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7 techniques for better self-management

Self Management
Self-management: definition and significance
Why self-management methods work
Self-management techniques: Simplify your daily life
Time and self-management: How to gain more time
Final thoughts: Self-management is becoming increasingly important

The feeling of being overworked and overwhelmed is all too common. Tasks pile up and time feels scarce.

The key isn’t trying to create more time but mastering self-management to navigate your workload effectively.

What is self-management?

Self-management describes the ability to shape one’s own professional and personal development relatively independently of external influences. In a business context, it also means a structured working method that helps avoid time pressure and increase personal productivity.

Self-management: definition and significance

Self-management skills are a willingness to responsibly steer and shape one’s life at both private and professional levels so that one’s motivation, performance ability and a healthy work-life balance are maintained in the long term.

In other words, you demonstrate self-management competence if you proactively manage your business and personal daily routines with a healthy dose of emotional intelligence.

Why self-management methods work

Effective self-management strategies are a crucial success factor for performance and decision-making at work. They’re also personally beneficial because self-management means structure.

Structure in daily life prevents chaos and brings relief. Self-management methods help you to:

  • Plan effectively

  • Be more organized

  • Distinguish important from unimportant tasks

  • Prioritize

  • Pursue your own goals more rigorously

  • Experience less stress and negative time pressure

The goal of self-management is ultimately to find a better structure. This gives you more time for essential tasks, helps with goal setting and reduces the influence of external factors.

Importantly, this doesn’t mean you must schedule every second of your day. On the contrary, buffer times are as essential as planned periods. Self-management techniques can play a significant role in positively influencing your professional and private daily life.

This requires some self-care and self-awareness. Self-management skills are crucial for personal and professional growth. They help individuals manage their time, tasks and emotions effectively. However, if you view the development of your self-management skills as part of your personal development, it can even be enjoyable.

Self-management techniques: Simplify your daily life

Better self-management can simplify your daily life, making you more productive and satisfied. The first step is to learn strategies that support you in achieving your set short and long-term goals while avoiding procrastination.

Here are some of the best self-management techniques we’ve compiled for you:

  • The Pomodoro Technique helps you boost productivity by alternating between work phases and breaks. You divide your tasks into segments and work for three sessions of 25 minutes each, with five-minute breaks in between. After the fourth interval, take a 30-minute break. Browser-based desktop timers like the Tomato Timer help keep time.

  • The ABC Method focuses on organization and prioritization. First, list all the tasks you have. Then categorize them into three groups: A-tasks are very important and should be handled immediately, B-tasks are less critical and can be scheduled or delegated and C-tasks are relatively unimportant and can be delegated or discarded.

  • The Eisenhower Box sorts all tasks by how important and urgent they are. The Eisenhower Matrix creates four types of tasks: important and urgent, important and less urgent, urgent and not important and neither urgent nor important. Your daily plan should then prioritize tasks accordingly.

  • Getting Things Done (GTD), created by well-known US author David Allen, emphasizes capturing all pending tasks in as few systems as possible to increase productivity. The four typical lists include an action list, a project list, a calendar and a review list. And remember, according to this method, anything that takes less than two minutes should be done immediately.

  • To-do lists are a classic among self-management techniques and form the basis for many other methods. Modern time management skills should include more: a column for “to do”, a column for “relax” and a column for “not to do” for all the distractions that can steal your time.

  • Clear goals are a big motivator. The SMART method helps you realistically assess, plan and achieve your goals. The acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Attractive, Realistic and Time-bound. With the SMART method, you set very tangible goals, focus on measurable metrics and plan so that you’re motivated to stay involved and keep your objectives realistic.

  • The ALPEN method assists with daily planning and comprises five steps. You proceed letter by letter: A stands for writing down activities, L for estimating the length of the task, P stands for planning buffer time (really 60% for spontaneous tasks and interruptions), E means establishing decision priorities and sorting them by importance and N for reviewing and noting success (what have you accomplished?) Outstanding items are scheduled for the next day.

Time and self-management: How to gain more time

Time management and self-management are closely related. If you don’t plan and organize your workday well, you’ll primarily lack one thing: time.

While you can’t control time – it always passes at the same rate and a day invariably has 24 hours – the term “time management” can be somewhat misleading. What truly matters is what you do with your time.

Self-management means evolving how you work. Various methods, techniques and apps can help you increase productivity and manage stress. You gain what seems elusive: more time.

Final thoughts: Self-management is becoming increasingly important

To avoid being overwhelmed amid back-to-back meetings and packed schedules, it’s crucial to find strategies that help keep your workday under control if you want to own emotional regulation and career development.

Self-management techniques can help you meet numerous demands in an organized manner while keeping your work-life balance in check. The best way to find out which methods suit you is to try them out.

By adopting effective self-management practices, you can make significant strides in managing your daily responsibilities more efficiently, ensuring you meet and exceed professional and personal goals.

As you become adept at self-management, you’ll likely find your days less chaotic and more productive, allowing you to achieve better well-being.

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