The office is often full of people who are good at their jobs, but not very good at the skills that make them productive employees. Many companies offer training in time management and basic computer skills to their employees, but what about planning and organizational skills? In many cases, poor planning and organization may be just as detrimental to a business as basic computer illiteracy. Planning and organizational skills are the foundation of every aspect of life, from business to personal, and they can be learned by anyone willing to put in the effort.
What Are Planning Skills?
There are all kinds of plans: plans for an evening out with your significant other, plans for a family vacation, even plans for a family budget. How does one go about making a plan, and why is it important? A good plan includes all of the information necessary to accomplish a goal, including resources, time frame, and cost estimates. It isn’t just enough to have a bright idea–a plan allows an individual or team to consider all of the possibilities before committing to a single course of action.
Adequate, well-thought-out plans enable individuals and companies to accomplish objectives in the most efficient manner possible. A plan might include setting up a production schedule that maximizes resources or seeking out the assistance of a technology specialist who could streamline data entry for accounting purposes. Of course, problems may arise. That’s why it’s important to have contingency plans in place, just in case your first plan doesn’t work out as expected or an obstacle appears that demands immediate attention.
Why Are Planning Skills Important?
Employers today demand more than the average worker can produce. Frequently, employees are required to multi-task and meet tight deadlines. Foreseeing potential problems and having a plan to deal with them before they occur can make the difference between success and failure in the workplace. When you know how each task is going to be completed as well as how much time it will take, your employer knows that what you’re being asked to do can actually be done within the timeframe allotted.
Whether you’re a project manager, a sales representative, or an administrative assistant, your ability to plan and organize can help your company grow. A well-thought-out plan shows that you are willing to go the extra mile for your employer instead of simply performing the bare minimum expected of you. The better organized you are, the more likely you are to be able to identify problems early on, before they become too serious or costly.
How Can Everyone Benefit From Planning Skills?
Learning how to plan is an ongoing process that requires the ability to think critically. Anyone who uses a calendar regularly can attest to the importance of being organized–it’s much easier for everyone if individuals remember to do their share of the work instead of leaving everything to the last minute. The ability to set goals and prioritize tasks can help individuals become better managers, too. This will prepare them for promotion opportunities within their current company or elsewhere.
Planning skills are necessary in every aspect of life; they’re not just limited to business. In much the same way that a good business plan allows individuals and companies to accomplish their objectives in an efficient manner, a personal plan can help you get the most out of your life. Writing down your goals, both long-term and short-term, can inspire you to take control of certain aspects of your life that previously seemed impossible. It has often been said that the only way to accomplish your goals is either to change what you’re doing or to stop altogether. When planning is done correctly, those changes can be for the betterment of everyone involved.
What Are Organizational Skills?
Organizational skills are what allow you to take the plan you’ve made and actually put it in motion. Whether your goal is to develop a marketing strategy, find new clients for your business, or start the day off right by getting out of bed on time (yes, sometimes even that can be a daunting task!), having organizational skills means knowing how to prioritize tasks and determine which of those can be completed immediately, which need to be put off for a little while, and which ones will have to wait until another day.
In order to accomplish your long-term goal, you’ll have to break it down into much smaller–though still important–milestones. These are known as short-term goals. These can be further divided into manageable tasks that, when accomplished, will help you stay on track to meeting your long-term goal and allow you to feel a sense of accomplishment in the process.
Visualizing yourself in the future as someone who has already met his or her goal is called visualization and affirmation . It’s much easier to accomplish your goals when you have something to visualize. Whatever method works for you is perfectly fine so long as the goal is met. It’s too easy for us to get discouraged when we can’t see our progress, so whatever helps keep you on track is a good thing.
Aspects of Organizational Skills
To be organized effectively, there are several key skills that you must know how to use.
One is the ability to prioritize tasks . This means being able to determine which of your goals are more important than others. Once you have done this, it becomes much easier to assign a specific order of priority for completing them in time for your deadline.
Another aspect deals with the development of schedules . Once you have figured out which tasks need to come first, it makes sense to write down your plan in a way that allows individuals or groups to identify what needs to be done and who is responsible for doing it. For example, if you’re looking at developing an advertising campaign, you’ll likely need input from several people before the final product is complete.
Another aspect of organizational skills deals with time management . This means you have to know how much time each task requires and whether it will require a longer or shorter amount of time in order for you to meet your deadline. It also helps if someone has a sound understanding of his or her own work habits, which allow him or her to more effectively manage time.
The last part of the puzzle deals with the how-tos of filing and storing information . You can’t keep track of what needs to be done if you lose your written documents, forget where they’re stored, or neglect to file them in a place where they’re easy to access.
