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Career Development Tips

The Importance of Self-Management Skills

Posted by Glassdoor Team

Career Advice Experts

Last Updated Jun 29, 2021

Guide Overview

What are self-management skills?Why are self-management skills important?Examples of self-management skillsHow to improve self-management skillsHow to use self-management skills in the workplace

Guide Overview

Developing self-management skills

When you have strong self-management skills, you tend to be more successful at work. That's because these skills help you stay productive and find ways to embrace your independence. Even if you feel that your abilities in this area are lacking, there are plenty of ways you can work to improve them. Here we further discuss how to manage yourself and provide tips for developing this characteristic.

What are self-management skills?

Self-management skills are your ability to regulate and control your actions, feelings, and thoughts, With these skills, you can follow through on the work you’re supposed to be doing. Likewise, being able to manage yourself can help you be more successful in your goal-setting efforts. Having these skills gives you more control over your career, which may eventually lead to more exciting opportunities.

Why are self-management skills important?

Self-management skills are an important part of showing that you’re a reliable employee. Those without these skills may be unpredictable, which can make an employer nervous. For instance, when someone has a hard time controlling their emotions, they could snap at a customer or say something hurtful to another employee. With having self-regulation, you can calm intense emotions and thoughts, which can lead to smarter actions.

Examples of self-management skills

The following skills are examples of self-management in the workplace:

  • Reliability: Your employer and colleagues can always count on you. When you make a promise, you follow through.
  • Stress management: In high-pressure situations, you remain calm and collected. Rather than losing your focus, you find a way to solve stressful problems.
  • Time management: You can prioritize your tasks and get things done on time. You have ways to stay motivated and avoid procrastination.
  • Trustworthiness: You have a strong code of ethics and always follow your moral compass. Your team can trust what you say and that you will act in the best interest of everyone.
  • Adaptability: When things suddenly change, you can control your discomfort and roll with it. Figuring out ways to embrace new situations comes easily to you.
  • Conscientiousness: You are always mindful of what you say and the way you treat others. Others would describe you as kind and thoughtful.

How to improve self-management skills

If you feel like you could improve your self-management skills, follow these steps:

1. Take care of yourself

Oftentimes, people lose their temper or become disorganized when they aren’t feeling like their best selves. When you prioritize your own wellbeing, you can be more in control of the way you act. This means eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and regularly exercising. Along with taking care of your physical health, make sure to check in on your mental health. Finding ways to relax, getting the support you need, and being more mindful are all ways you can feel more centered.

2. Practice being patient

Managing yourself is much easier when you have a strong sense of patience. For many people, this characteristic comes with practice. When trying to be more patient, remember that everyone works on their own timeline. Likewise, embrace the fact that you don’t have control over many situations and simply need to remain calm as you wait.

3. Focus your attention on one task

Contrary to popular belief, people do not have the ability to successfully multitask. In order to feel more organized and on top of your work, try to focus all of your attention on one task at a time. By creating your own organizational system that helps you prioritize your responsibilities, you can feel calmer and focused. This strategy can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed or stressed.

4. Reflect on your strengths

Take a moment to think about what skills you do best. By understanding what you’re good at and making an effort to become an expert in these areas, you can be in more control of your career trajectory. For instance, if you are a great communicator, you could aim for a role where you can work directly with others. Embracing your strengths can help you feel more confident and at ease.

How to use self-management skills in the workplace

Being conscientious of your actions at work is an important part of self-management. By showing that you can control your actions and act professionally, people will see you as a respectable employee. Practice your self-control in the workplace with these ideas:

1. Set goals

Setting your own goals shows that you have the self-control to reach your ambitions. By staying on track and measuring your progress, you are conveying that you can manage your time and priorities. When setting goals, follow the SMART goal method, meaning that your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

2. Plan for each workday

Keeping a calendar can help you stay organized for the week. Map out all of your tasks and prioritize when you need to complete each one. At the end of each workday, set aside some time to assess what you still need to complete the next day. There are also many things you can do at home to assure you’ll have a successful workday. Examples include picking out your outfit the night before, meal prepping, and getting to bed early.

3. Come to meetings prepared

One way to show your colleagues that you have self-control is by being a valuable resource in a meeting. This means that prior to the meeting, you are organizing your notes, preparing talking points, and gathering important information. Make sure to arrive at the meeting on time or a few minutes early as well. On days when you know you have a meeting, make sure to eat a healthy breakfast, and give yourself enough time to get ready for work.

4. Think before you speak

When discussing a project with colleagues, think through what you’re going to say. This way, you can avoid hurtful responses and offer truly valuable insights. Even if you have critiques, there are always alternative ways to share your thoughts in a productive and professional way.

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