What Are Organizational Skills? (With Improvement Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated November 15, 2022

Published November 15, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Whether you're searching for a job or currently employed, developing your skill set can position you for more career opportunities. Organizational qualities are valuable in nearly every workplace and industry. By learning about organizational qualities and becoming more organized, you can plan your workday and manage your resources better. In this article, we discuss what organizational skills are, provide examples of these qualities, and describe how to showcase and improve them at work.

What are organizational skills?

Organizational skills are qualities that enable you to use your resources effectively and efficiently. The resources to manage include your time, energy, and workspace. While developing specific organizational qualities may depend on your workplace and role, it typically involves creating and maintaining order in your personal and professional lives. Evaluate your ability to remain organized and determine which skills to develop to ensure workplace success.

Read more: Developing Proficient Organizational Skills

Why are organizational skills important?

Organizational qualities help you focus on important tasks to complete and meet deadlines at work. These abilities also help you improve your productivity and performance in the workplace. For example, you can typically handle more tasks accurately if you show organizational skills by staying energized throughout working hours. Organizational abilities can also support the development of other skills, such as critical thinking and problem-solving.

Examples of organizational skills

Here are essential skills you can develop to become more organized:

Communication

Communication refers to the ability to share and receive information with others. Effective communication is important to becoming more organized because it typically involves organizing your thoughts and ideas. Organized communicators prioritize efficiency at work by responding promptly to requests and providing accurate information. This way, they can manage their time better.

Related: Communication Skills: Definitions and Examples

Decision-making

Making informed decisions involves collecting information, considering alternatives, and evaluating possible outcomes. To stay organized and maintain your schedule, you want to make good decisions quickly. Showing confidence in your decisions also indicates that you took the time to analyze them and are ready to deal with them professionally.

Read more: What Are Decision-Making Skills and How to Improve Them

Goal-setting

Showing organizational qualities also involves setting professional and personal goals. For example, you can set goals for your workweek to ensure you complete the required tasks and use your time well. While it's important to set goals, you also want to ensure that you can reach these targets. For example, suppose you set a goal to become more organized by tidying your workstation by the end of the week. You may decide to organize your workspace daily to meet this goal within the timeframe.

Related: What Is the Psychology of Setting Goals? (With Benefits)

Time management

Time management is the ability to use your time well. It involves planning your daily and weekly schedule to improve your workflow and track your responsibilities. For example, suppose you're working on a long-term project. Having excellent time management skills can help you decide which aspect of the project would take the longest to complete and plan your work accordingly. By understanding how to manage your time, you typically have more hours to engage in other work or personal activities. Developing this skill can also help you maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Related: Why Is Time Management Important? And How to Manage Your Time

Delegation

Being organized involves understanding your limits. If you have a task or project that you need support to complete, you can assign certain aspects to an individual you supervise. Delegation helps you use your energy well, and it often involves knowing the most qualified team member to handle a task. By listing, organizing, and delegating tasks, you can typically improve your team's productivity.

Related: Delegation Strategies for the Workplace (With Tips)

Strategic planning

Remaining organized means maximizing your time and energy. An important aspect of being efficient with your resources involves planning their use. For example, you may use a detailed calendar or a focus timer to plan activities. Strategic planning also involves scheduling meetings in advance. If you develop your strategic planning skills, you can expect to handle your workload better.

Read more: What Is Strategic Planning? (With Benefits)

Analytical thinking

Similar to strategic planning, analytical thinking involves reading and interpreting information to arrive at conclusions. Showing organizational qualities at work often involves organizing your thought process. By developing your ability to think analytically, you can be more prepared to handle workplace changes and maintain order at work.

Related: Analytical Skills: Essential for Every Job

Attention to detail

Attention to detail is the ability to be mindful and thorough in your work. If you develop this skill, you can typically notice details and understand their impact on your situation or project. Becoming more organized involves ensuring you handle all aspects of the task well by focusing on the details to ensure you complete all tasks accurately.

Self-motivation

An important element of organization is the ability to inspire yourself and take initiative. Showing organizational skills involves understanding the tasks to complete and working on them with little or no supervision or assistance. If you earn a reputation for being organized and self-sufficient at work, you can expect to receive more job opportunities, such as a raise, bonus, or promotion.

Ways to highlight organizational skills

From the recruitment process to when you start work, there are various opportunities to show your organizational skills to employers. Here are helpful suggestions to help you present yourself as an organized professional:

On your resume

Before writing your resume, review the job description to determine which organizational qualities the company values. For example, you may identify keywords, such as multitasking, meeting deadlines, and managing resources. Try to include these phrases and keywords when discussing your professional experience. You can also list your organizational qualities in your skills section or objective statement. Whenever possible, try to demonstrate these skills with numbers. For example, you may write managed resources to ensure 86% productivity in my department.

In a job interview

An interview also offers an opportunity to further describe your organizational qualities. Show your organizational qualities by preparing for the interview, arriving early, and dressing neatly. You can share examples of how you stayed organized in your previous roles and present your approach to scheduling work, handling assignments, and delegating tasks. You can also outline a situation where your organizational skills helped you solve an issue or contribute to the organization's success if you have any.

Read more: How to Answer Interview Questions about Organizational Skills

How to improve organizational skills

Follow these steps to improve your organizational skills at work:

1. Create a to-do list

Having a list of ongoing and completed tasks is an effective way to improve your organizational qualities. You can have this list on paper or create a digital copy to reference from your phone or computer. As you complete tasks on this list, tick them off to stay focused on your work.

2. Schedule your tasks

A daily or weekly schedule can help you plan your workday and spend your time and energy resourcefully. You can use a calendar or check your phone for a digital time log. As you receive new tasks, update your schedule to ensure you meet all deadlines and maintain order.

3. Set time limits for each task

While it's important to complete tasks accurately, you also want to spend only the required time. Setting limits can help you plan your time better. For example, suppose you want to create an analysis report. By setting a three-hour limit and motivating yourself to create an accurate report, you can expect to spend your time better.

4. Communicate with your team

Improving your workplace relationships can positively impact your ability to stay organized. For example, scheduling meetings in person whenever possible, creating records of important conversations, and writing efficient emails are effective ways to communicate with team members. Exchanging information with your team can also help you identify new perspectives to stay organized at work.

5. Organize your materials

To increase productivity and remain organized, you can store documents in labelled files to make them easier to find. If you use a computer system at work, designate folders to store important resources and documents. You also want to create only the required number of files to ensure you can easily retrieve those you need. Consider applying the same filing system to your emails by sorting through and creating folders for them.

6. Track your progress

As you work on your skills, measure your progress and its impact on your work. For example, if you recently implemented a new filing system, you can determine whether it makes it easier to sort through files. Tracking your progress as you develop organizational qualities can help you decide what aspects to maintain or improve.

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