What’s a great way to boost your career? Focus on your organizational skills.
Revving up your organization game can help you get more done in less time. You can also start finding ways to improve workflow and processes for your team and your company.
Organizational skills are highly transferable between jobs, and that is a big reason to include them on your resume. For those looking to increase their collection of organizational skills, it’s easy to get started and you can drastically further your career.
1. Keeping Your Workspace In Order
When working in an office, keeping your workspace in order is key. Not only does a neat desk give a good impression, it helps make you more productive. You never know when someone may come in after hours and need access to something you’re working on. Or someone has to set up a meeting while you’re at lunch and needs to check your schedule.
To avoid off-hours trips to the office, you should be able to tell a coworker where to find something. Start by keeping printouts for current projects in clearly labeled folders in a sorter on your desk. Likewise, files on your computer should be in named folders with shortcuts on your desktop. You should also keep a big wall calendar as well as your digital one for easy access.
Organizing routine tasks
Your office or team also may have gaps in routine tasks like filing, record keeping, and documentation. There’s also inventory, office supplies, and more. Even if you’ve got someone doing all that now, learn how things in your office work. It’ll help you down the line.
Here’s a video on how to organize your office space.
2. Staying on Top of Scheduling Needs
Scheduling may not be a favorite task for everyone, but some people thrive on it. These folks are often highly sought after for their organizational skills. Keeping a close eye on your schedule is a must for being organized. But it also doesn’t hurt to get familiar with your colleagues’ schedules as well.
Does your company’s system make people’s schedules public? If so, take a few moments to look at any openings you might need in the future. Also, be sure to listen when a coworker mentions details about their schedule. You never know when that info may come in handy.
Having a handle on schedules can help you plan better. When starting a new project, it’s a good idea to check on your teammates’ calendars.
Other scheduling needs will include thinking about future requirements or needs, and assessing how often you may need to meet, or what other deadlines you may need to schedule. When starting a new project, it is a good idea to get up to date as soon as possible on the scheduling piece of it and be sure to plan things a little earlier than the deadlines.
3. Managing the Little Things
Whether you are handling a large project or a small one, keeping track of the details is a crucial part of demonstrating how organized you are. Keep good notes of all relevant details and dates of communication with various individuals for reference and consider using a notebook so that your notes can travel with you to meetings.
Making a note of people’s schedules, preferences, and habits when they work can also help to speed up the process of task completion and will give you a solid reputation for being efficient and organized.
Sending out agendas on time, showing up early for meetings or calls, and learning to communicate clearly and effectively are all traits that will impress your co-workers. Make sure that you don’t allow tasks to linger for too long and respond to emails promptly.
4. Time Management
Time management can take many forms, but it’s a great skill to master. Being able to keep up with your schedule, planning out tasks, and completing projects based on a set timeline are all ways to work on time management skills.
Examples include being able to create and meet your deadlines, goal creation and completion of your goals, and efficiently finding solutions to problems.
If you work as part of a team, it is also important to do your part to keep up with the team schedule and do your part to contribute promptly.
Being good at managing your time will also help you to increase your productivity, be a better team player, and more effectively multitask. Multitasking can be challenging to master, but practice and adhering to good time management principles can help you in the long term.
Another component of time management is the need to think strategically and come up with innovative solutions to make the most of your time. Being able to design and implement strategies more quickly will also help you to be more active and make your time go further.
There may be a time where you are asked to coordinate an event, and this will likely require the highest level of time management skill.
Event coordination is an excellent example of when time management is most critical regarding strategic planning, goal setting, and meeting deadlines.
Here are some helpful tips on managing your time.
5. Planning Ahead
The moment a task becomes your responsibility, that is your cue to be planning how you intend to complete it. Planning ahead for weeks or months is the goal, but not every working environment will make that possible.
Instead, you may need to consider how far out you can reasonably plan and begin to make notes, set calendar reminders, and review your resources.
By planning, you should be able to work strategically to make the most of your time while keeping your productivity high in other areas of your work.
Planning can also reduce stress and help you complete tasks promptly with minimal time wasted. By planning ahead, you can also demonstrate to your co-workers that you are taking the project seriously.
When you work as part of a group, planning ahead becomes a crucial part of meeting deadlines and goals. The more people that are included in the group, the higher the need to prepare things in advance. Failure to plan can leave your group scrambling and will ultimately affect the final result.
Being able to collaborate is really the culmination of a few other points on this list. Good time management, ability to plan ahead, and staying organized are all key components to being a good collaborator.
When collaborating with others be sure to spend at least half of your time listening and the other half of your time contributing in some way.
Ask group members about their thoughts, expectations, and what parts of the project they feel they would excel in and consider that feedback when making group decisions.
Being a good collaborator also means that you need to be able to handle the small details of a project while still keeping an eye on the big picture. If you aren’t able to do both, you may not be managing your time as well as you could be.
7. Mental Organization
Mental organization is an essential skill that is very appreciated in the workplace. Your ability to analyze situations, communicate, think creatively, and work with the data you have are all things that your co-workers will remember.
Your manager may also be pleased to see that you have excellent conflict resolution skills and are able to assess and evaluate various options quickly.
Attention to detail is a frequently mentioned form of mental organization and can be vital to your success in many areas.
Public speaking as well as making presentations also requires a bit of mental organization, and you will frequently need to review items, create reports of different kinds, and conduct different types of research.
8. Setting Priorities
The ability to prioritize is a crucial organization skill as your manager will likely set priorities and expect you to follow them on a regular basis.
If priorities aren’t set for you, then you will probably need to do your best to set your priorities in line with the overall goals that you are expected to meet.
Being able to prioritize your work is one of the important organizational skills. It allows you to determine what task needs to be worked on most urgently, and how to make the biggest impact on a project.
If a specific deadline is coming up, it’s vital that you can decipher what tasks are most crucial to complete. You can leave other, less critical, tasks for later. Part of prioritization also involves the ability to plan ahead and use good time management.
9. Know When to Take Notes
Knowing when to take notes is tricky. We understand it is tempting to write everything down as soon as you hear it. However, knowing the best time to take notes is one of the vital organizational skills that can help further your career.
School taught us to take notes as the teacher speaks to write the information down as quickly as possible. In the workplace, this is not always the best method to use.
By taking notes and not looking at the person talking during the meeting you are missing vital time to connect and engage with the team.
Continually taking notes instead of contributing to the meeting or conversation means giving up your ability to help and be acknowledged for your contributions and skills. Find the best time to take notes that still allows you to participate fully without missing crucial details.
10. Find Solutions
Finding solutions seem like one of the obvious organizational skills, but when mastered, you may receive more compliments than you’d expect. Coworkers will be grateful that you have solutions to problems.
Working together in a team will be much more pleasant when you contribute when you are able.
Consider brainstorming solutions whenever possible and be respectful when offering them to others. This is one of the organizational skills that can take you very far when used wisely.
Featured image: CC0 Public Domain Geralt via Pixabay.