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Self-Management Skills: Tips & Examples for Success

Employee Wellbeing
June 21, 2022
Rad time: 10min
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Self-management skills are critical for the workplace and also useful in any setting outside of work. The ability to manage one’s own behaviours, emotions, and thoughts productively and consciously can make all the difference in your personal and professional life and positively impact on your mental wellbeing.

In this article, we will look at how to improve self-management skills through several self-management techniques. We’ll also see the role that an employee wellbeing solution can play in a workplace setting to help boost self-management skills. 

What is Self-Management? What are Self-Management Skills?   

Self-management is the capability to know how to act and react in situations. Self-management is closely related to emotional intelligence, which is defined as “the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathise with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict.”

In a workplace, there are many different people and personality types and traits coming together to achieve united goals. Self-management proves to be of utmost importance in having teams work together and making it possible to co-create and overcome challenges

Self-management skills are those that allow one to control their actions, thoughts, and feelings. These skills not only help to communicate and work alongside others, but they also help to make it possible to reach one’s own personal goals. 

There are tools like employee wellbeing platforms that help employees to recognise, address, and strengthen their own thoughts and feelings positively, which then have an effect on their actions. 

Such platforms aid in supporting the development of self-management skills because they provide learning journeys, digital check-ins, and tailored steps to boost mental wellbeing and mental fitness. 

What are 4 Key Self Management Skills?   

Regardless of the type of role you fulfill in your workplace, self-management skills prove crucial to any position. Here’s a look at four of the key self-management skills that employees and employers alike will agree are pivotal to success. 

1. Organisation

Being organised at work can make the difference between meeting a deadline and missing a deadline. It comes down to knowing how to prioritise your own to-do list and knowing what you’ll need to get a task done before you even begin.  

2. Time Management 

Since time is a limited and valuable resource, time management is key. There are few principles of time management to live by. 

For starters, you must own that time is yours to choose how you spend it, and the excuse of “not having enough time,” really comes down to making time for what you actually want. 

Additionally, you can rely on the idea of the Pareto Principle, which is that 20% of your inputs should account for 80% of outputs. If that’s not the case, then take a look at what you focus on. 

3. Accountability

Accountability is required in a workplace setting because other people are counting on you to get your responsibilities done. 

When you are being held accountable and are accountable for your own actions, then you may feel more engaged and motivated to do well because your work becomes a reflection of you.

4. Initiative

Initiative is a great self-management tool to hone because it ends up allowing for more autonomy. When you show and take initiative, management will be more likely to delegate and less likely to micromanage. 

Why is Self-Management Important?   

Self-management skills can provide you the means by which to excel in personal and professional settings. Employees who possess self-management skills may be  more likely to be promoted because employers can trust them to overcome challenges and execute their roles with confidence and competence.. 

With self-management skills, you become a more desirable candidate for any job - it is likely that you will demonstrate greater discipline and consistency in your performance. When this is recognised by your employer, it could mean that you will likely feel more appreciated for your delivery and outputs.

Self-management skills also end up massively benefitting your overall mental wellbeing. For example, if you have strong time management skills, you will be less likely to feel stressed about missing a deadline.

By Max van den Oetelaar from Unsplash

How to Improve Self-Management Skills and Increase Abilities?   

There are various techniques and things you can do to improve your self-management skills to reap the benefits of self-management. Along with whatever is in your own control, you can also seek the aid of your employers and management teams to help you along your journey. We’ll touch on that more in depth shortly. 

But before we get to the role of your employers, let’s take a look at some ways you can improve your self-management skills: 

1. Align Goals 

In your workplace, consider what the organisation’s goals are. At the same time, take stock of your own professional goals. Make note of the big picture and your place in it. This way, you will feel more motivated to accomplish your tasks well because both your professional goals and the organisation’s goals are in sync. 

When you have a bad day or face a challenge, you can remind yourself of what you’re working towards in the long-run to try to help get you back on track. 

2. Learn to Prioritise 

Chances are, you will face times when you have a lot on your plate. It may be seemingly too much to handle. But, if you break down your tasks in order of importance and priority, you can start shaving away at the list. 

At the same time, you must remain cognisant of how much you can actually manage in a day’s work. So, set realistic goals. 

