Whether we work efficiently or do things haphazardly depends on our self-organization. The term "self-organization" is used in connection with various meanings. For example, self-organization refers to all processes and interactions that are important in a professional environment. Being well-organized oneself means working in a structured and thorough manner while respecting and maintaining the necessary order.
In areas such as organizational consulting, in management and in business administration, the self-organization of employees is considered a modern form of leadership and the opposite of the generally accepted corporate hierarchy. In the profession, the term self-organization is often used as a counter term to the authority of management and as an alternative to external organization, bureaucracy, arbitrariness or chaos.
For us as employees, managers and coaches, self-organization means above all organizing ourselves so well that we can master the challenges we face and successfully complete our projects. Good self-organization is important even in private life. Every housewife and mother is forced to organize herself in order to cope with her exhausting daily routine due to her extensive range of tasks. Learn here what makes good self-organization, what self-organization methods there are and how you can learn to organize yourself.
What does self-organization mean?
The official self-organization definition describes a system development that leads to the more efficient The aim is to shape processes in professional and private life. Good self-organization thus forms the basis for structures and orders that correspond to the respective circumstances and are adapted to the necessary needs.
Another definition concerning self-organization refers to this form of organization as an efficient means of making teams and departments in a company as well as entire organizations more successful. In addition, the term is used for the organization of the individual. Organization is one aspect of time management, so there are close connections between self-organization and time management.
Why is it important to organize yourself?
Being well organized is very important these days, both in your professional and personal life. A career is impossible without organization and Time Management hardly possible. The advantages of smart self-organization are:
- Target achievement
Organizing yourself requires:
- Organizational talent
- Concrete objectives
Without self-organization, it will hardly be possible to complete all tasks within the usually limited time. With self-organization you save a lot of time, which is available for other things. In addition, you will have less stress if you organize yourself well and concentrate on the essentials instead of dealing with unnecessary details. This gives you ease.
Good self-organization helps to avoid stress. Can you learn self-organization? Yes - there are several methods that can help you become more organized.
The more targeted you are in your work, in your professional and private projects, the easier it will be for you to set priorities, keep track of things, do the right things at the right time and ultimately achieve your goals.
How does self-organization work?
As the term self-organization suggests, this form of organization only works if you become active yourself. In concrete terms, this means: organize your everyday life and your professional tasks in such a way that you can solve all challenges yourself and have enough time for unexpected additional tasks or problems that arise.
A good self-organization is based on some principles. These are:
- Accuracy of fit
Regularity is the most important prerequisite for your self-organization to work. Only if you regularly take care of the organizing (and Delegate!) of your tasks, you are well organized and work efficiently.
A simple organizational concept is easier to implement than a complicated way of organizing. The simpler your self-organization is, the more likely it is to become a daily routine.
Write down all the things and tasks you need to do every day. Writing things down will prevent them from being forgotten and at the same time relieve your mind.
The fit of organizing is similar to shoe sizes and clothing measurements. Your organization method and the organization tools (time management, clipboard, agenda) have to fit exactly in order to achieve more efficiency and time savings. Since there is not THE universal method in self-organization, but usually several possibilities, it is important to organize yourself as the situation requires.
Self-organization at work, at home and during leisure time can be learned. Training is required in self-organizing just as it is in sports. Organization is a practical task that is learned not by reading books but by practicing.
Although self-organizing is primarily a task based on your own activities, some methods and tools exist that can help you with self-organizing. Simple self-organization tools are for example:
- To-do lists
- Annual planner (digital or paper)
- Voice Memos
- Organization apps
There are also methods such as the self-management method "Getting Things Done (GTD)" developed by the US author and consultant David Allen. The method is based on the principle that any work can be well organized if all tasks are recorded in writing and entered in the lists provided. This way, you simply work through your daily workload and have your head free to focus on important projects and to think creatively.
The lists in which things to be done are entered can be simple to-do lists or project-related to-do lists. Depending on the tasks and projects, lists can also be considered that will be specified in more detail later.
How to organize yourself well?
Organizing ourselves is expected of us not only at work, but also in our private lives. Organizational problems often arise when the time required to complete tasks or projects is underestimated. If we burden ourselves with too much work and take on too many obligations, deadlines may not be met.
