Organizational Skills List: The Guide To Being Truly Organized

Nowadays, more than ever before strong organizational skills are needed! The reason is simple –  we lack the time!

Business concepts such as planning, time management, leadership, scheduling are blowing up everywhere – at work, at the high school, at personal life and of course, they have to take a place in your CV and resume.

Every organization aims to hire workers who are highly organized and concentrated on their work and responsibilities.

Main points on this page are:

What are Organizational Skills? Definition and Meaning.

Let's define it:

Organizational skills are a set of abilities that allow you to plan, prioritize, and to set and achieve your goals.

The main aim of these skills is to save your time and help your personal and business activities proceed smoothly and effectively.

Why are they so important?

There will be always a deficiency of time! And this is not only your problem but for every company and business organization.

So, improving and maintaining good organizational skills are crucial milestones everywhere and for everyone – from an employee to managers, leaders, and CEO of the company.

No matter who you are, you have dreams, goals, and targets that you want to accomplish in your life. However, achieving these goals is tough. And sometimes you realize that the day has passed and you did nothing.

Here is where organizational skills come to help.

In our business ages, full of super high competition, companies want you to be productive, to be effective and to contribute to their success in the best possible way!

And of course, you can do that. However, with the help of strong organizational abilities and competencies.

These skills help you to determine your business purpose for each day, for each project and for each activity. These skills make you more focused and allow you to balance a wide range of different duties.

So, let’s see what exactly organizational skills include and what you can do to develop them.

Organization skills list and examples. How to improve each of them?


1.Time Management Skills

Time management skills are the core of the organizational skills and competencies.

What exactly are time management skills?

These are abilities that allow you to plan how much time you spend on particular activities. The purpose is to get more done work in less time.

Being busy isn’t equal to being effective. So, the question is “How to be more productive and less busy?”

We all people have 24 hours on a day to do our tasks. Of course, different people have different tasks.

However, there are people who have a long list of complicated daily tasks and they handle them with a remarkable success.

And there are people who have fewer tasks to do and they do them…..unsuccessfully.

Why? In many cases, the main reason is that some people lack time management abilities. They just do not try to learn and develop them.

There is a range of tips, techniques, principals and skills you can develop to achieve good time management.

Let’s see what are the key time management skills:

  • Goal Setting

It all starts with a goal…or goals.

Are you clear about what your purpose at work/in business and in personal life is at the moment? Do you know what you have to accomplish today or tomorrow?

I hope you know. Because without goals you have no directions. You do not know where you are going.

The most essential of time management is the skill to manage your time in a way that serves your goals.

However, setting your goals doesn’t mean saying, “I want it to happen”. Setting your goals is a process with very important principals and tips. It starts with the consideration and ends with the achievement.

Tips and rules for truly effective goal settings:
  • Set specific goals – you must define exactly what you want to achieve. Be as much specific as you can. The goal must be clear, not generalized. Generalized goals can confuse you.
  • Set measurable goals – it refers to the ability to quantify the results. When you measure your goals, you stay on track. Include dates, mathematical values, prices, and other possible things that measure. An example of a measurable goal: to increase your sales by 10% in 6 months.
  • Set realistic goals. I am sure you want to achieve so many things….However, a huge part of them is just dreams. Make sure your goals are achievable. If they aren’t, it will demotivate you.
  • Set time-bound. It is about setting deadlines. When do you have to accomplish the goal? This is a core question for effective organizational skills.
  • Write your goals down. Germans have an old saying ”Was man schreibt, bleibt” meaning “What is written down, stays.” Writing down is a powerful way to state your intentions and to make goals more realistic.
  • Try to keep your goals in a few number. There is a limit. You are not able to handle a huge number of goals and tasks.
  • Set reminders for your goals – this will provide them with your regular attention.
  • Break large goals into smaller goals. To achieve a big goal require doing some smaller tasks first. So, break your large tasks into smaller ones.
Setting goals is just the beginning, let’s see what is the next.

  • Prioritisation

You can work hard and be a very organized person but spending your time on unimportant tasks leads to ineffective results and ineffective work.

So, you need to decide which of your tasks are important, which are more important and which are not important at all.

