Communication and organizational skills are arguably the two most important transferable job skills that anyone can possess due to the vast majority of jobs requiring precise yet personable communication coupled with focus and time management.
Keeping on task and planning out one’s daily and weekly activities are critical, foundation organizational skills that drive efficiency in the workplace.
This can mean honing in on scheduling for employees or properly allocating both material and labor resources for managers. The end goal in either case is meeting deadlines ahead of schedule by ensuring skills and resources meet the rigors of the task.
Essential Organizational Skills to Master
Managers understandably want to move from their starting point to goal completion as quickly as possible.
To do so everyone in the organization needs to stay task-oriented and prioritize micro goals based on their own competencies, timelines and role in the company. Here’s a road map to get there:
If planning ahead and having a timeline for each phase of the project is an important organizational skill for employees to master, then it’s absolutely essential for managers and supervisors who oversee potentially dozens of employees and multiple projects simultaneously.
Before every project think through how much time each task will take and ensure that you have the time, resources and manpower to meet all of your goals ahead of time.
At the same time, realize that every project has setbacks: Create a contingency plan, preferably ahead of time, for what you should do if something falls through.
Time management is intimately tied to planning and prioritization since it involves deciding how much time you’re going to spend on a particular task and then exercising intense focus towards carrying out that goal.
Workplace efficiency and time management actually inform one another as well since – on a granular level – a workplace that fosters time management should also be efficient.
Removing distractions from the workplace environment (e.g., social media browsing), learning how to stick to the plan, avoiding procrastination, and lowering the amount of time and effort put into tasks that aren’t critical to the project can keep employees, managers and whole organizations on track.
Once you’ve laid out the tasks that you want to accomplish to meet an upcoming goal – and created a daily, weekly and perhaps even monthly to-do list for how to get there – you need to start prioritizing to hone your efforts and separate out the inessential.
One way for doing this is going through the ABC analysis
. The most important and time sensitive tasks go in the A column while tasks that are important but not quite as urgent or pressing go in the B column.
Lastly, tasks that are neither important nor time-sensitive in the scheme of your larger goals go in the C column and should be handled after A and B priorities, respectively.
Dividing priorities into three categories like this can ensure that employees aren’t spreading themselves too thin and that they’re addressing the most important matters right away.
Outlining your priorities in such an orderly way brings together the principles of planning and time management and allows employees to prioritize what’s really important, thus increasing efficiency and workplace productivity.