Self-management skills are defined as one’s ability to control their actions, feelings, and thoughts in a calculated and constructive manner in order to follow through on their goals and responsibilities. (GlassDoor) With many professionals continuing their careers in a remote or hybrid role, the ability to work autonomously and self-manage is a fundamental part of improving job performance and productivity. People who are well-developed in self-awareness and self-regulation are “well-positioned to develop a set of self-management skills that support them on their work and personal journeys.” (BetterUp)

“Self-Management is all about becoming your own leader by training your mental, physical, social, and intellectual faculties in different ways.” – Dr. Prem Jagyasi. 

With supporting research from the career resource hub at GlassDoor, we compiled four critical components of effective self-management and reveal steps you can take to improve on each of them:

1. Stress Management

“In high-pressure situations, you remain calm and collected. Rather than losing your focus, you find a way to solve stressful problems.”

Learning to balance your physical and emotional capacities is critical to limiting your stress intake and mastering self-management. Where is the benefit of allowing yourself to focus on your job’s negative features and letting yourself get easily upset with co-workers and clients? Keep your happiness and productivity top of mind by prioritizing your stress management and mental health.

Put It Into Practice: 
– Get outside to release tension and recharge for a productive afternoon.
– Set up appointments with a life coach or therapist.
– Define what being ‘healthy’ looks like in your life.
– Set a sleep schedule.
– Reflect in a journal.
– Exercise regularly.
– Get organized.

2. Time Management

“You can prioritize your tasks and get things done on time. You have ways to stay motivated and avoid procrastination.”

The pandemic pushed us outside of our patterns and inside of our homes. With the high connectivity to our house and family, the importance of establishing boundaries is magnified when it comes to work-life balance and upkeeping productivity. From being consistent in your schedule (no matter what it may look like) to minimizing distractions such as social media, web-surfing, or household chores, effective time management is a source for stability and freedom in a hybrid or remote role.

Put It Into Practice: 
– Set your own deadlines.
– Stick to a consistent schedule.
– Learn to say ‘no.’
– Don’t pressure yourself to multitask. 
– Take breaks. Staying at your desk for 8+ hours allows stress to consume your workday.
– Identify your timewasters. 

3. 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.”

Optimism and resilience are indications of an adaptable employee. The willingness and preparedness to embrace change is a vital component in measuring effectiveness. Within the unpredictability and frequent change brought by COVID-19, many workers’ flexibility and job performance were tested. As a result, this self-management skill was in high demand to see out success. In shifting to new trends and market trends, the ability to navigate change instills trust from management teams and allows them to focus on other areas desperately needing attention. 

Additionally, adaptability is a core value linked to a variety of essential leadership qualities: (Key Step Media)
– Improved ability to lead in challenging environments.
– More practical and rapid responses to unexpected changes & ability to ‘sell the change.’
– Effectiveness in multiple roles, functions, or different organizations.

Put It Into Practice: 
– Research: Be proactive in staying relevant/current – seeking new solutions and strategies to address new or recurring problems. 
– Push yourself to take risks by setting goals that are outside of your comfort zone.
– Get curious. Stay open-minded and encourage others to do the same (i.e., procedures, technology, delegating responsibilities, etc.)

4. Conscientiousness 

“You are always mindful of what you say and the way you treat others. Others would describe you as kind and thoughtful.”

Conscientious people are careful, disciplined, responsible, and thorough, and they tend to plan and think things through before acting. (NOBA Project) Becoming a more conscientious employee (or self-aware employee) grants greater access to our thoughts, feelings, and desires, thus providing a sense of control. Conscientiousness is achieved by taking a more scheduled, communicative, and diligent business approach in tune with high awareness and appreciation for others. Assertive communication is critical to understanding your purpose and maintaining motivation. Digital miscommunication results from the absence of non-verbal cues such as tone, body language, and facial expressions.

Put It Into Practice: 
– Refine your communication skills.
– Schedule ‘check-ins’ with your management team, clients, or co-workers. 
– Set reminders for your tasks and responsibilities. 
– Organize your desk, desktop, and email dashboard. 
– Set methods for improving punctuality (setting clocks back, buffer times, etc.)

“All management starts with self-management, defined as the intentions and actions to be taken and the quantifying of those actions.” -Julian Pencilliah.

Wrap Up

Having these self-management skills shows that you are a reliable and emotionally intelligent employee. Managing yourself properly allows you to be more successful in achieving your goals and opens doors to future exciting career opportunities. What’s next? Reflect on the areas you can improve your self-management. Acknowledging any need for improvements is the first step towards change.

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