This is call prioritization. And it helps you make the best use of your time and resources. It helps you focus on the major things.

I’m sure you perfectly know the feeling of having so much work to do that you really don’t know where to begin.

Not to mention that each task that you should do looks like a priority. It makes it tough to do a prioritization.

Still, there are very helpful tricks and tips to improve your prioritization skills:

  • Assess the value of each task. Achieving some goals will provide more benefit than others. What brings the highest value to your work or business? You should decide these things.
  • Define urgent vs. important tasks. There are tasks that require instant actions. It includes operations that, if not completed by the end of coming hours, will have significant negative results (such as skipped client deadlines). Check to see if there are such tasks because they are a high priority.
  • Estimate an effort for each task. Here you have to answer the question “Which tasks need the most effort?” Another important point here is who have to make these efforts? Only you or other team members and co-workers. Also, It might be very helpful to set levels like Difficult, Moderate, and Easy to estimate the amount of the efforts.
  • Consider the consequences. If you have several tasks that are important you wondering how to prioritize, think about the consequences of not finished the work or not meeting the estimated deadlines. There will be varied consequences from one goal to another.
  • Be flexible. It is about the ability to deal with changing priorities. You have to be prepared to change and adapt things according to the situation requirements.
  • Know when to cut the time. When an activity is very important, it’s so easy to spend too much time and efforts on it. This, however, stops you from getting other things done. Learn to protect yourself from losing in the time.

One of the top problems that many people experience with prioritization is that they start too late to do it. Another problem is that they just underestimate it.

It is a big deal to start the prioritization on time. This is crucial if you want to develop strong organizational skills and competencies.

  • Scheduling

Setting goals and prioritizing are crucial but having these abilities doesn’t mean that you can achieve your tasks in the required time.

And in our world, you have to be deadline driven!

Scheduling skills benefit you a lot! And one of the best advantages for you is that with an appropriate schedule you have a visual picture of what you should do.

Other benefits are that a schedule is a great tool that moves you toward your goals and provides flexibility to deal with the unexpected things.

And here comes the question “How to create an effective schedule in a world where so many things scream for your attention?”

There are some proven steps for creating effective work schedules:

Note: Before setting up a schedule consider the time limits. Daily schedule, monthly schedule, weekly schedule or the three options together?

  • Identify the schedule activities. Take the activities you should do for a particular period of time and turn them into schedule activities. For example, if your work activity is “write a new post,” your schedule activities might involve “finding sources of information”, “making a list of the points that the post should cover,” and etc.
  • Define the sequence the activities. It means setting them in the order in which they have to be done. If we use the above example, perhaps we need to find the sources of information first, then reading the sources, then define the main points and etc. In some situations, two or more activities can be done together.
  • Define the resources needed for each activity. It includes defining what resources will be needed to finish each activity.
  • Estimating the deadline of each activity. It means to define how long it will take to do each activity. Here you can use different methods to estimate the exact time needed for complete the tasks. For examples, you can ask other experts who are familiar with the activity duration, you can use your experience with the same activity, you can look at the similar activities at your company and etc.
  • Controlling your schedule. In this step, you have to make sure that your work goes in synchrony with the schedule plan.

The above steps are basic steps for planning and scheduling.

However, depending on your job position and duties, you might need to take part in more complicated schedules with the help of special time management tools or project scheduling software and etc.

These types of software help your schedule to be synchronized with the schedules of others.

Anyway, scheduling activities are becoming more and more popular for a huge range of job types.

  • Delegating Skills

Delegation is one of the most important time management skills too.

What is crucial here, is that you have to delegate tasks to the right people! It is useless to delegate tasks to someone who is not competent enough to do a particular task.

Poor delegation can cause so headaches such as confuses, demotivation, frustration and etc.

No doubt that delegation skills are skills worth to improve and develop!

At the end, business organizations wouldn’t exist at all without delegation of the work.

Assigning work to others is a crucial part of getting things done efficiently. (not only at work but in your personal life you should delegate tasks too such as: ordering your child to wash the car.)