Self-organization therefore means that you first get an overview of which tasks are pending and then set priorities. Write down the things you want to do today and then decide how long you expect to take to complete them. Your desk is messy and you can't find that important document you need for your presentation? At home, your kids' toys are all over the place and your in-laws have called in for coffee? Tips on self-organization and tidying up for lazy people would be welcome now! Don't wait, take action!
Self organization examples
Self-organization means taking organization into your own hands. Begin by tidying up the room, starting in a specific corner. Work your way systematically until the apartment looks perfectly tidy again. Think about who can help you tidy up and brief your supporters (partner, friend, children) so that everyone knows what to do.
Everything is going haywire in the office because some employees are down and the project still has to be finished on time? Creating a to-do list only takes a few minutes. By writing everything down, you can quickly see whether a task is really important or actually superfluous. If necessary, ask your colleagues for support. This way you can focus on the essential things.
The biggest enemy of self-organization is distraction. In every workplace and even in the home, there are a variety of distractions such as radio music, loud noises, or the phone ringing. Unwanted disturbances keep us from working, reduce our ability to concentrate, and ultimately contribute to our inability to complete tasks on time. Ensure a distraction-free work environment so that you can concentrate better and work more efficiently.
Multitasking is another factor that can affect your self-organization. Doing several tasks at the same time can increase the error rate and lead to stress. Refrain from multitasking and organize your daily routine so that you have enough time to work through things one after the other. Fixed schedules can give your self-organization the necessary structure. Good time management is very important if you want to organize yourself and work more efficiently.
5 tips for self-organization
What is self-organization for you? A necessity or a rather unpleasant obligation? Organizing yourself is the most important prerequisite for you to work efficiently and complete your projects successfully.
1. how to make self-organization a habit
Self-organization becomes a habit when you organize your daily routine every morning after getting up. Routine gives structure and security to our lives. However, negative habits can prevent you from being active. Often, it is necessary to change habits and develop new routines.
The integration positive changes The transition to everyday life takes some time, but every change in life begins with the first step. Be specific about what you want to do and set a realistic timetable. Don't overextend yourself, but set realistic goals and stick to your timetable.
2. prioritize tasks with the Eisenhower principle
Every day, a multitude of tasks have to be completed. However, not all of them are equally important. By prioritizing, you ensure that important things are done immediately and rather unimportant things are delegated or eliminated. The Eisenhower Principle, developed by 34th U.S. President Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower, is one of the methods frequently used in time management.
This procedure involves first checking each task for criteria such as importance and urgency and categorizing them accordingly. According to the Eisenhower principle, a task can be important or not important as well as urgent or not urgent. If the question is taken into account, this results in four possible combinations that can be arranged in a matrix with four quadrants.
In the Eisenhower method, the tasks in quadrants I, II, III and IV are also called A, B, C and D tasks. Important and urgent are the A tasks, which should be done immediately and by themselves. Tasks that are important but not urgent are classified as B tasks and can be postponed (scheduled) to a later date if needed. Then, however, you have to do them yourself, while you also delegate the not so important but urgent C-tasks to competent employees*.
D tasks are those that are neither important nor very urgent. If there is a lack of time, the processing of these tasks does not have to be done immediately. Besides, others can take over. The Eisenhower method helps to identify time eaters and to become better organized.
3. the Pareto principle - which tasks really get you ahead?
The Pareto principle refers to the relationship between effort and result. Vilfredo Pareto, a welfare economist from Italy who developed the method named after him, came to the conclusion that 80 percent of the effect can be achieved by 20 percent of the factors involved. In terms of self-organization, this means that a good organization consists of about 20 percent effort, while about 80 percent is responsible for the result (80/20 rule).
In other words, first you invest a little time to develop your self-organization and then you benefit from the positive effects of your efficient self-management. The focus in the Pareto principle is to concentrate on the most important tasks. This will increase your productivity and efficiency.
4. take care of a tidy workplace
Do you have piles of files in your office? Do you check your e-mails no more than once a day? Organize yourself and create a structured environment. That way, you'll complete your tasks according to their importance and won't overlook anything. Clean out your desk first and then your drawers.
Scan documents. This saves you filing time and eliminates unnecessary piles of paper. Check your email at scheduled times and rid your account of digital documents and messages you no longer need.
5. create a schedule
A schedule or daily plan helps you stay on track. Write down what needs to be done today and set a time frame for each task. Your schedule should include all activities, tasks, processes and appointments with their respective start and end times. By consciously organizing your time, you avoid stress and create space for additional tasks or more free time.