8 self-management skills to learn for personal and professional productivity


Self-management is a way to control your knowledge and understanding to stay aware of things related to your professional and personal life. As a result, you become more efficient at what you do.

By developing self-management skills, you can have a better and clearer perception of your abilities. Read on to learn about the proven self-management skills you need to learn.

1. Time management

An image showing someone managing their time

In both personal and professional life, you have to be careful with time management. Efficient use of time is often a metric that expresses productivity figures.

In addition, time management ensures an optimal work-life balance. This skill becomes the basis for the development of other vital self-management skills.

There are different time management techniques that you can follow depending on your needs. You can also use applications that help you implement these techniques.

  • GTD method: This method consists of five steps, namely Capture, Clarify, Organize, Review and Engage. Infinity is a GTD tool that helps you stay focused and get the job done on time.
  • Time blocking method: It allows you to divide your day into blocks of time and assign a block for each job. Todoist is a time blocker app that you can use to describe tasks.
  • Parkinson’s law: Although it is not a time management technique, understanding this law helps manage your tasks and your time. By law, the more time you have to complete a task, the more time you will take. Procrastinators need to understand this and create deadlines accordingly.
  • Technique of eating this frog: In this technique, you complete the difficult task first. Then, accomplishing the remaining tasks becomes easy.
  • Pomodoro technique: This method allows you to take a short break after working for a specific time to avoid exhaustion. The Pomodoro app helps you automate the five minute break after working for 25 minutes.

2. Stress management

A visual of a respondent who is stressed

As the amount of stress in our lives increases, you need to implement proper stress management. It will help you to move forward in your tasks. Not everyone reacts to stress the same way, and the ways you deal with stress differ from person to person.


While you cannot completely eliminate stress from life, managing it properly will ensure better self-management. Healthy eating and sleeping habits can reduce stress and help you stay calm. You can listen to your favorite songs and meditate on Spotify for stress relief and better focus.

3. Self-motivation

A motivation visualization

Even if you want to accomplish something with all your heart, staying motivated all the time can be difficult because external factors can distract you. Therefore, mastering self-motivation will help you avoid distractions, especially when there is an urgent task at hand.

This self-management skill keeps your enthusiasm intact throughout a task. You can motivate yourself to become a productive person by practicing them:

  1. Have a positive outlook on life and work.

  2. Prioritize your tasks and goals.

  3. Track your progress and work towards growth.

  4. Reward yourself after achieving goals.

  5. Try to make your goals achievable and fun.

4. Organization

A visual for an organized work table

Organization is an essential quality of self-management that inspires you to become productive and competent. It’s about keeping your workspace clean and getting your day-to-day tasks done by planning and prioritizing. Stay organized and you can complete your tasks in an orderly fashion without getting distracted.

As the computer has become an indispensable part of the work, you also need to keep it organized. Sort all files and documents into separate folders based on category, so you don’t spend hours searching for a file. Plus, write down the tasks you need to complete today in Microsoft To-Do so you don’t forget any.

5. Goal setting

An image showing the configuration of the objectives

When it comes to self-management, goal setting is of utmost importance. It also goes hand in hand with your productivity. It is only if you have specific goals in your personal and professional life that you can measure whether or not you are going in the right direction.

You will know what you want to accomplish if you continue to see the goals in front of you. SMART Criteria is a goal setting method that allows you to better define goals. You can use Joe’s Goals to set goals by implementing SMART Criteria.

Related: How to Increase Your Productivity Using SMART Criteria

6. Significant productivity

Productivity doesn’t mean working day and night. It means achieving your goal with minimal effort and time. Measuring productivity is not easy as it involves various measures like time, labor, output, cost, etc.

You can focus on achieving meaningful productivity as part of self-management skills. By combining time management and goal setting, you can work to become productive in the most meaningful way. Plus, to track your productivity and that of your team, you can use universal reporting in Asana.

7. Liability

A visual showing being responsible

In a nutshell, responsibility is accepting responsibility for your actions. It is closely linked to motivation and productivity. When you have responsibility, you hold yourself accountable for the commitment you made. This means that you don’t look for any excuse when things don’t go as planned.

Many people tend to hold others accountable for their failures. But, they are happy to take credit for their success in work and in personal life. However, this is not the sign of a productive person. True achievers always accept their flaws and do their best to achieve positive results.

If you are a responsible person, your family, friends and coworkers will see you as trustworthy and will ask for help when needed. You can become responsible by practicing the following tips:

  1. Put in constant effort

  2. Respect the deadline religiously

  3. Accept your faults

  4. Know your strengths and weaknesses

8. Self-awareness and regulation

Self-awareness and regulation are an integral part of self-control. It is about having a conscious knowledge of your own character and feelings. If you are aware of yourself, you can have a positive impact on your work. But, you may think that you cannot be aware of yourself because it is an involuntary action.

You can become consciously aware of yourself, and with the right approach this will increase over time. Self-regulation is just as vital, as it allows you to control your emotions and manage your workload in personal and professional life. Here are some quick tips for building self-awareness:

  1. Be focused and attentive to what you are doing.

  2. Listen to others actively and attentively.

  3. Introduce yourself to understand yourself.

  4. Ask for feedback at work for self-assessment.

Bring out the best in you

Without self-management skills, you will fall behind on your journey to success. Follow the tips mentioned above to develop self-management skills.

You can increase your personal productivity in the home office or the workplace with proper execution and regular practice.

An illustration of several productivity tools on a notepad
The 9 best free apps to increase your personal productivity

There are so many productivity apps and tools to choose from. But only a few of them focus on improving your personal productivity. Check them!

Read more

About the Author


Comments are closed.