Let's see how we can improve our delegation skills:
  • Decide what to delegate and what not to. Here you have to answer the question “What should you delegate?”And the answer is not: as much as you can. Might be there are tasks that involve highly confidential information and only you have to do it.
  • Clarify what are the desired results. Tell the people to whom you are delegating clearly what have to be done and why it’s important. This is a crucial moment. Without a clear understanding of the desired result, they can achieve something completely different.
  • Clearly set boundaries. This means to explain to people where are the lines of authority and responsibility.  Explain to the people whether they have to wait for your instructions or to make their own decisions.
  • Inform about consequences. Tell the people what would be the consequences of both successful and unsuccessful outcomes. Make sure that people understand the importance of the tasks that are delegated to them and how successful results help you, your clients, managers and etc.
  • Provide the right tools. You need to give (explain where to find) people you delegate to the resources to achieve their tasks and goals. You should listen to people suggestions and ideas. Make sure people know that your door is open if they have problems.
  • Build motivation. Try to motivate the people. Clarify how success will bring financial rewards, different opportunities, and other desirable results. Provide recognition to people who deserve it.

Being able to delegate not only allows you to free yourself but will improve your own performance and results.

2.Decision making

Decision making is a whole science with a decisive role in strong organizational skills and competencies.

As we mentioned above, the lack of the time is one of the more difficult problems all over the world.

And organizational skills are there to resolve this problem. This is their core aim.

To solve difficult problems, you definitely need to make difficult decisions. You need to be good at decision making.

Why do people fail? Mostly because they make poor choices and bad decisions.

So, decision making is a key ability for any area of your personal and business life.

In the field of organizational skills, there are some common decisions you have to take such as:

  • Which task to do?
  • Which tasks to delegate?
  • Which goals are very important and which are not?
  • Which goals are real and which are not?
  • Which meetings to attend?
  • Which resources do you need?
  • What is the sequence the activities and tasks?
  • What is the deadline for each task? and etc.

The above might be very critical questions.

There are helpful steps and techniques for improving your decision-making skills:
  • Define the purpose of your decision. Why should be solved? Why should be done?
  • Gather information. For every decision you need information. Decide the possible sources of information.
  • List different possible solutions. Find out ideas for possible solutions. Use idea generating techniques such as brainstorming.
  • Identify the criteria to evaluate the alternatives. Evaluate the costs, the benefits, the disadvantages, associated with each alternative. What are the consequences of each choice?
  • Determine the best alternative. This is easier after you done the above steps.
  • Implement the chosen option.
  • Evaluate the outcome of your decision.

The above is the well-known process of decision-making. Make sure you clear understand any of these steps and techniques.

3.Focus

No matter what you do, there are many other things that require your attention.

So many distractions, notifications and issues….everyday and everywhere. You have a lot on your plate!

Actually, people brain is not programmed to deal with the huge number of constantly appearing situations and other things to do.

However, they are still there and you need to resolve all of them at some points. And here, your ability to focus can help.

In fact, the more focused you are the more chances to resolve the problem faster and efficiently.

As an every people skill in this world, the ability to focus can be developed.

Here are some tips for improving your ability to focus:
  • Cut multitasking. Multitasking is a NOT a good way to achieve goals more quickly! Multitasking is harmful to your concentration. Do one thing at a time. Simple. Multitasking is not only unproductive but it stresses your body and brain.
  • Turn off email and notifications (and other things that interrupt you). This is crucial especially when you need to concentrate on very important tasks. The fact that someone sends you email or call you, doesn’t mean it’s more serious. Those things can wait for you to finish your task.
  • If it possible, move to a more quiet place where it’s harder to find you. It might be a meeting room or a free conference hall.
  • Stay motivated. This is one of the greatest techniques. Each task should have some motives, some drivers. Write down why you’re motivated to accomplish your task and look down at this reason several times until you finish it.
  • If it possible, done your ‘hardest’ task first. Sometimes knowing that you have something very hard to do, can distract you during resolving smaller issues. In addition to that, it’ll give you a positive feeling that focusing on smaller tasks will seem much easier.
  • Go outside for a break. After a small break, you will be much more productive and concentrated. Take a fresh air. Give yourself a mental break and chance to recuperate.
  • Get plenty of sleep. Sleep fills our bodies with a lot of energy and gives us the ability to do better our work.
  • Maintain a healthy and balanced diet.

