If you have ever had to search through endless stacks of business papers to find the one document that you need, you know the value of being organized. It saves time and helps keep a business humming along smoothly day to day and over the long term. "Good organizational skills" encompasses physical and mental organization and time management abilities. Good organizational skills are essential for successful business owners who need to balance a host of different duties.
Clutter is often the culprit when it comes to disorganization in a work space. Make a point to clear out unneeded papers, file documents in the appropriate places and put unused supplies back in the supply closet. You do not have to be a neat freak to be successful with physical organization. You might find that it fits your working style to designate a weekly session for busting through the accumulated clutter. Get into the habit of putting papers, gadgets, business cards, files, magazines, newspapers and supplies in their proper places. Throw away or shred items that are past their usable life.
Keeping your mind organized can be a challenge when you are juggling the varied demands of running a business. Prioritize projects and make to-do lists to keep yourself on track. Understand your personal working style and play to your strengths. Not everyone is cut out to be an accomplished multi-tasker. You might work best by focusing on finishing off one project at a time rather than balancing multiple tasks.
Having good organizational skills is about making the best use of your time. Being organized reduces the amount of time you have to dig to uncover important business information. Understand where your time goes. For example, if you check email every five minutes, you might want to create a twice-a-day email schedule to more effectively handle your inbox. Delegate certain duties to your employees so you can focus your time on your business strengths. Maintain a calendar so you do not miss appointments and can schedule your work around your meetings and other obligations.
The Big Picture
Good organizational skills in a business is not just about filing and scheduling. It is also about the future and direction of your company. Business plans are not just for start-ups. Revise your initial business plan as the company grows and evolves. Set goals and outline the steps you need to take to reach them. Communicate these to your employees and keep your entire business on track.
How Your Business Benefits
Good organizational skills can help lead to success through many paths. Time is money. Organization saves time by keeping valuable business data easily accessible, goals in focus and employees on the same page. Employees who have good organizational skills are efficient at covering the demands of their jobs. This directly relates to a company's bottom line. Poor organization leads to frustration on the part of a business owner, employees and customers. Keep an orderly store, office, work space, computer and mind to cultivate a environment that is focused on meeting business goals in a timely manner.
About the Author
Amanda C. Kooser is a freelance writer with a decade of experience covering technology, business, travel and music topics for national magazines, trade journals, websites and regional publications. She has contributed to "Entrepreneur Magazine," "New Mexico Business Weekly," "Restaurant Business Magazine" and "eBay Magazine."
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The importance of organizing information cannot be overemphasized. Organizing skills help in arranging information in such a way that it can be used more effectively. This essentially involves the following:
� Comparing and contrasting: noting similarities and differences between and among entities.
� Classifying perceptions: grouping and labeling entities on the basis of their attributes.
� Ordering perceptions/events: sequencing entities according to a given criterion.
� Representing ideas/perceptions: changing the form but not the substance of information.
In today�s world, information is being generated at such a pace that it takes almost no time for any piece of information to become obsolete. Thus we must have the skills to deal with this generation of information, make sense of it, and implement it effectively. To do this, information needs to be organized.
It is often thought that information can be organized only after it is collected. This is only partially true. Collecting information randomly without organizing your thoughts about it also has its negative fallout. If you search for information in a random manner then a lot of it is likely to be irrelevant, and then needs to be sorted to sift out the relevant information. This is time-consuming and you are likely to end up feeling mentally exhausted.
So, organization skills need to be applied much before the information collection process begins. You need to identify what information you need. To do this you should
� understand the objective of the task
� write it down
� simplify it
� talk to people about it to know its constituents
� be specific about the information needed
For example, if a student were to write an article about the ecology in an area, how would he/she identify the information required if he/she did not know the answers to the following questions?
i. For whom am I writing this article?
� For academia?
� For people who are working in environmental organizations?
� For people who want to start such an organization?
� For students interested in environmental issues?
� For students who are studying geography?
o And so on�
ii.What is the objective of my writing?
Writing down the objective would mean being specific. For instance the statement The purpose of the article is to orient people who want to work in NGOs working towards preservation of forests in the coastal region of Andhra Pradesh with the flora and fauna that exists there, and the type and rate of change that is occurring there in terms of human activity is better and more specific than the statement The objective of the article is to orient people who want to join NGOs working for preservation of forests.
After what you want and why is clear, the next step is to get the relevant information. After getting the information, you need to organize it. Proper organization facilitates easier understanding of explicit and implicit relationships and implications of the information. This helps you to:
� Find out the different themes of information obtained and the variations or the different points of view of the themes. To do this you may encircle the common terms, put them down on the left side of a page, and write down the different points of view and their variations or data related to them beside each.
� Explicitly organize the themes to show how they relate to one another. To do this, you can use different tools described in the digital medium.
� Specify the gaps in your understanding.
Now that you have understood the importance of organizing skills.