Self-management skills and how to improve them

Self-management skills and how to improve them
Jobstreet content teamupdated on 22 January, 2024

If you want to avoid bringing home the stress and challenges you face in your workplace, you may want to look into your self-management skills. Improving them can help you reduce stress and live a healthier life. 

Self-management skills are a key set of tools or behaviors that you can use to manage your personal and professional activities. These critical skills enable you to not only perform better at your current workplace but also self-manage your career and increase your employability. 

Employers who are actively hiring often consider the self-management skills of potential job seekers. If you have these skills, it may give the employer confidence in your work capabilities. They may be more likely to trust you for the project or role. Here's what this article will cover: 

Definition of self-management skills 

If you're wondering "What is self-management?" you're in the right place.  

Self-management is your ability to regulate your behaviors and emotions productively. This means excelling in your professional responsibilities for the benefit of yourself and those around you. If you have strong self-management skills, you're able to set goals and take the initiative to achieve them. 

Examples of effective self-management skills include the following: 


If you're an organized person, you may be able to plan, prioritize, and execute important tasks much more efficiently. This can help you reduce the stress you would normally get from procrastinating. You can apply this skill in all areas of your life. 


Knowing when you're wrong and taking responsibility are two of the most important self-management skills you can have. Holding yourself responsible can help you evaluate yourself and better understand how to proceed after the mishap. 

Goal setting

If you don't set goals, you're less likely to be motivated to perform at your best. Setting goals helps you determine what you need to achieve in a clear manner. It forces you to manage your time and actions to meet your goals within the deadline. 

Time management

Having strong time management skills can help you maintain focus, as you know you need to meet certain goals before their deadlines. You'll be less likely to get distracted, and you'll focus on managing your day around your deadlines. 

Stress management

The stress of finding a job can be equally as nerve-wracking as the stress of working in one. Self-managing your stress levels can help you maintain a clear mind when searching for new opportunities or performing in your current workplace. 

Why are self-management skills important? 

If given the chance, who wouldn't want to improve themselves to be better at what they do? 

This is why self-management skills in the workplace are so important. If you show your employer or hiring manager that you have self-management skills, they know they can trust you because of your abilities. Having self-management skills shows that you can: 

  • work independently 
  • solve problems 
  • take accountability 
  • work in high-pressure situations 
  • organize your workload 
  • manage your time 
  • stay motivated throughout a task or project 

Assessing your self-management skills 

Before you begin improving your self-management skills, you first need to know where you stand. While you can analyze yourself, it may also be helpful to get feedback from others. Here are some tips for assessing these skills: 

Review feedback

One of the best ways to assess your self-regulation skills is to get feedback from others at your workplace. This can be your peers or your employer. If you're currently looking for new opportunities, you may even ask your friends or family for feedback. 

Reflect on how you set goals

If you want to assess your self-management skills, you must review the goals you've set for yourself. If your goals are too generic, you may want to consider making them more specific while still being achievable. 

Ask yourself if you adhere to timelines

Another thing to consider when assessing your self-awareness and personal management skills is how you are with time management. Do you manage your time well? Do you find yourself procrastinating often? You may want to set deadlines to stay focused on the task at hand. 

Reflect on your organization skills

Do you suddenly find yourself with several tasks at hand and no idea where to begin? Reflecting on your organizational skills can help you better understand how to prioritize tasks. This can also help with your time management and problem-solving skills. 

Self-management strategies in the workplace 

Now that you know what self-management skills are, you may be wondering how you can apply these strategies in the workplace. T 

here are several techniques you can use, depending on your workplace: 

Plan your day

Using self-management skills, you can plan your workday. This can help you organize and prioritize your tasks. It can also help you manage your time and avoid procrastinating. Try making a to-do list of all of your daily tasks or important projects to work on. 

Use your calendar

Many workplaces provide you with a calendar where you can add your tasks and manage them. If you don't have a calendar, you can download one on your mobile device. This can help you track tasks and focus your efforts on the most urgent ones. 

Arrive at work on time

If you arrive on time, you'll avoid delaying your tasks. This will prevent you from running out of time to do your work and staying in the office after hours. Arriving on time demonstrates self-management and discipline. 

Take short breaks

While it's essential to focus on your work, taking breaks can help you get more work done. It's important to take short breaks to prevent burnout. The last thing you want is to feel like you need a vacation every day. Save some time for leisure to help you feel refreshed. 

Woman stressed over work looking at a laptop

How to improve your self-management skills

Now that you've got a clear understanding of where you stand when it comes to your self-management skills, you can explore ways to improve them. 

Here are some methods for improving your skill set: 

Review your strengths

Instead of focusing on your weaknesses, consider your strengths. What are you good at? How can you use your strengths for your benefit? If you're good at setting goals, this skill can also help you with organization, productivity, and time management. 


You may find yourself with a handful of tasks in front of you and no idea what to do first. You need to figure out which task is due first or which is more important and make that a priority. This can help you set goals and manage your schedule. 

Set deadlines

Setting deadlines helps you to complete your tasks on time. You need to schedule your activities so you know what needs to be done and when. This can help prevent procrastination. You can add deadlines to your to-do list or calendar to help you keep track. 

Focus on one task at a time

You may try to multitask to get things done faster. However, this can lead to mistakes. Working on one task at a time may be slower, but it helps you focus on doing it correctly. 

Evaluate your progress

There's only so much self-management you can do without taking a step back and evaluating your progress. This is a critical step in your journey to improving your skills, as it can help you realize where you went wrong and what you can do to improve things next time. 

Use helpful tools

If these steps feel like a chore, you may want to use some tools to help you out along the way: 

  • Organize your schedule with a calendar. 
  • Take daily notes in a physical or digital notebook. 
  • Use sticky notes to remind you of tasks throughout the day. 
  • Set notifications or alarms to remind you to take breaks. 

How to list self-management skills on your resumé  

When it comes to listing your self-management skills on your resumé, you need to ensure that they stand out immediately to the hiring manager. You can create a separate column or section on your resumé for this purpose. 

List your skills in order of strength. If you're much better at organization than setting goals, place the organization skill first. This can give the hiring manager a better idea of your skillset. 

Be honest when listing your skills to avoid giving the hiring manager a false understanding of your personality. Here are some examples of self-management skills that you can include on a resumé: 

  • deadline management 
  • stress management 
  • prioritization 
  • adaptability 
  • problem-solving 
  • organization 


Self-management skills allow you to improve your behavior and emotions, which can help you perform better in your personal and professional life. They can help you control and improve your organizational skills, manage your time and stress levels, prioritize, set goals, and so much more. 

Whether you're looking for your next opportunity or you want to improve in your current role, there's no doubt that you need to assess your personal management skills to succeed. 

Woman at work table with coworkers behind her


Here are answers to frequently asked questions about self-management: 

  1. What are the seven principles of self-management? 
    ⁠The seven principles of self-management are time management, self-motivation, stress management, adaptability, decision-making, goal alignment, and personal development. 
  2. How do I handle setbacks and failures in self-management? 
    ⁠You may experience hurdles on your journey to improving your self-management. The best way to handle a setback is to accept the mishap and seek feedback to prevent it in the future. 
  3. Should you list self-management skills on your resumé? 
    ⁠Hiring managers often view strong self-management skills favorably. Including them on your resumé can improve your chances of getting the job you want. 
  4. How can self-management skills benefit my career? 
    ⁠By assessing and developing these skills, you can improve your time management, emotional regulation, stress management, organizational skills, adaptability, strategic planning, and more. 

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