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Don’t Blame the Management: Self-manage!

Alan Andersen

Self-management — we’ve been talking about how strengthening that skill is crucial in your professional and personal life.

Think about it. Would you prefer to feel enthusiastic about your work, and also have plenty of time and energy with which to enjoy your personal life?

Or feel drained at work and consistently unable to meet personal and professional commitments?

Here are some very practical activities you can apply, right now, to beef up your self-management skills!

Activity 1: Planning

Invest in a planning tool. There are many excellent planning calendars and software tools that can help you schedule your days, weeks and months. Not only record all important meetings and events but also list priorities for each day.

Look at your job description and write down the major tasks. For a week, keep a log of how much time you spend on each. At the end of the week, compare the log to your job description.

If your time is spent on a lot of tasks unrelated to goals you found in your position description, look for ways to bring them back into alignment by completing the following table each morning:

Activity 2: Look Ahead

Look at your calendar every few days to evaluate upcoming projects. For each one, make a firm, realistic commitment to a deadline for your portion of the project.

Don’t let a day pass without spending at least 30 minutes working to accomplish each of the important tasks you have committed to. Break large tasks into smaller ones and vow to accomplish each of the smaller tasks one at a time.

Activity 3: Monitor Promises

For one week, keep track of the promises you make to people. Then look at your list as a whole. Answer the following questions:

  • When did I promise to have each task done?
  • Have I done anything to follow through on what I promised?
  • What can I do to complete the promised activity?

Then ask yourself this: Am I making realistic promises?

Activity 4: Manage Stress

Be alert to your use of phrases like “I should have” and “I ought to have.” Track them for a week. Then practice converting them into less judgmental assessments of your performance. Think about what you did do well and allow yourself to be less than perfect.

What tips do you have to add?

Your Coach,

This article previously appeared at True Life Coaching, a subsidiary of Shandel Group. If you enjoyed this post, read Shandel's book, Clarity: Focusing on What Matters.

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