your motivation maintain:

  • Break up the routine.

    Last but not least, too much routine and monotony can make you lose fun at work. The antidote is very simple: break up your routine again and again, change the order of your tasks, approach standard processes a little differently, use new tools and strategies. Big changes are often not necessary, usually even small deviations from the usual are enough Proceeding to bring back joy and fun

  • Make goals aware.

    When it comes to work, many take refuge in the descriptive. But what we work and how we work are nothing more than descriptions of our profession. We decided to - hopefully - once for a specific reason. Therefore, the question of why we do our job gives it an individual meaning.The decisive factor is therefore the answer to the question: Why are you doing this job of all people? Why this, here, until today and also tomorrow?

  • Looking for perspective.

    Even if your current tasks do not give you any pleasure at all, your job is currently boring you and no motivation can be expected from your colleagues, you can increase your fun at the job - if you see a perspective. Then keep reminding yourself what your plan and perspective are, what you are working towards and why it is important to you. Sure, you can also call it the suppression of the current situation and if you only save yourself in the thought of the future, there is something to it. But if you use your perspective as one of several building blocks of your motivation, this trick is very effective.

  • Discover common goals.

    Do you get along well with your colleagues? Then use this basis to increase motivation and fun at work together. To do this, you sit down in a team and ideally define goals together that go beyond the requirements of the management. For example, you can undercut the given deadline by several days, impose higher quality standards on yourself or optimize internal processes and thereby make your work easier. Such self-set goals are usually much more motivating than the official guidelines.

  • Recall successes.

    Can you spontaneously name your last ten successes? Most people will find that difficult. The last ten failures come together much more easily. Unfortunately, negative events and errors are much more memorable than positive ones. Work consciously against this tendency with your own success diary and write down five to ten successes of the previous day every morning. So you not only remember the positive events and make yourself aware of your abilities and successes, you also align yourself positively at the beginning of the day.

What to do when the boss puts more and more work on you

  1. Do not complain

    Whiners do not seem confident, nor do they open up any negotiation options with this behavior. See it from the perspective: You are obviously a top performer. Not only are you ready to do more than you expect from you - you also prove every day that you can do more than you have bought in your employment contract. With your many jobs you not only develop more and new skills, you also become a little more indispensable for your employer.

  2. Recall

    Bosses tend to work Alzheimer's and have a natural memory defect, which tasks they have already assigned, motto: As long as things go well and the employee has proven himself, he gets more work. It is therefore important to keep reminding yourself of the true extent of what you have done. Sure, some find it bragging. Not correct! The boastful wants to be praised for things he has not done, but you want your true burden to be recognized.

  3. Renegotiate

    Be it about more salary or about fewer tasks. Your boss cannot be interested in his top performers burning up like a supernova. In addition, it is a sign of professionalism to be able to organize your work - before failure! Ideally, you should point out alternatives at the same time: “I would also be happy to take on this task. Because of project X and Y, however, I cannot deliver the quality that you and I expect. So how do we want to re-prioritize? "

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October 25, 2020Author: Jochen Mai

Jochen Mai is the founder and editor-in-chief of the career bible. The author of several books lectures at the TH Köln and is a sought-after keynote speaker, coach and consultant.

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