Planning and organizing are very broad topics. How you approach them depends on how big your project is, how many people are involved, and how much time and effort your project entails.
How well you can plan and organize a venture may be the difference between success and failure. The bigger the project, the more important it is to plan and organize well.
This article covers 9 proven principles and 7 fundamental rules for better planning and organizing regardless of the size and scope of your project.
In summary, here is how to be better at planning and organizing:
Here is a quick video with the top 4 Tips to improve planning and organizing.
Have Clear Objectives For Your Plan
Clearly describe and define exactly what you want to achieve and have a clear vision of the end result. For example, an objective of “increased sales” is not sufficient.
Divide Your Overall Objective into Steps and Goals
Set incremental steps and goals along the way so you know when you are making progress to meet your final objective.
An overall sales increase of 20% by the end of the year might have quarterly goals of 5% increases.
The incremental steps must include action steps along with performance goals.
An example in sales might be to spend $X on advertising and make XX number of sales calls during this quarter. Then you can make adjustments if you see that you aren’t meeting your objectives.
Make An Action Plan and Arrange Resources to Complete It
Here is an excellent resource for writing an action plan for your goals.
Effectively Manage Your Own Time
Prioritize your actions and work on the most urgent and important ones first.
Pay careful attention to these critical areas:
Here is an excellent article with more Tips for managing your time.
Here is another resource about managing your time wisely.
Accurately Judge Resources And Time To Do Tasks
Research To Stay Aware Of Things That Affect Your Project
Here is a great resource with Tips for staying focused on your goals.
Keep Good Records
Fundamental Rules for Effective Planning and Organizing
Rule # 1 Prioritizing
Can you identify urgent, important and unimportant tasks and act accordingly?
Because you can’t do everything at once, prioritizing helps you to decide which tasks to do first and which tasks can wait. Prioritize well and break up your work into smaller pieces. Then you can act on each task, one at a time, starting with the most important.
Use the method Dwight Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States, used to decide what to do.
Rule # 2 Time Management
You can’t create more time, but you can use your time more effectively to get the important things done on time. As you get better at time management and prioritizing, you’ll get more done in the same amount of time.
In addition to ruthlessly prioritizing, note an estimate of the time each task will take.
- Research – 90 minutes
- Meet with Will – 60 minutes
- Write the outline – 45 minutes
Rule # 3 Coordinating Resources
Every undertaking requires resources of some kind. Resources are everything that you need to complete a task.
Break your project into smaller sections and plan what resources you need. Think about people or materials you need to complete the project. Be very careful not to underestimate. Do you need to outsource for expertise you don’t have?
Rule # 4 Delegating
Delegating is important to handle things you don’t have skills or expertise to do.
For example, you might delegate screening for hiring an expert by outsourcing to a hiring firm while you focus on things you do well.
Rule # 5 Creating Systems
Although we aren’t machines, we can create systems or processes that can help us to work automatically and efficiently like a machine.
Rule #6 Planning Ahead
Your success in planning and organizing depends a lot on your ability to plan ahead. Usually, if you have more time to plan, you will be more successful. However, unexpected projects do come up and you’ll have to take care of it.
When unexpected projects pop up, you can only do your best with the time you have. This is where honing your ability to prioritize and manage your time will pay off.
Whenever possible, plan ahead as much as you can at work. When you plan ahead, you’ll be able to manage any unexpected projects much better.
Rule #7 Be Proactive
Conclusion to How to Improve Planning and Organizing Skills
The key takeaways that will most impact your planning and organizing are:
If you can implement only a few of the key principles here, you will significantly improve your planning and organizing skills.
Scholarly References for Planning and Organizing
Organising your time — University of Leicester. (2020). Retrieved 19 July 2020, from https://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/ld/all-resources/study/time
Schmitz, M., & Schmitz, M. (2015). 6 Rules to be Effective at Planning and Organizing | The Conover Company. Retrieved 19 July 2020, from https://www.conovercompany.com/6-rules-to-be-effective-at-planning-and-organizing/
Kareska, Katerina, The Role of Planning as a Fundamental Management Function for Achieving Effectiveness in Business Organizations (August 20, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3022761 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3022761
11 Organizational Skills That Every Smart Leader Needs. (2019). Retrieved 19 July 2020, from https://www.lifehack.org/818973/organizational-ability