Time management

The essence of the Alps method and the stages of its implementation

A lot of reporting has accumulated at work, the eldest son asks for help with choosing a gift for his girlfriend, and the youngest daughter will not do without your participation in preparing for exams. And you also need to do the cleaning, iron the laundry washed over the weekend and cook dinner, preferably two days in advance. How to do all this in a day? The Alps method will help to make the schedule correctly. It was developed by the German Lothar Seivert, who became famous far beyond the borders of Germany after the release of his book “Your time is in your hands”.

The essence of the method

When creating his own time planning method, the German seems to have carefully studied all the well-known and not very popular time management techniques. Which is not surprising, because he is an expert in this field. Seivert not only combined the best of the previously created programs for calculating the time, but also added his own developments.

As a result, he developed a certain algorithm of actions, adhering to which even the busiest person will find time in his schedule for a cup of coffee and more. Here it is important to initially separate the «grains from the chaff», that is, prioritize the tasks set for the day. To do this, it is necessary to determine the urgency of their implementation, the degree of importance, the complexity of a particular process. So, first things first.

Advantages and disadvantages

As mentioned above, the Alps method will help you productively allocate your time: both work and personal. But before this happens, you need to carefully study the formula proposed by the German. This process, as the author himself admits, is not the easiest to learn. However, the time spent on its development will more than pay off. Spending no more than 15 minutes in the morning, you will be able to distribute the remaining seconds, hours and minutes with the greatest benefit for yourself.

The disadvantages with a big stretch include a certain labor intensity — you still have to work hard.

Why is it needed?

The need for time management or time management (and the Alps method is one of his tools) was first discussed at the end of the century before last. The well-known Russian physiologist Nikolai Vvedensky stated that “we get tired and exhausted not because we work hard, but because we work poorly, we work disorganized, we work stupidly”. Then many bright minds worked on this topic not only in Russia, but also abroad. And in 2007, the first department of time management was opened in our country at the Moscow Financial and Industrial University «Synergy».

And even if scientists began to count time, the need to solve the problem of its organization is obvious to everyone. Therefore, let’s return to the works of a scientist from Germany and continue to talk about the Alps method as one of the most successful in time management.


Lothar Seivert divided his method into five steps. Moving from one to another, you can easily analyze the degree of importance of the tasks set for the day and calculate your time.

Stage one. Take a piece of paper and write down on it all the things that you have planned for this day. Select from them the most important tasks. And smaller duties, such as taking out the trash or checking the mailbox, write out on a separate list.

Stage two. Take a good look at your to-do list and determine which ones are both urgent and important. Make one column out of them. Remember, throwing out the trash doesn’t count. Then fish out of your plan for the day things that are important, but not very urgent — that’s the next column.

The third column should contain cases that require urgency, but are not of particular importance. Finally, in the fourth there will be those that have neither urgency nor importance.

Stage three. Let’s start, of course, with the first two columns. Initially, you need to determine how many minutes or hours it will take to solve a particular task. Enter this planned, estimated time opposite each case. Summarize the received data. Then determine the number of hours that you want to spend today doing all the necessary and not so things.

The time you ended up with to implement the plans in the first two columns should be 60% of the total time. Another 40% should be put on the implementation of unplanned cases, that is, tasks that suddenly appeared.

Thus, if you work 8 hours a day, then you give 5 of them to the planned part, and leave 3 just in case.

Stage four. Most likely, everything planned will not fit into the above formula. In this regard, you need to analyze the list again. Maybe, something that you wanted to do yourself, you can entrust to one of your colleagues or household. If not, then you will have to leave something less urgent for another day.

Stage five. The resulting list needs to be updated. First of all, it is important to highlight the cases that are tied to a specific hour: for example, take the child to school, pick up an order from the printing house, and so on. Divide the rest of the work over the remaining time. There may also be those that were in the last two columns when the list was originally compiled. For example, these are the tasks of the following plan: to buy gifts for the New Year, to find out how much a festive dinner costs in a restaurant, to see how much a formal outfit will cost in an online store.

Expert advice

In order to save time when compiling the list, it is recommended to use abbreviations:

  • «B» — important;
  • «C» — urgent;
  • «D» — house;
  • «P» — work;
  • «Sh» — school;
  • «M» — store and so on.

As a result of fulfilling all the requirements of the Alps method, you will certainly be able to save up to 20% of your time. And you can always spend them on yourself or just for laziness, which is sometimes also useful. Moreover, you will have a clearer plan of action not only for the current day, but also for the next day.

The main thing is not to think about seconds down, because everything in this world is subject to time, so let’s learn how to save it and spend it wisely.

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