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Developing good organizational skills, defined as the ability to efficiently manage your time, workload and resources, may help you improve your productivity and lower your stress level. Your organizational abilities directly affect your ability to meet deadlines and produce thorough, high-quality work. In fact, you may unwittingly limit your advancement potential if your organizational skills are poor or undeveloped.
Organizational skills are skills you use to organize your workload, manage time and resources, and schedule and prioritize projects.
Time Management and Organizational Skills
It’s much more difficult to forget about a meeting or an important task when you prepare a schedule of the day’s events. Whether you prefer paper to-do lists or use time management software that not only generates to-do lists but also sends you reminders for deadlines and meetings, organizing your schedule in short blocks of time ensures that you have plenty of time to accomplish crucial tasks.
Some software programs alert you when a block of time is about to expire and prompt you to move on to the next task. A block system can help you chart how much time you actually spend on tasks, allowing you to make changes that help you work more efficiently.
Although it’s a good idea to organize tasks by their importance, spending too much time on one subject can be tiring and may lead to mistakes. You may benefit by incorporating short breaks into your schedule.
Create an Organizational System
Paperwork hasn’t quite been eliminated yet despite the increased reliance on digital technology. Unfortunately, papers and folders can quickly take over your workspace, making it difficult to find an important contract or the information you need to submit a report.
In deadline-oriented businesses, a good organizational system can help you avoid awkward conversations with your supervisor about why your project is late. Immediately recycling junk mail and unneeded papers, filing crucial papers promptly, and making quick decisions on issues that require your approval can help you avoid a messy desk.
Would you like to ensure that your children don’t emulate your own bad habits? Organization games for kids, such as sorting activities or memory games, can help young people learn skills that will be helpful throughout their entire lives.
About 269 billion emails were sent and received daily in 2017. Although you probably don’t receive quite that many emails, your inbox still may be overflowing. The longer you spend reading emails, the less time remains to complete core tasks. Forbes suggests using auto-threading features offered by Gmail, Outlook and other programs to sort and prioritize emails and recommends adding stars to emails that require a response or action.
Spend Less Time in Meetings
Decreasing the number and length of the meetings you attend is an easy way to free more time in your schedule. If the information you need only requires a short discussion, a conference call, group text or email may help you make better use of your time.
Although some meetings are unavoidable, providing participants with a detailed agenda and supporting materials in advance of the meeting can keep the gathering on track. Without a formal agenda, meetings can quickly become mired in discussions about unrelated topics. It may also help to add a list of three or four questions or items that must be answered or addressed by the conclusion of the meeting.
- Columbia University: Transferable Skills: What Do You Do Well?
- Free Management Library: Skills and Competencies in Organizational Management
- Quintessential Careers: What Do Employers Really Want? Top Skills and Values Employers Seek from Job-Seekers
- U.S. News & World Report: Seven Key Skills You Need to Get Hired Right Now
Holly McGurgan has a degree in journalism and previously worked as a non-profit public relations and communications manager. She often writes about career and lifestyle topics. Her work has appeared online on Healthline, Working for Candy and other sites.
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