Organizational skills are some of the most important proficiencies you can have as an employee. Being organized will allow you to meet deadlines, minimize stress and carry out your duties more efficiently. To learn how improving your organizational skills can affect your work performance, you need to know what this skill set entails. In this article, we look at different types of organizational skills, suggest what you can do to improve your skills and discuss how to highlight organizational skills on a resume or in a job interview.
What are organizational skills?
Organizational skills are skills that allow you to use your resources efficiently and effectively. Being organized means you manage your time, energy and workspace well and can accomplish all your assigned tasks successfully. Organizational skills can take different forms depending on your particular workplace and job title, but they typically involve maintaining an orderly workspace, meeting deadlines and communicating well with your team.
Read more: Management Skills: Definition and Examples
Types of organizational skills
Being organized in the workplace involves using a range of important skills, including:
- Time management
- Setting goals
- Working under pressure
- Analytical thinking
- Attention to detail
- Strategic planning
Managing your time well is crucial to being organized. Time management involves allowing yourself enough time to finish tasks, not spending too much time on any one project and balancing the time you spend at home and work. Managing your time is important because it helps you conserve your energy and stay calm in a fast-paced environment. Deciding when and how to use your time is a fundamental element of workplace organization.
Another important organizational skill to consider is communication. Your communication skills are based on how well you share and receive information in the workplace. If you are an organized communicator, you will be able to give other members of your team the information they need in an effective and timely manner. Organized communicators prioritize efficiency in the workplace by responding to requests quickly, giving instructions accurately and relaying information reliably.
Organization in the workplace also involves setting achievable goals. Organized employees can set personal and professional goals that inspire them to work hard and perform well. Being an organized professional should involve setting daily and weekly goals that structure your efforts and keep you focused on your employer's objectives. Achieving goals regularly is a sign of a well-organized employee who uses their resources well.
Read more: 10 Tips for Being More Goal-Oriented at Work
In many cases, being organized means knowing your limits. If an employee's responsibilities become more than they can handle, they may need to assign one or more of their tasks to a coworker. An important part of delegation is knowing which team member is the most qualified to finish a particular task or project. If you can list and organize your tasks and decide which to delegate, you may be able to improve the productivity of your entire team.
Working under pressure
Organization is particularly important in high-pressure situations. In fast-paced environments and workplaces that enforce strict deadlines, being organized is critical to an employee staying calm and focused. If you can effectively schedule your time, manage your energy and use your resources, working well under pressure can make you a valuable asset in your workplace.
An important element of organization is the ability to take initiative. Organized employees are well-aware of the tasks they need to complete and can work on assignments without supervision or assistance. If you can earn a reputation for being organized and self-sufficient in your workplace, you will likely be given even more opportunities to use your skills and develop professionally.
Analytical thinking involves the ability to read and interpret information to come to reasonable conclusions. Being organized at work often involves organizing your thought process. Being able to think about a problem logically and determine the source of the issue will help you overcome setbacks quickly and avoid delays.
Attention to detail
This organizational skill relates to how mindful and thorough you are in your work. Organized employees recognize that taking the time to do a job well the first time will save them from extra effort later on. Being organized means having the time and energy to make sure every aspect of a task is properly handled and that each step of a project is completed correctly.
Organized employees are skilled decision-makers. Making well-thought-out decisions involves collecting all the necessary information, considering the consequences and thinking ahead to predict outcomes. If you are skilled in organization, you will likely have the communication skills, logical mindset and goal-oriented attitude necessary for making effective decisions.
Being organized involves making the most of your time and energy. A crucial part of this is planning out how you plan to use your resources. This often involves keeping a detailed calendar, using a focus timer and scheduling meetings days or weeks in advance. Thinking ahead and planning accordingly can help organized employees to stay on top of their workload and to avoid missing deadlines.
How to improve your organizational skills
You can take these specific steps to improve your organizational skills:
One of the best ways to stay organized is to keep records of the tasks you have completed and the ones you are still working on. These can be physical lists on a pad of paper or digital lists that you access with your phone or computer. Making lists and checking off your completed assignments will help you stay focused and on-task.
Keep to a schedule
Another way to be more organized is to set a regular schedule. This can be a physical calendar or a digital time log that you keep on your phone. Creating a detailed schedule will help you to budget your time and ensure that you meet your deadlines.
Communicate with your team
Focusing on improving your workplace communication can significantly affect your level of organization. Scheduling face-to-face meetings, creating records of important conversations and writing efficient emails are all ways you can communicate more effectively and minimize the chances of miscommunication.
How to highlight organizational skills
Here are suggestions for how to highlight your organizational skills:
On a resume
Before you begin writing or editing your resume, consult the job description on the listing to find out what specific types of organizational skills your potential employer is searching for. Look for organizational keywords like "multi-tasking," "managing resources" and "meeting deadlines." Try to incorporate these phrases into the work history entries or skills list on your resume. You can also highlight your organizational skills in your short bio or objective statement by using keywords like "task-oriented," "reliable" and "goal-setter."
In a job interview
One of the best ways to highlight your organizational skills in a job interview is by sharing examples of how you remained organized while working your previous jobs. You can explain the typical system you use to schedule your time, handle multiple assignments and delegate tasks. You can also talk about a specific occasion when your organizational skills helped you solve a problem or contribute to your team's success. A key part of being organized is being able to work well in any environment, so you might also mention how you think your organizational skills would influence your performance in the new role.