Organizational skills include practices like time management, scheduling, prioritizing through to-do and to-don’t lists, project management skills, consistent communication, multi-tasking, and flexibility as well as adaptability. If you’re disorganized, these skills will change your life!
6 Essential Organizational Skills for Leadership Success
In order to complete all tasks efficiently and effectively, a leader cannot befriend procrastination. Time management through scheduling projects, meetings, and other tasks by creating time blocks in calendars and keeping a list of tasks will help organization skills. By using scheduling, prioritizing and focusing on certain tasks becomes simple, and allows increased opportunity for multitasking. Seeing your schedule on paper or on a monitor shows you exactly what days and times you can be more flexible to adapt to business needs, and at what times you are completely unavailable. Google Calendar is a favorite when it comes to scheduling– it is simple to use and there is an option to sync scheduled meetings with the calendar on my phone. It’s convenient and accessible at any time.
Task lists include to-do and to-don’t lists, with the former likely being more familiar than the latter. You’ve probably created to do lists before – they are pretty common. But what about a to-don’t list? Have you ever heard of such a thing? A to-don’t list is exactly what it sounds like: writing down what you don’t have time for in your day. Examples include: unscheduled calls, meetings, or tasks, stress, going out for lunch when you brought your own, checking social media sites…anything you can think of! Regarding your to-do list, know what is important vs. what is urgent. Urgent work should always be prioritized! Create a weekly to-do list including all tasks to be completed, and organize them by weekday, but always be flexible enough to adapt to a spontaneous urgent deadline. Creating your to-do and to-don’t lists on any given day will help you stay organized.
As a leader, you’ll likely manage projects while simultaneously managing your team. You don’t need to have the title ‘Project Manager’ to manage tasks, but you do need the skills to ensure organizational success. Project organization skills are necessary when it comes to managing timelines and deadlines for external clients or internal assignments. For project management and clear communication, meeting in person, sending emails, or having video calls and messaging on Skype may be preferred. Negotiation and risk management are also valued project management skills. Risk management is being able to track a project to predict possible issues that may arise and have solutions at hand just in case a problem does occur. Negotiating everything from budgets, to resources, to deadlines is a part of having great communication skills.
While managing projects, you’ll be responsible for communicating with others who are directly involved in the project either internally or externally, which is just one situation where consistent and clear communication comes in. If messages are misunderstood, tasks can become unorganized, and projects can get messy. Another situation where communication skills come into play is work relationships: establishing a great relationship with your colleagues and employees is extremely important. Your employees should feel comfortable talking to you about trials and triumphs at the office, so you know what works well and what needs to be improved upon for the success of the company. If the employees see you as a great leader, they are more likely to accept feedback and constructive criticism and be able to discuss it with you. Being available to talk to them and providing an open-door policy sans intimidation will contribute to workplace culture, which is essential for keeping employees happy, and will help keep the organization, organized!
Most of us multitask all the time without even giving it a second thought: writing an email and answering a co-worker’s question, checking a text while watching TV, exercising while listening to music, and so on. In the workplace, leading one project or person at a time would be ideal, but normally, that is not standard. Being able to juggle multiple tasks and complete all of them efficiently and effectively (without getting stressed out) is a necessary skill for leadership organization.
Flexibility and Adaptability
Believe it or not, many great leaders have mastered the ‘downward dog’ yoga pose…just kidding, don’t believe it. When talking about flexibility – be flexible about your work load, task urgency, deadlines, receiving feedback and constructive criticism, etc. Organizational change is constant and being resistant to change will not allow you to shine as a leader. Being adaptable is also of extreme importance. Say you need to train someone, there’s a new skill you need to learn, or you need to brush up on something you already know. Adapt to the training and learning curve by doing your own research, reading articles, watching and presenting explainer videos, creating presentations, and asking colleagues any questions you have that they may be able to answer.