Organizational skills may seem like something that you either have or you don't; you may have been born with organizational tendencies, or you may hav
Organizational skills may seem like something that you either have or you don’t; you may have been born with organizational tendencies, or you may have had to develop habits through months or years of hard work and adapting to the demands of your work and personal life.
Organization can also take different forms and be easier or more difficult depending on the context. Your desk at work and your kitchen at home may have wildly disparate levels of tidiness and organization. This doesn’t mean that you are a good or bad organizer, simply that different parts of your life require you to prioritize things differently.
However, no matter your organizational skill level, there are many tools available to everyone that can serve you well in making your lifestyle, both personally and professionally, a more efficient and well-oiled machine, at least to the extent that it makes you a better professional and aids in your personal development.
Identify your strengths
First, acknowledge that there are some areas in which you can excel and others in which you may need a little nudge in the right direction. Take a personal inventory of the spaces and situations in which you feel most at home and most comfortable. What is the level of organization in these areas? What are your personal and professional habits? What tools and mechanisms do you already make use of?
You may derive comfort from a balance of organized chaos. In simplest terms, the best organizational strategy is the one that makes the most sense to you and makes your life easier. Yes, you want to also develop a strategy that allows you to cater to the needs of colleagues and clients. However, you are best equipped to do so when you feel that you are functioning at your best.
There are many apps, programs, and websites available that can really make a dent in your organizing endeavors.
Trello is great for personal use but also gives you the opportunity to collaborate with your team. You can assign tasks and use functions like Google Calendar extensions to seamlessly coordinate team-wide efforts. You can also use the same platform to manage a board of your own personal tasks, so that you can keep your life separate but connected in one place.
MindMeister is a unique platform that allows you and your team to conceptualize projects and goals in a visual medium. It works wonderfully for getting you all on the same page and highlighting all the interconnected ideas at play as you work to achieve your goals.
Then there are the classics such as Google Calendar and Google Docs, which allow you to collaborate in real time and offer interactive options to set meeting times, edit documents together, and create action plans.
Attend to trends
Pop culture is actually a great place to find organizational ideas, as people all around the country are constantly searching for new ways to better themselves and organize their lives.
A few prime examples as of late are Marie Kondo’s “tidying up” philosophy, which you can apply to your home to reduce out-of-work stress or even to your office or desk in your place of business, and the bullet journaling method. The latter doesn’t have to be taken as in-depth as it is by some people; you can select methods that work for you, such as using a personal note-taking system, and put them to use in ways that are most beneficial to you.
Above all, encourage yourself and members of your team to keep actively finding ways to work more effectively as individuals and as a group. Issue organizational challenges and share any nuggets of wisdom you find. This will both bring your team closer together and help them to work more productively.