Self Management Skills Definition And Examples

Self-management is a crucial life skill, a prerequisite for the individual who wishes to improve his life and achieve success in the workplace and in society.

Self management definition

Self-management refers to an individual’s ability to manage and regulate their own thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and actions in order to achieve personal goals and maintain overall well-being. It involves taking responsibility for one’s own actions, making proactive choices, and setting priorities.

Effective self-management requires a combination of self-awareness, self-control, self-motivation, and self-discipline.

It also involves developing strategies for coping with stress, managing time, and overcoming obstacles that may arise in pursuit of one’s goals.

Successful self-management can lead to greater personal satisfaction, improved relationships, and increased productivity.

For example, sometimes you are impatient and irritable and you take out the feeling on your kids or people around you unconsciously.

What is self-management really?

To record impressive success with managing yourself, you must be able to understand your emotions and thoughts and be in control of them as you employ them in the application of your emotional intelligence to make decisions about your behaviour.

A lot of factors can come in the way of your being able to give your life direction like stress, thoughtlessness, procrastination, and others.

Your ability to navigate past these mental hitchhikers is competence in self-management.

Having competence in self-management is essential for success no matter what one does in life. Someone who is competent in self-management knows how to organize himself, act, and behave in any given situation.

They know how to keep their anger in check, scrutinize their opinions before making them public, and consider other people’s convenience before they put up a behaviour.

They are applicable wherever you find yourself and when applied properly, would propel you quickly up the social ladder.

There are skills required to become competent at self-management that is essential for fulfilling your obligation in society.

This is because you are overwhelmed with emotions. You can’t even restrain yourself from the surging emotions.

This is an example of a lack of self-management. Attitudes like quick temper and indecision are examples of a lack of self-management.

This article takes you through the definition of self-management, skills, and examples.

Self-management would prompt you to know that whatever frustration you are having is not the fault of the kids and so shouldn’t partake in the frustration.

Restraining yourself from negative instinctive behaviours or encouraging yourself on deliberate positive behaviours is self-management.

Before one can perfectly manage himself, he must constantly have silent soliloquy in a productive dialogue to decide and brainstorm on every emotional situation.

Related: Understanding Social Intelligence: A Guide to Navigating Social Situations

As unavoidable as emotions and feelings are, they must be handled inside the self before exporting to be outside.

Those who are skilled in self-regulation tend to be flexible and adapt well to change. They are also good at managing conflict and diffusing tense or difficult situations.

They think about ways to influence others and take responsibility for their own actions.

Watch this short video on self-management by Minds-on ATL

Self-management: Credit Minds-on ATL

What is the Importance of self management in personal and professional life?

Self-management is an important skill that can benefit individuals in both their personal and professional lives. Here are some of the key reasons why self-management is important:

  • Improved productivity and efficiency: When individuals practice self-management, they are better able to manage their time and prioritize tasks, leading to increased productivity and efficiency.
  • Better time management: Self-management helps individuals to make the most of their time by setting clear goals and deadlines, avoiding distractions, and staying focused on their priorities.
  • Reduced stress and anxiety: When individuals have a clear plan and are able to manage their time effectively, they are less likely to feel overwhelmed or stressed. This can lead to better overall well-being and reduced anxiety.
  • Increased self-esteem and confidence: Self-management requires individuals to take control of their own lives and make decisions that align with their goals and values. This can lead to increased self-esteem and confidence as individuals feel empowered and in control of their own lives.
  • Better decision-making: When individuals practice self management, they are better able to make informed and effective decisions that align with their goals and priorities.

Self-management as a component of emotional intelligence

Self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and social management are the complete components of emotional and social intelligence that sets you up for success in society. Self-management is also called self-regulation.

Self management is a critical component of EI because it involves the ability to regulate one’s own emotions and behaviors, adapt to changing situations, and remain focused on long-term goals.

People with strong self-management skills are often better able to manage stress, avoid impulsive decisions, and maintain their composure in challenging situations, all of which are important aspects of emotional intelligence.

What is an important part of self-management?

