Organization is one of the top sought-after skills in the country. Look at any job posting and one of the requirements will likely be, “Must have good organizational skills.” But what exactly are good organizational skills? In short, solid organizational skills means you use resources both efficiently and effectively. You’re able to manage your time, to-do lists, and energy without getting overwhelmed.
That’s why almost every single job posting will have this requirement listed. Companies want someone who will complete the tasks they’re given and do so with little help or outside assistance. So having good organizational skills is a must. The good news? They’re not that hard to nail down.
When you have good organizational skills, you’re able to manage your time well. Time management itself is a solid skill worth having, but it’s hard when there’s more than one thing on your plate. Consider this: You’ve been assigned three projects from your supervisor. They’re all time-sensitive and due this month. Each requires a few action steps to complete. What do you do?
If you try to work on all three at once you’re going to be overwhelmed before you know it. But if you know how to manage your time, you’ll be able to break down each project into smaller, achievable tasks. This allows you to focus on one thing at a time, which is key to getting things done. Multi-tasking has been proven time and again to not work. Single-tasking is the way to go and if you manage your time well, you’ll have no problem turning your projects in on time.
With good time management comes good scheduling and prioritizing. Let’s keep with the example of having three projects due this month. You’ve broken them down into sizeable chunks with your time management skills. Now it’s time to figure out when you’re going to work on them. But you first need to prioritize the list.
Good organizational skills mean looking at the steps of a project and knowing what to focus on. Journalists can’t write an article without first doing research and outlining. An architect can’t start building until they have blueprints. So when scheduling your tasks, you need to be able to pinpoint what’s the most important one to do first. When you’re able to manage your time well and identify important tasks, you’ll have no issue completing whatever project lands on your desk.
Have you ever gone into a meeting where the person leading it wasn’t prepared? By that I mean they have scraps of paper for notes, they stumble over their announcements, and you leave the meeting not sure what you’re supposed to do? Poor communication skills stem from poor organizational skills.
While it’s not always possible to know every little thing, going into a meeting with as much information as possible will save you a lot of headaches. Communication is vital for a workplace to flow seamlessly. Without it, you can’t hope to be successful. A company will suffer if there’s consistent, poor communication.
Having good organizational skills means you’re able to communicate your needs or concerns clearly. If you’ve already identified what needs to get done but need help or feedback, communication with your team is key.
It should go without saying that good organization skills reduce stress and overwhelm in the workplace. But let’s talk about it anyway. There’s nothing worse than being unable to find an important file or folder when needed. You swore you left it under that pile of other paperwork but it’s not there. You stress and sweat because the client is on the phone and they’re waiting for your answer.
Good organizational skills mean knowing where everything is. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “A place for everything and everything in its place.” It’s the professional organizing motto. We drill it into our clients because it’s true. When you take the time to find a home for everything — even files in your office — you’ll always know where it is. And if you label it even better.
You want to reduce as much stress and overwhelm as possible. The last thing you want is to admit to your supervisor that you lost an account or got a poor review because of your disorganization. If you take the time to get your files in order you’re going to find what you need a lot faster. Make it a point to return everything to its home before you leave at the end of the day. This way when you come back tomorrow morning, you’re coming into a clutter-free, organized office. That in and of itself will reduce stress and overwhelm.
If you manage a team, good organizational skills are more than a must. They’re a need. Project management has a lot of moving parts and you need to be able to keep up with them. If you’re not able to keep up with the constant demands, changing timeframes, and interpersonal relationships, you’re going to be stressed in a blink.
When it comes to project management, you need all the above-mentioned skills as well as the last one we still have to talk about. This is because you’re working with a lot of different personalities and assignments. If you’re unable to manage your time, schedule efficiently, and have poor communication you’ll be overwhelmed and your team will too. With all that said you need to be…
One of the last organizational skills that’ll improve your work performance is your ability to be adaptable. Being adaptable means you’re able to go with the flow. Even if it completely overhauls your original plan, you know you have the skills to adjust.
When something happens, when something out of the blue smashes into your perfectly curated plan, you can adapt by using your skills. Reconfigure the plan. Take the time to identify the priorities and schedule them into your calendar. Use your time management skills to focus on one task at a time. Use your communication skills to delegate tasks to your team. Have an updated and detailed assessment to share with them. Be prepared for questions.
By being adaptable, you refuse to let stress and overwhelm ruin your day. Instead, you know you have the skillset to get you and your team where you need to be. Those are some good organizational skills to bring to the table.
Did you notice a pattern with all those skills? They all work together. It’s possible to not have great time management, but be able to identify priorities. You can have great communication, but lose track of paperwork easily. But if you take the time to build up a few of these skills, they’re going to improve the ones you lack in. That’s why organizational skills are so valued in the workplace. Their ability to act off of each other is something to be desired.
Good organizational skills aren’t valued only in the workplace. Teens and young kids can benefit from learning them too. These skills work just as well in the classroom as they do in the office. If you’re interested in learning more, check out these two blog posts:
And as always you can contact me to find out more about my services and how I can enhance your organizational skills for the better.
Photo: Headway by Unsplash
November 23, 2021