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How Skillful Planning Can Increase your Organizational Skills

Article by Herlene Somook, Content Manager at NextStep

· Tips,Organizational Skill,Blog Post

Organizational skills greatly affect your performance in the workplace. Among its benefits include improved efficiency rate, better tracking of progress, better management skills, instilled trust, and minimized stress, resulting to better performance at work.  

But some of us are not so lucky to have held the habit of organization. Luckily, it’s something that you can pick up in time. Winston Churchill once said, “Fail to plan, plan to fail.” Planning hastens the organization process as it lets you organize your thoughts and actions with what needs to be done. When you plan your days ahead, you will see the tasks you need to prioritize. You also create a rhythm for performing repetitive tasks with ease, making room for the gargantuan ones.

Only by applying organizational skills can you fully understand the extent of its advantages. Here are five easy to do tips to help you greatly improve your organizational skills both at work and in life.

1. Set realistic and measurable goals

Who hasn’t heard of S.M.A.R.T. goals? It’s an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achieavable, Relevant and Time bound goals that you can easily set for yourself. The term was said to be first used in the November 1981 issue of Management Review by George T. Doran. Nowadays, the acronym has been expanded to SMARTER, adding Evaluation and Reviewed at the end, seeing the need for evaluating and reviewing the results for further improvement on the process.

So how do you use this method? Here are some guide questions to help you set each category.

Specific – What do I want to accomplish, and why is this goal important to me?

Measurable – How will I know when it’s accomplished?

Achievable – How can I accomplish these goals?

Relevant – Does it seem worthwhile, and does it match my team’s needs?

Time bound – How much time will it take for me to do this?

Evaluate – How is this process working for me in days, weeks?

Review – What can I do to improve my process? What can I omit from the process?

2. Constantly evaluate your progress

Evaluation of the process that you’ve developed is as important as setting goals itself. It will let you analyze the improvements and setbacks that your process involves and you get to tweak it to get the results that you want.

3. Learn to prioritize tasks according to importance and urgency

With proper and careful evaluation, you’d be able to identify what get you to your wanted results quicker, and what demands urgency. Having that information, you can easily make an informed decision on to optimize your performance. One thing you can do is create a quadrant that rates the tasks according to urgency and importance, which will also show you which tasks you can delegate and which tasks you should absolutely avoid, like maybe browsing through Facebook while doing your tasks. Here’s a quick guide on how to create your own.

4. Delegate tasks with your team member’s skills in mind.

Your team members are vital to your organizations’ success. One way to help them improve their organizational skills is to designate important tasks to them. It’s like hitting two birds with one stone. Your team feels affirmation for their skills and also gets to go beyond their comfort zones and try on new tasks.

5. Replace To-Do lists with Done Lists.

Traditional to-do-lists can be hard to follow for some. If that’s the case, why not try a done list instead? This list can be compiled at the end of the day and act as a review of the productive and unproductive things you’ve done. It will help you get a good grip of the habits you might need to change and also highlight the good deeds you’ve done for the day. This way it’s more concrete, and it also identifies pain points that prevent you from achieving your goals.

Any planning tips you want to share? We'd love to hear about it.

Herlene Somook is a creative entrepreneur based in Manila, Philippines. A graduate of AB Psychology, she was a Kumon Reading teacher for five years before jumping ship to the Business Process Outsourcing industry. She has been a digital nomad and freelance writer for a little over two years, and enjoys reading bedtime stories to her bouncing toddler.

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