If it so happens that you won’t be able to get something done by the time a deadline comes, then communicate that openly with management so another avenue can be explored. This comes down to being accountable and honest about your workload. 

3. Know Your Strengths 

When you understand your strengths, you can work smarter instead of harder. The strengths you already possess can be used to your advantage to excel in your career. In the same vein, when you identify your strengths, you can also make a mental note of things you can work on being better at.

4. Use Deadlines

While the idea of having deadlines may at first feel stress-inducing, they can actually be very helpful in terms of developing self-management skills. Here’s why: when you set a goal without a time frame, you can continue to put it off. 

But, when you set a deadline for your goals, you can create an actionable set of steps to achieve your goal within the set period. This is a great example of how you can use time management to your advantage. 

5. Take Breaks

When honing your self-management skills, you may be making many changes. Don’t forget to take breaks and look at your progress. Changing everything at once or becoming the best of yourself typically doesn’t happen in a day. 

6. Focus on Awareness 

Having self-awareness is a primary ingredient to improving self-management abilities. Think about it: if you aren’t aware of what triggers you or situations that cause you to feel certain ways, then you won’t be able to manage them or get ahead of them. 

But, when you are focused so much on getting things done at work, you can easily forget to check-in with your emotions. 

An employee wellbeing platform can offer a great solution for this all too common problem. Employee wellbeing platforms are equipped with expert-designed assessments and space for employees to slow down and describe how and why they feel a certain way. 

Not only does this help foster self-awareness, but it also provides such insights on a cumulative view to management and HR teams to provide extra support and resources wherever they may be needed. 

7. Solicit Feedback 

It’s always useful to get feedback from your managers and/or colleagues about where you’re doing well and where you can improve. Having access to this type of feedback will help you know what self-management skills to prioritise and work on the most. 

8. Prioritise Self-Care 

Becoming your best self requires self-care. Only you know what you are capable of and what you are feeling. Self-care can look different for everyone. For one person, it may be slowing down, and for another, it may be knowing when to ask for help. 

Self-care reduces the chance of burnout. In a work setting, self-care can also come from developing one’s mental fitness. 

Having a strong sense of mental fitness means that you know how to adapt to changing situations, you are resilient, and you hold yourself in a positive light and can celebrate your wins. 

Just like an employee wellbeing platform can be a resource to develop self-awareness, it also provides resources and learning journeys to optimise your mental fitness. 

9. Reflect On Your Success 

Wherever you are on your self-management skill enhancement journey, look at how far you have come and celebrate it. In your professional and personal life, you have likely accomplished a lot. It’s of great value to reflect on your success as it can serve as immense motivation to keep on going! 

How to Use Self-Management in the Workplace?   

A little bit of self-management can go a long way in your workplace. 

These are a few ways in which you can apply self-management skills in any professional setting (even when you are working from home):

1. Show up prepared 

When it comes to meetings, it’s always best to be prepared in advance. This entails having your notes ready, understanding the meeting’s objectives in advance (if you don’t, then reach out to the meeting organizer and ask - this is another example of taking initiative), and speaking up if you have something of value to add. Try to build in protected planning time beforehand. 

2. Plan your day 

Using a calendar is one of the most obvious and easiest ways to maintain control of your schedule and meet deadlines. Along with calendars, consider devising your prioritised to-do list a day ahead of time, so that when you are ready for work the next day, you already know what you want to accomplish. 

3. Communicate 

Knowing your needs and expressing them are two different, but crucial ingredients for success at work. The gap between them comes down to your ability to communicate. 

Be open with your managers and colleagues about your workload, where you need more support, and what you’ve been able to accomplish so far. 

4. Reflect

Take time to reflect on when you are at your best;  Some people work better in the morning, whereas others get a burst of brain power in the late afternoon.  Being aware of your preferences and reflecting on your working habits can be a helpful way to self-manage your energy and impact on positively on your performance.

The Bottom Line 

Employees who possess self-management skills tend to be more productive and satisfied at work. They are able to take control of their inputs and outputs and know when to ask for help because they are self-aware. 

With improved self-management skills, you can optimise your own mental wellbeing and position yourself to reach your highest potential. 

Employees can gain the support of their employers with the use of employee wellbeing platforms, as this powerful software solution empowers employees to track their mood, understand what impacts it, feel more engaged at work, and build stronger relationships with people.

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