Self Management Skills: Definition and Examples

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 28 December 2021

Published 6 June 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Self-management skills boost your productivity and performance at work, which helps in achieving professional goals. It is a soft skill that increases your employability and gives you more control over your career path. These skills are essential to showcase that you will be a reliable employee.

In this article, we will learn what self-management skills are, the importance of these skills and examples of self-management skills.

Related: Soft Skills: Definitions and Examples

What are self-management skills?

Self-management skills allow people to control and regulate their emotions, thoughts and behaviour effectively in different situations. Employees with strong self-management skills can set independent goals and do everything possible to achieve them. Such employees know the importance of controlling emotions and behaviour at the workplace.

Employers prefer candidates with strong self-management skills because when someone finds it difficult to control their thoughts and emotions, they might end up snapping at a customer or saying hurtful things to their colleagues. People with self-management skills are better at managing their behaviour, which leads to smarter workplace actions.

Related: Management Skills: Definition and Examples

Why are self-management skills essential?

Developing these skills not only helps you speed up your career graph, but they are helpful throughout your life. Here are a few reasons why you should master these skills:

  • Make you more organised

  • Boost confidence as you know things are in your control

  • Increase accountability and responsibility

  • Prepare you to face any situation in the workplace

  • Help you set goals and prioritise things to achieve the best possible results at the workplace

Examples of self-management skills

Here are 6 examples of self-management skills you should master for achieving success at the workplace:

1. Stress management

Stress not only shows in your physical appearance but adversely affects the way you function at your workplace. With stress hampering logical thinking and rational decision-making, it is essential to manage workplace stress proactively. Often, employees under stress are incapable of achieving their goals because they constantly worry about things. This reduces productivity and affects mental health. Coping up with stress helps you self-manage your emotions. For de-stressing, follow these simple tactics:

  • Surround yourself with high-spirited people

  • Practice meditation

  • Maintain a healthy diet

  • Take power naps in your lunch break

2. Time management

Everyone has the same 24-hours. The way you manage your day-to-day activities decides your ability to meet deadlines. With strong time management skills, you prioritise tasks, maintain focus, work in an organised manner and avoid potential distractions. Always remember that your time belongs to you; make the best use of it. For effective time management, follow these simple tactics:

  • Create and implement a time management plan

  • Set time limits for every task

  • Create daily work routines and stick to them

  • Prioritise tasks

  • Delegate responsibilities

  • Reduce the use of your phone and social media at the workplace

  • Use time management tools

Related: Time Management Skills: Definition and Examples

3. Organisational skills

Organisational skills help create a structure, boost productivity and help prioritise tasks requiring immediate completion against those you can postpone. Maintaining organisational skills at the workplace ensures you do not develop poor work habits like clutter, inefficiency and miscommunication. From planning a project to keeping your workstation free from piles of documents, organisational skills help you achieve workplace responsibilities. For exceptional organisational skills, follow these simple tactics:

  • Create a to-do-list

  • Set up calendar reminders for deadlines

  • Set a routine and stick to it

  • Ensure your computer and workstation are free from clutter

  • Plan your time

4. Self-motivation

Self-motivation is the ability to encourage yourself to achieve a goal, even when it feels challenging. Once you achieve the goal, it gives a sense of satisfaction and pride. It helps to develop the determination to complete various tasks and achieve goals in the workplace. External factors do not affect self-motivated employees as they are driven by their desire to excel. Self-motivation at the workplace results in promotions, builds trusting relationships with colleagues and increases chances of working on projects of your choice. To self-motivate yourself, follow these simple tactics:

  • Set goals and build a plan

  • Develop a reward system for yourself

  • Challenge yourself to learn new things

  • Think positively

  • Surround yourself with motivated and high-spirited people

  • Come out of your comfort zone

5. Accountability

Accountability is about employees taking ownership of their thoughts, actions and behaviour. Mastering this skill ensures you do not blame others for mistakes you commit in your work. It empowers you to trust yourself. Accountability in the workplace is about building trust and staying committed to doing the right things to achieve a common business goal. Employees with this skill set are more committed to their work, are high on morale and deliver exceptional results.

6. Adaptability

Adaptability means learning new skills, policies, procedures and behaviours in response to changing work environments. The more you can adapt to changing circumstances, the better employee you will be. Adaptability also drives productivity and showcases your ability to be resourceful. Adaptable employees are flexible and effectively respond to their work conditions even when things do not go as planned. Moreover, adaptability is a critical leadership skill and mastering it would make you better equipped to face challenges.

Self-management skills at the workplace

Here are a few self-management skills at the workplace that allow you to strive for your goals and build a healthy work environment:

  • Be punctual and prepare for your meetings in advance. Every time you have a meeting coming up, ensure to prepare a day or two in advance. This ensures you understand the purpose of the meeting and you know why you are attending it. Collect information, write notes and pen down questions you want to ask in the meeting.

  • Have a schedule for each day. Maintain a calendar detailing information on your schedule, meetings and deadlines. Furthermore, map out your tasks and prioritise based on the time left for completion. At the end of each day, assess what you need to complete the following day. Having a schedule for each day lets you efficiently manage your time, ensuring you do not miss deadlines.

  • Set project-specific goals. Setting your workplace goals helps you manage your time and ensure that the project completes on time. When creating your own goals, follow the SMART goal method. This means your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.

  • Assess projects early. Ask questions before working on a project or task. It serves two purposes. First, it ensures you understand the project requirements. Second, you complete the task accurately on time.

  • Have control over your emotions. When discussing projects with colleagues and managers, control your emotions and avoid giving hurtful responses. Share your thoughts productively and professionally.

Related: SMART Goals: Definition and Examples

Self-management skills for your CV

When writing your CV, it is always good to include the self-management skills you possess. Build on your self-management skills by elaborating on instances where you completed work on strict deadlines and were adaptable to changing business policies. Employees showcasing all or a few self-management skills are valuable assets, so do not shy from sharing them on your CV.

Example:I use a to-do-list to plan and organise my daily responsibilities. The list allows prioritising tasks that are more important and helps in setting clear deadlines. In my last job, creating this to-do-list helped me organise my work and I was always left with time to fact-check my work. This ensured the timely completion of work. I also shared the to-do-list concept with my team members and helped them better organise their day. As a result, the team's efficiency and productivity improved."

Related: What is a CV?

Self-management skills for your job interview

Showcase your time management skill in an interview by arriving prepared and on time. Wear proper attire and carry a copy of your CV. Come prepared for the interview by researching about the company and the project you are interviewing for. These activities tell the employer your ability to think ahead and take initiative.

During the interview, try co-relating your answers with your self-management skills. Give examples of how self-management skills helped you excel at your previous jobs.

Example: “In my last job as an HR executive, I reviewed CVs for job openings. The company received a high volume of CVs daily, making it a difficult and repetitive task. Sometimes I had 100 CVs to review in a day and over time, all CVs started looking the same. To ensure maximum efficiency, I created a reward system for myself. I set a goal to review 30 CVs at a time, then give myself a 10-minute coffee break and returned to complete the next 30 CVs. This self-motivation helped me accomplish my goals without compromising on efficiency and productivity. Due to this, no new applicant had to wait for more than 5 days for a response.”

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