Getting Organized to Avoid Communication Breakdowns

May 22, 2023


Planner and two pens for getting organized
Lisa Assetta shares her tips for better organization and communication.

In today's fast-paced world, getting organized is crucial to avoid communication breakdowns. With so many tasks to juggle and numerous sources of information coming at us every day, it's easy to get overwhelmed and fall behind. Taking the time to get organized and improve your communication skills can help you stay on top of your game as an administrative professional.  

In this article and the following video from Lisa Assetta, you will learn how to: 

  • Use a planner or calendar to keep track of important dates and deadlines.
  • Create a to-do list and prioritize tasks based on their urgency and importance.
  • Communicate clearly and frequently with your team or colleagues to clarify expectations and avoid misunderstandings.

How Does Organization Relate to Communication?

Communication is the backbone of any successful organization. Clear and effective communication is essential to achieving goals, meeting deadlines, and keeping everyone on the same page.

Communication breakdowns can occur for a variety of reasons, from misinterpretation to lack of follow-up. One of the most common causes of communication breakdowns is disorganization. We can avoid this by getting organized.

With strong organizational skills, you can prioritize tasks and create a clear plan of action. This supports effective communication: clarifying expectations and promoting collaboration and productivity. Follow this up by scheduling regular check-ins and providing status updates, and your team is more likely to stay on track, meet deadlines, and achieve shared goals. 

Use a Planner or Calendar

Using a planner or calendar will help you keep track of important dates and deadlines.

  • Use a shared calendar and/or calendar appointments and send invites to your team for critical meetings, milestones, and deadlines. Make sure to set reminders, too.
  • Use a personal paper planner or a digital planner (such as Rocketbook Fusion) to track dates and tasks.

Time Blocking

Time blocking is a proactive way to increase productivity. Once appointments and tasks are on your calendar, block time each week to review, organize, and work on your tasks and projects.

  • Set recurring appointments and stick to them. Exceptions are time-sensitive priorities that may arise. 
  • Prioritize your tasks and identify the “next action,” then block time to begin this action.

The To-Do List

Create a to-do list and a priority list. Then prioritize tasks on your to-do list based on their urgency and importance.

  • Identify the “next action” for each item to make forward progress. Reference: “Getting Things Done” by David Allen
  • Add tasks to your planner or calendar, or use project management software such as Trello or Asana—and don't forget to set reminders for each task.

Pro Tip: Organizing Digital Information

The key to organization is the ability to access information quickly and easily. Create these three folders and place them on your digital desktop:

  • RED – extremely time-sensitive, i.e., must address ASAP
  • TODAY – time-sensitive, i.e., must-do TODAY
  • PROJECTS – create separate folders for each project, and include due date in the label

Note: Do not use your email inbox as a folder. Instead, move items to the appropriate email folder or desktop folder.

Promote Collaboration

Identify and use the tools that work best for your team, so messages are received and responded to efficiently and nothing falls through the cracks. Popular collaboration tools, in addition to email, include: Slack, Trello, Asana, Google Drive, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams.

  • Follow up with action items or next steps, discussed in conversations, to ensure accountability and progress.
  • Always ask for clarification if needed to prevent misunderstandings.

Schedule Check-Ins

Be proactivedon’t wait for communication breakdowns to happen before taking action.

  • Communicate clearly and frequently with your team.
  • Schedule regular check-ins to stay on task, meet deadlines, and achieve common goals.

Check-ins help ensure that everyone is staying on track. They also provide the opportunity to address any potential issues before they become bigger problems.


Organizing skills are critical to prioritize tasks and create a clear plan of action. Pair this with effective collaboration skills, and you will be better equipped to avoid communication breakdowns and achieve greater successfor yourself and for your team.

About the Author: Lisa Assetta is the founder and CEO of Office Assistance Plus, Tampa’s premier office and work-from-home organizing consultant. A career executive administrative professional for C-Suite executives, Lisa became a business owner during the 2020 pandemic, when she launched a company using her administrative and organizing expertise to support, mentor, and inspire professionals to adapt and thrive at working from home. All the company’s services are designed to organize spaces and work life for greater productivity and peace.

A three-time cancer survivor dedicated to giving back and using her business for good, Lisa created CANcer Life Organizing™: a system to empower cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers to find peace through organizing life during cancer treatment and beyond.  

Lisa is a professional speaker, blogger, published writer, and cancer awareness advocate. She is a contributor for the American Society of Administrative Professionals (ASAP) website and presented “How to Gain Peace & Productivity by Getting Organized” at ASAP’s Administrative Professional Conference (APC) in 2022. Lisa was honored as the Local Business Person of the Year in Carrollwood, Tampa, Florida in 2022 and 2023 by Alignable, the largest online referral network for small businesses. 

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