Tips for Being More Organized
There are certain “tricks” to staying organized that you should be aware of. First, make sure your written documents are stored in a place where they can be easily accessed . This requires some planning on your part at the very beginning before the actual work starts. For example, you’ll need to consider what type of filing cabinets or storage solutions you’ll need to buy in order to store your information effectively.
Another trick that many people overlook is the importance of keeping a calendar . Don’t take it for granted that everyone else in your household knows what your schedule entails and when it’s okay for others to come by or call you. You also need to keep track of family and friends’ birthdays and anniversaries.
One trick that you should be aware of is the importance of maintaining a “to-do list.” This is particularly important if your work requires you to keep track of several different projects at once. Some people prefer having everything written down in one place for easy access, while others prefer the freedom of keeping the list in their heads. If you’re one of those people who can keep track of several different to-do lists in your head, then go for it! It’s important to have a system that works for you.
Another trick is knowing how much time each task requires and whether or not it will require a longer or shorter amount of time in order for you to meet your deadline. For example, if you’re trying to finish a report by the end of the week and it’s only Tuesday right now, you’ll need to know how long it takes to write a paper of that size so you can plan accordingly.
A final trick is knowing yourself well enough to make use of your strengths and your weaknesses in terms of staying organized. Some people are well-organized by nature, while others gain that capability through practice and hard work. However you accomplish it is up to you, but the sooner you get started, the better off you’ll be!
If you’re not organizationally-minded at all, there are steps you can take to become more effectively organized. Start small by assessing your needs and making a plan for how you’re going to tackle the problem. For example, start developing a filing system that works best for you. Whether it’s an electronic file on your computer or paper files in physical form, find something that works best for you so you can be more productive when it comes time to actually organize everything.
Planning and Organizational Skills for Students
1.) Declutter Your Room – When your room is cluttered, everything can get lost easily. So before you start organizing your life, organize your room! Clean out the clothes that are dirty or don’t fit you anymore; you know, those jeans that are too short for you? Also try to throw away any unnecessary objects like school notes from last year (or grade school for some of us) or broken objects.
2.) Set Goals – Think about what you want to accomplish with your newly organized room. Maybe you want a desk for homework or maybe you want a bookshelf for all of those novels that are piling up on the floor. Whatever it is, make sure you know exactly what it is and prioritize these goals! What should come first?
3.) Get Organized – For your desk, buy a nice looking chair and a good sized table. If you have a lot of clothes, get a dresser. And for bookshelves try to stack the books neatly because who hates it when all their hard work gets messed up by one bad book? Make sure to place items that you use very frequently at eye level and those things that don’t get used as often on the top shelves.
4.) Make a Schedule – It can be hard to keep a schedule, especially with school work and other activities, but if you make a schedule you will have more time for activities and know what you need to get done for school and such. So how do you make a schedule? Well, I would recommend writing down your daily activities on a monthly calendar. Weekdays can be hard but you could always plan out the weekend and set aside certain times to do things like homework or housework!
5.) Easily Accessible Places – Are your textbooks always buried under clothes? Well why don’t you find a nice bookcase and put your school materials on the top shelf so that they’re easily accessible. And what about those party invitations? Why not create an invitation box, whether it’s just a shoe box or something more elegant, to keep your invitations from being lost forever!
6.) Delegate – Sometimes we have a lot of things to do and it’s hard to keep up. So why not ask a friend, family member, or sibling for help? Maybe you could assign certain rooms in your house for each person i.e. the bathroom is yours, the living room is your mom’s, etc. You can even make chores fun by doing them with your family members! And don’t forget to get help from your parents too, without their help you’ll be in a huge mess.
7.) Set It and Forget It – If you can, create a schedule for yourself and try to stick to it as best as you can; this may take time but after a while it will become a habit that you do automatically. And remember, if you can’t keep up with everything try to delegate some tasks to other people!
8.) Reward Yourself – After all your hard work, why not treat yourself? You deserve it! Read a book, eat a cake, take a nap; anything will really but make sure it’s rewarding!
9.) Don’t Give Up – Dealing with disorganization can be hard because it’s an ongoing thing that you have to struggle with every day. But before you give up, try some of these tips and maybe they will work for you!
10.) Repeat – Organizing your life is a never ending process so don’t forget to keep yourself organized. Otherwise you’ll end up back at square one.
There you have it, 10 simple steps to cleaning up your life. I hope these tips help because I know how it feels to be disorganized and messy so try these out and see the difference they make in your daily activities.