4.Self-motivation

This is a huge topic with an enormous importance!

Because self-motivation is one of the best weapons that leads to succeed in the business and in any other area you want!

Motivation is what boosts you to follow your goals! You can not win without motivation!

However, staying motivated seems to be one of the hardest skills a human can possess and maintain. It is difficult to even for the most experienced and successful people!

Which motivational tips truly help is an endless debate. There are so many studies, books, websites dedicated to developing and improving self-motivation.

Here is the truth.

If a motivational technique works for some people, it might not work for others. We are all different. We have different desires, dreams, beliefs, understandings, points of views and etc. However, you should always try to find your motivational boosters.

If you want to be successful, you should master your own motivation techniques.

Here are some tips and ideas to stay motivated that you might find helpful for you:
  • Remind yourself of your goals. If you stop thinking of your goals, then you may be less motivate.
  • Set ways to track your progress. If you see that you are on the right way and achieve a good progress, you might be motivated that you are getting close to completing your goals. On the other hand, seeing that you have no the expected progress, can boost your motivation.
  • Read stories about successful people. Successful people have a lot to show and to teach you. Most of them are very familiar with the art of staying motivated.
  • Seek for constant feedback. Ask your colleagues or managers what you need to improve in your work. Knowing that there are some things to improve can be a good motive to develop your abilities.
  • Never stop searching opportunities. When you know there are so many opportunities for you, it makes you wish to achieve them. It makes you more active and productive. Actually, this technique works best for me.
  • Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Making mistakes demotivates many people. Don’t be one of them. It is normal to make mistakes.
  • Know yourself. Find out when your motivation goes down and when it rise up. Once you know this, you can work around and develop.
  • Communicate more with highly motivated and successful people. Seeing others achieving their goals will motivate you to do the same.
  • Stay positive. Negativism will only make you see the bad things. Choose to be happy. Happy people are more easily motivated.
  • Read quotes. You know how motivational they can be.

Being highly organized means also being highly motivated!

5.Physical organizational skills

If you are at your desk now and someone asks you to give him your pen, are you able to grab it in a matter of seconds? Or you have to clean your desk during trying to find it.

I hope you can find right away what you are searching for at your desk. If not, you really spend your time on unnecessary things.

Effective organizational skills include keeping clean and neat your workspace – whether that’s your desk, car, or desktop.

The mess all over your desk eats your time. You can spend a half of an hour just searching for something.

In addition to that, you can lose important things.

Here are examples of strong physical organizational skills, you need:

  • Keeping clean your workspace
  • Putting back items in their places after use
  • Creating physical solutions and strategies for facilitating workflow
  • Record keeping
  • Resource management
  • Responsibility for office materials and equipment and etc.

Physical organizational skills are necessary for success. No matter what your job position and responsibilities are, you must develop these abilities because they allow you to perform efficiently.

6.Communication Skills

The ability to communicate effectively is considered as today’s most important skill.

And communication skills take an important place in your strong organizational skills too!

Why?

Because you work with other people on a daily basis. Your schedule depends on their schedules, you delegate task to them or they delegate to you, you need their help and they need yours.

All of these means communications. You need the ability to explain clearly and the ability to listen carefully and many other abilities.

Communication skills is an enormous topic and incredible science.

Here we will just list the most important communication skills you need to master your organizational skills:

  • Listening skills
  • Nonverbal Communication
  • Friendliness
  • Clarity and Concision
  • Confidence
  • Open-mindedness
  • Positive
  • Patience

Conclusion

I am sure, you want to get the best results possible from your business and personal life.

To do this you need strong organizational skills!

Working productively doesn’t mean just to achieve your tasks and goals. It means to achieve them in less time!

Do your best to improve the above-listed skills and you will see that it boost your entire performance.
What do you think?
Share your thoughts. Which organizational tips and techniques work best for you?

An Infographic in PDF for Free Download: Organizational Skills
Organizational Skills Infographic

About the Author Marin Valchev

Marin Valchev, PMP is an IT Project Manager with more than 10 years of experience. He implements cutting-edge technology in a wide-range of Financial and TELCO companies in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Marin shares his knowledge of software, analysis, project management and other business areas.

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