An important part of self-management is developing self-discipline. This involves setting clear goals and priorities for yourself, creating a plan of action to achieve those goals, and then holding yourself accountable for following through on that plan.

It also involves managing your time effectively, staying focused on the task at hand, and avoiding distractions and procrastination.

Additionally, practicing self-care and maintaining a healthy work-life balance are important aspects of self-management.

By developing strong self-discipline and taking care of yourself, you can better manage your emotions, behaviors, and actions, which can lead to greater success and fulfillment in all areas of your life.

How do you demonstrate self-management?

Some ways to demonstrate self-management include:

  • Setting clear goals and priorities: This involves identifying what you want to achieve and setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals. You should also prioritize your goals based on their importance and urgency.
  • Managing your time effectively: This involves planning and scheduling your tasks and activities in a way that allows you to accomplish your goals and meet your deadlines. You can use tools like calendars, to-do lists, and time trackers to help you manage your time more effectively.
  • Being proactive and taking initiative: This involves taking responsibility for your actions and making things happen rather than waiting for them to happen. You can do this by being proactive in seeking out opportunities, taking calculated risks, and solving problems before they become bigger issues.
  • Staying organized and focused: This involves keeping your workspace and your mind organized and focused on your goals. You can do this by keeping your workspace tidy, minimizing distractions, and practicing mindfulness and meditation.
  • Managing stress and emotions: This involves recognizing and managing your emotions and stress levels in order to stay calm, focused, and productive. You can do this by practicing self-care activities like exercise, deep breathing, and meditation, and by seeking support from friends, family, or a mental health professional if needed.

Here are some of the skills:

Self management skills and examples

Self management skills are essential for the success of an individual

There are skills that make up self management that people practice to be able to have a grip on the rudder of their lives.

These skills anchor on thoughts, emotions, feelings, and actions as described above. A strong self-manager sets goals and goes ahead to achieve them with discipline and motivation.

Below are the sets of skills a self-manager is expected to possess:

1. Be aware of yourself

Self awareness is the starting point to managing the entire self. “Man know thy self.” Without proper in-depth knowledge of your emotions, strengths, likes, and dislikes, then you would be groping.

When you know these things, you would be able to know how they affect your personality and how to avoid or handle them.

The ability to deliberately access your emotions and thoughts, and desires and have them in check is commendable.

If you cannot manage anger, then you cannot manage anger, love, happiness, and other emotions that you don’t have control over how they come.

The ability to consciously access our thoughts, desires, and feelings can help us control our behaviors.

This, in turn, can have a direct impact on our performance, and how others perceive

2. Organization

Being organized is a crucial skill in being successful at managing self. You have to be deliberate about it as things such as goal setting cannot come by a genie.

You have to know your strengths, your weaknesses, and things that work for you.

Time, physical space, personal care, and mental capabilities are areas you have to keep organized for optimum performance.

You wouldn’t want to bump into tasks every other day. Coming up with a plan where your life is partitioned into bits is the way to go. Your leisure, work, family, and rest are ways to have clarity about your activities.

3. Goal setting and alignment

It’s only a person that has a purpose that sets goals, did I mention realistic goals? Having lofty goals is okay, but goals are better achieved in bits.

Winning bit by bit makes you reach your bigger goals quickly as you would have a clearer perspective of your direction.

The success of an organization relies on the ability of the team members to be goal oriented. The bigger goal must be the focus and should be relevant enough to drive motivation.

4. Time management

Time lost, can never be back in your lifetime. It is the most expensive resource there is under the sun.

You wouldn’t want to waste it. With organization and goal setting, you would be able to partition your time according to your priorities.

With proper management of your time, you would be able to manage goals that are relevant to your future.

At the workplace, time is sacrosanct in meeting deadlines and up performance. An employee that does not work on time is quarriable and that’s a sign of an unserious employee.

5. Motivation

Purpose and desire are the drivers of motivation. If you don’t have the desire to achieve, you would just drift along in existence and there would be no need to manage anything.

