Planning & Organising Skills

The ability to manage self and/or others, and resources including time and surrounding circumstances to reach a specific goal

Behavioural indicators include:-


  • Accurately estimate time and effort required to complete a task.
  • Identify and organise systems and required resources.
  • Organise personal time to carry out responsibilities.
  • Maintain adequate preparation time for scheduled meetings/deadlines.
  • Develop schedules and timetables with clear, specific milestones and deadlines.
  • Establish how to measure results and milestones for self.


  • Identify critical tasks.
  • Arrange tasks in a logical order.
  • Establish priorities systematically, differentiating between urgent, important, and unimportant tasks.
  • Use a "to do" list, task plan, or similar planning devices to note action plans, deadlines, etc.
  • Monitor & adjust priorities and/or eliminate tasks on an on-going basis.

Do I Have These Skills?

You'll need to be able to prove to employers that you actually have the skills they want for the job. In applications and interviews they will ask 'competency questions' that begin with phrases such as 'tell me a time when ............. ' or 'give me an example of .............. ' Your answers are the evidence that you have what it takes.

To find out how well developed your skills are already you could try this simple exercise:

Rate yourself on each of the behaviours:

  • 1 = I do this very well. I am consistent and successful in it
  • 2 = I am good at this. With some practice I can make it perfect!
  • 3 = I am getting better, but still need to work on this a bit more.
  • 4 = I am not particularly good at this - yet!

Revisit this exercise several times through your years of study - you'll want to have as many skills as possible at 1 and 2 before you apply for graduate jobs.

And, think about all the life situations you've been in - university, work, leisure, travel, social - and identify incidents and examples from them that show that you have already used the skill.