Use the Alpen Method to Increase Company Efficiency


Are you frustrated by the growing workload and feel 24 hours a day simply isn’t enough to complete your huge task list at work? Most employees who have poor time management are often troubled by the feeling of time never being enough. The situation worsens when employees are serial procrastinators who are easily distracted and have difficulty focusing on tasks. The inability of employees and project teams to complete set goals within a timeframe is a key challenge for many organizations. Consider the Alpen Method to restore calm, efficiency and productivity.

If you think your team isn’t achieving enough and have difficulties setting goals and accomplishing them within deadline, the Alpen Method may be the answer to time management problems.

What is the Alpen Method?

This time management technique is designed to help you make efficient use of your working hours with minimal efforts through effective prioritization and buffer time. It originates from a German economist and time management expert, Professor Lothar J Seiwert.

The technique entails blocking scheduled breaks for effective implementation of important tasks. ALPEN is a German acronym for activities, translating to:

  • A – A list of all tasks and planned activities
  • L – Length of estimated time
  • P – Planning buffer time for each task
  • E – Establishing priorities
  • N – Noting down success levels


How the Alpen Method works

 A – A list of all tasks and planned activities

  • This entails writing down your to-do lists including all planned tasks, upcoming activities, meetings and other events, like client meetings.

L – Length of estimated time

  • Assign scheduled time blocks to all activities, tasks and events. Example: assign 15 minutes for personal and company emails and 30 minutes for meetings. This helps you to allocate more time for the implementation of key tasks and thus increase productivity.

P – Planning buffer time for each task

  • Make room for unpredictable time losses and to-be-expected interruptions from colleagues, phone calls and other things. Buffer time is 20% while social activities are 20%, including chats with colleagues, amounting to 40% of scheduled breaks.

E – Establishing priorities

  • Here you prioritize tasks. You need to consider your plans and gauge if it’s possible to manage your workload with 60% of your time. Create task categories to highlight urgent and non-urgent work. Which tasks can you carry out tomorrow and which can you delegate?

N – Noting down success levels

  • Review how the time estimates work out. Make adjustments where necessary and plan for the next day’s to-do lists. Consider prioritizing tasks, using the Eisenhower Principle to understand the long-term outcomes of daily planning and tasks. Pay attention to successes and use these as constant motivators.

You should also consider that sometimes, it’s not enough to assign tasks and hope for the best. Some employees will benefit from time tracking, which gives managers a keen oversight of common problem areas where employees fall short of deadlines.

TimeTrack Timesheet takes the guesswork out of productive hours with an intuitive approach to working hours, scheduled breaks, attendances and absences.



TimeTrack Timesheet

Key benefits of the Alpen Method

The Alpen method provides structure to your daily planning.

  1. Using a comprehensive and detailed to-do list provides a simple format that helps staff identify time-wasters, eases the burden of tasks and helps them to stay on pace with deadlines.
  2. The drive to meet deadlines within project timelines keeps the team motivated and helps them to waste less time per task.
  3. The buffer time of the Alpen Method provides the flexibility needed to manage the team workload and lower stress levels.
  4. This time management method promotes successful experiences and lowers stress, while prompting self-affirmation, self-reflection and opportunity for early planning.

How does the Alpen Method improve efficiency?

Efficiency means maximizing output without straining resources and effort. This translates to working smarter and doing more with less. The first step to becoming more efficient is to set reasonable goals.

Team members must be careful when creating their to-do lists. Effective time estimation for each task is key to time management. But members should also guard against perfectionism tendencies especially because tasks can change and expand from the original point of entry. This is why buffer time is important.

Apply the Eisenhower Principle to prioritize tasks based on urgency and importance while considering the long-term outcomes of task implementation. Faithfully following the Alpen Method will take care of emergencies, create buffer time for unpredictable events, including distractions, and keep team members focused on achieving goals.

Team collaboration is vital and must be encouraged. Thanks to the Alpen Method, you can start to gain a comprehensive overview of efficiency reports which will further help in highlighting time management issues in the workplace.

Reviewing to-do lists before the close of work helps teams to create a routine designed towards consistently accomplishing goals. Where the team observed a lag, they could apply the Kaizen Principles which provide creative solutions for improving organizational processes.



The Alpen Method

Incorporate the Alpen Method at work

The Alpen Method can become a powerful tool for planning and reviewing your to-do list while enhancing smooth and effective project processes. The steps below will help your employees incorporate this time management method.

Create a task-list for everything tasks

We often assume that a mental checklist will be enough to guide us through the day. However, experience shows that the human memory is limited in holding many items at a time. Thu, a to-do list becomes handy to help with organizing and prioritizing activities, events and tasks. Your first job is to enter every possible item on the list.

Estimate length of time for each task

One of the reasons accomplishing everything on the to-do list is difficult is because they are created with unrealistic expectations. Completing your to-do list becomes easy when you allot reasonable time to each of the tasks.

Create buffer time for the schedule

Employees may be unsure about how to estimate the length of a task. There are many variables that play into underestimating a task, including urgent unplanned meetings. Buffer time helps prevent appointment or task overflow from impacting the important work.

Prioritize every task

With detailed to-do lists and estimated completion time, you need to prune the list through effective prioritization. Single out tasks based on importance and urgency. The Eisenhower Matrix is an effective tool to categorize agendas, based on urgency and importance. Doing so will mean that you complete urgent and important tasks first.

Follow up on the Alpen process

The goal of this process is to review and provide feedback on the success of the process, and to carry incomplete work to the following day. This stage will also help you understand areas that require adjustments, including tweaks to the list to ensure effective and easy realization.

For a company to productively implement this time management method, the employee or project team should create buffer time to cover the unpredictable nature of meetings and other impromptu tasks. Your team must work jointly and share tasks with members. This gives each team member room for self-management and a structured day.

Companies with employees who work in shifts can take advantage of the TimeTrack Duty Roster to enhance planning, especially in personalizing and prioritizing work area, location and skills. The tool takes into account employee availability for greater efficiency.


TimeTrack Duty Roster


The Alpen Method promotes successful task experiences and increases productivity and efficiency. Your team only has to commit to creating a detailed list of tasks, creating buffer time, prioritizing, implementing and reviewing tasks, thereby achieving more with minimal effort.