Motivation is required in every task – from waking to preparing for work, to getting that project done. A strong purpose must be on the ground for motivation to have something to act on.

6. Stress management

Everyone would experience stress at a time. It is woven into our lives, what makes a difference is how we approach and manage it.

It is not a nice feeling when you are overwhelmed with stress, you hardly have clear though and make critical decisions.

It is not always easy when you are overwhelmed with stress, not even to think clearly or make a critical decision because your emotions are not accessible, and even if they were, the result of trying to have a serious thought process would be truncated. And believe me, you won’t be proud of the result.

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However, you can manage stress by applying organizational skills. You see that self management skills are interwoven.

To manage stress, you have to take the needed rest. No matter the kind of stress bedeviling you, substantial rest should help.

7. Responsibility

As the manager of yourself, you are accountable to yourself. A responsible manager should be able to own his mistakes and bask in the glory because his decisions and actions produced the result.

When you are responsible, you can better evaluate your performance and identify where needs improvement.

8. Avoid multitasking

We are always tempted to jumble projects especially when the deadline is against us. We should be organized enough not to succumb to multitasking as research has shown it has detrimental effects on the brain and overall job quality.

Multitasking messes with your focus, comprehension, and attention which can impart overall productivity negatively.

Facing one task squarely is the way to go and give it all your attention and energy.

See the video on the effects of multitasking on your brain by BBC:

Improving self-management

The following tips would help to improve self-management and act like a leash of restraint:

  • Set clear goals and priorities: Define your goals and prioritize them based on their importance and urgency. This will help you to focus your time and energy on the things that matter most.
  • Develop a routine or schedule: Create a routine or schedule that includes regular work and rest periods. Stick to this routine as much as possible, as it will help you to establish good habits and manage your time effectively.
  • Avoid distractions: Identify the things that distract you the most and find ways to minimize them. This might mean turning off your phone during work hours or using noise-cancelling headphones to block out noise.
  • Learn to say “no”: It’s important to recognize when you are taking on too much and to say “no” to requests or commitments that do not align with your priorities or goals.
  • Practice self-care: Take care of your physical and mental health by getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising regularly, and taking breaks when needed.
  • Embrace self-discipline: Discipline yourself to follow through on your commitments and to stick to your schedule, even when it’s difficult or uncomfortable.

By implementing these tips, you can improve your self-management skills and become more effective at managing your time, achieving your goals, and reducing stress and anxiety.


Self-management is an essential life skill to stay organized and keep a tab on all your activities.

It makes you not just drift along life, but have a sense of purpose and achievement.

The above skills would surely set anyone on the path of achieving his goals if followed judiciously.

Frequently asked questions about self-management

Here are some frequently asked questions about self-management:

What is self-management?

Self-management is the ability to take responsibility for your own actions and to regulate your own behavior in order to achieve your goals and objectives. It involves setting priorities, making plans, managing your time effectively, and staying focused on your goals.

Why is self-management important?

Self-management is important because it allows individuals to take control of their lives and to make informed decisions that align with their goals and values. It helps to reduce stress and anxiety, increase productivity and efficiency, and improve overall well-being.

What are some self-management skills?

Some self-management skills include goal setting, time management, organization, prioritization, decision-making, self-discipline, and self-reflection.

How can I improve my self-management skills?

You can improve your self-management skills by setting clear goals and priorities, developing a routine or schedule, avoiding distractions, learning to say “no”, practicing self-care, and embracing self-discipline.

What are the consequences of poor self-management?

Poor self-management can lead to increased stress and anxiety, decreased productivity and efficiency, missed deadlines, and a general sense of feeling overwhelmed and out of control.

Can self-management skills be learned?

Yes, self-management skills can be learned and developed with practice and persistence. By implementing self-management strategies and being intentional about your actions, you can improve your self-management skills and become more effective at achieving your goals and reducing stress and anxiety.

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What Is Self-Management, and How Can You Improve It?

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A Personal Development Content Creator and an author. I write about life ethics and love to document and share life hacks and experiences of people to help others make good life decisions.

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