10 Tips for Managing Yourself (Plus Definition and Benefits)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published September 2, 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.

Managing yourself effectively can be a valuable skill to develop and maintain. Self-management is an important part of successfully completing your tasks with little or no supervision. Understanding the importance of and how to manage yourself can have a positive impact on your professional and personal life. In this article, we define managing yourself, discuss its benefits and provide a list of 10 tips to help you manage yourself effectively.

Related: Self-Management Skills: Definition and Example

What does managing yourself mean?

Managing yourself or practicing self-management means you can complete tasks without supervision or direction. Self-management is an important skill to develop because it can have a positive impact on your productivity, efficiency and quality of your work. Managing yourself and your time effectively can enhance your professional performance and apply to areas of your personal life as well. By managing yourself effectively, you may benefit from lower stress levels, increased organization and an enhanced understanding of your priorities.

Related: Guide to Self-Leadership

Benefits of managing yourself

There are several benefits of managing yourself effectively, including:

Flexibility

Managing yourself can provide you with the benefit of flexibility. When practicing self-management, you may have the freedom to set your own schedule and determine the order in which you complete your tasks. This flexibility can provide an opportunity to prioritize important or time-sensitive responsibilities or to work on the tasks you enjoy. This flexibility can also allow for more time to pursue hobbies and interests outside of your professional responsibilities.

Developing skills

Managing yourself can be an effective way to develop valuable skills. These skills could include organization, prioritization, problem-solving, self-motivation, communication and scheduling. These skills could apply to a variety of professional endeavors and may help you be more successful in your career.

Proving self-sufficiency

Many employers look for employees who have a sense of self-sufficiency. Self-sufficiency means you're able to complete your tasks with little or no direction and can take initiative to fulfill your responsibilities. Managing yourself can help foster your self-sufficiency and could impress future employers or hiring managers.

Increasing efficiency

The process of managing yourself often involves creating strategies to increase your motivation, organization productivity and efficiency. Through these processes, you may develop an understanding of how to better manage your time. Effective time management can have several long-term benefits, from stress reduction to enhanced performance quality.

Related: Self-Regulation Skills: Definition and Examples

Tips for managing yourself effectively

Below are 10 tips to help you manage yourself effectively:

1. Practice self-awareness

Practicing self-awareness is an important first step toward managing yourself effectively. When you understand your existing habits, work methods and organizational techniques, you may feel more equipped to make decisions about how to more effectively manage your time. Understanding which of these items contributes to your success and which could hinder your productivity could help you make thoughtful choices about modifying your current processes.

2. Create routines

Creating a consistent routine to which easily adhere can help you more effectively practice self-management. Consider creating a daily schedule that includes all of your work-related tasks and personal activities to keep yourself motivated and on track. It may be beneficial to create smaller sub-tasks within your larger or more complex schedule items. Completing smaller tasks throughout the day can help you feel encouraged and satisfied as you fulfill each responsibility.

3. Make time to rest

It's important to make time to rest when managing yourself effectively. You may dedicate a certain time of the workday to practice self-care. This could include eating a healthy lunch, reading a book, listening to music, stretching or getting some exercise. Taking time away from your work-related tasks can help you come back to your responsibilities feeling refreshed and motivated to finish your day of work.

4. Time your tasks

If you're having trouble maintaining a routine or adhering to a schedule, you may benefit from timing your tasks. Try checking the time before you begin a task and seeing how long it takes for you to complete the item. Doing this can give you a more comprehensive understanding of the rate at which you complete different schedule items and could help you more accurately create daily schedules.

5. Be open to change

If you feel your current methods aren't contributing to your self-management, you may need to adjust some of your strategies. It's important to not get too attached to your habits or methods so that you can shift your focus, technique or system to better serve your goals. Practicing self-awareness can help you identify areas of your routine that could need adjustment.

6. Be realistic

While it may be tempting to strive for high levels of productivity, it's important to remain realistic when setting goals for yourself. Creating realistic, achievable goals can help prevent burnout and feelings of discouragement. Be sure to honestly reflect on your objectives so that you can create goals that feel reasonable and within your capabilities.

Related: How To Stay Self-Motivated at Work

7. Hold yourself accountable

Holding yourself accountable is an important step toward effectively managing yourself. Accountability means taking responsibility for the completion of your tasks and motivating yourself to fulfill your objectives when you're feeling distracted or unfocused. To hold yourself accountable, consider creating strict deadlines for important or time-sensitive tasks. You can also try eliminating or limiting distractions while working to keep yourself focused on your current task.

8. Prioritize tasks

Prioritizing tasks in a way that helps you reach your highest level of productivity may help you practice effective self-management. Prioritizing tasks means beginning with the most pressing items and gradually completing less and less urgent responsibilities. Consider prioritization when creating your daily schedule to help you determine when you should complete certain items. Some people may find it helpful to begin with the most difficult task and work toward easier tasks as their workday ends.

9. Create boundaries

Creating boundaries is an effective way to limit distractions and excuses from your workday. Boundaries can include personal limitations on breaks or distractions or boundaries with your personal and professional acquaintances. For example, you may limit yourself to an hour-long lunch break or you may request that family members refrain from calling you during certain hours of the day. Setting these healthy boundaries can help you remain focused on your responsibilities, relieve stress and foster a sense of self-sufficiency.

10. Track your progress

Tracking your progress is a great way to feel encouraged when practicing effective self-management. Consider keeping a daily record of how long your workdays last and how quickly you're able to complete certain tasks. As you implement more and more self-management strategies into your day, you may find that your efficiency and productivity rates consistently increase. If you notice an area that doesn't consistently improve, you can use this information to reflect on your processes and make necessary adjustments.

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