After spending hours working on a complex task, you failed to complete your other allocated tasks. Now, you are waiting for the clock to strike five. As soon as the clock strikes five, you pack up your bag and leave, without clearing up all the mess. That stack of files, pen, paper and cards are still lying on your desk. All the clutter you left behind on your desk, as well as the incomplete tasks, will come back to haunt you again when you sit on your desk the next morning. This is just one example of poor self-management.
Look closely around yourself and you will find many more. A good self-manager can become a good manager and a good leader. How can you expect someone to manage and lead a team of people who cannot manage himself? Yes, you can’t. If you want to know how to manage yourself, then you are in the right place.
In this article, you will learn about ten golden rules of self-management that will bring sanity in your personal and professional life.
What is Self Management?
Self-management is the ability to prioritize goals, decide what needs to be done, and be accountable to complete the necessary actions. It is all about demonstrating control and an ability to manage your priorities and time. Finding self-control and skills needed to take control of your work, such as managing your time, process, communication, etc. are an integral part of self-management.
1. Never Compromise on Your Core Values
Whether it is your personal or professional life, there are certain things that you should never compromise. These are your core values. These are the fundamental beliefs that influence your behavior and help you differentiate between the right and wrong.
2. Speak Your Mind
Irrespective of how creative you are and how many unique ideas come to you, if you cannot share it with others and speak your mind out, no one is going to know about them, making them useless. Never shy away from sharing your perspective. Convey your message, emotions and feelings through your words and let others know about your thoughts.
3. Keep Promises
Be a man of your word and keep all the promises. If you failed to do that, people would start to lose trust in you. Soon after, they will stop believing in whatever you say, even if you are speaking the truth. Words are a powerful weapon in every leader’s arsenal, but it can be rendered to nothing if your followers stop believing in what you say.
4. Trust and Respect is Earned
If you think that you can gain the trust and earn the respect of your co-workers, subordinates or higher-ups overnight, then that is not going to happen. First, you will have to prove to them that you are a trustworthy resource by constantly delivering on your promises. Trust is an outcome of fulfilled expectations. When you succeed in fulfilling the expectations your co-workers have with you, you gain their trust.
5. Cultivate Good Habits
“Good habits are the key to all success. Bad habits are the unlocked door to failure.”—Og Mandino
If you want to be productive and want to achieve more in life and career, then you will have to get rid of bad habits and cultivate good habits. Bad habits sap your energy and make you feel tired. On the contrary, good habits channel all the energy and help you achieve the unthinkable by using it for constructive purposes.
6. Hold Yourself Accountable For Your Actions
If you want to take ownership, you should also hold yourself accountable for your actions. If you cannot take the responsibility of your actions, how can you hold others accountable for theirs? You can’t. That is why it is important for higher management to start accountability from the top, instead of going the other way around. Follow the top-down accountability model and your employees will present themselves for accountability willingly.
7. Practice Good Work Ethic
As obvious it might seem, good work ethic is becoming more of a rarity these days, which is ironic. Qualities such as professionalism, diligence and dependability are now valued by employers than ever before because very few employees possess these qualities. Try to be as action-oriented as possible and make things happen instead of sitting back and waiting for them to happen.
8. Maintain Self Discipline
Self-discipline is an integral part of self-management. Make it a habit and it will help you achieve your goals even when you are feeling lazy and lethargic. It helps you develop your character and pave the way for your success. Without self-discipline, you can never achieve success.
H.A Dorfman summed self-discipline brilliantly when he said, “Self-discipline is a form of freedom. Freedom from laziness and lethargy, freedom from the expectations and demands of others, freedom from weakness and fear – and doubt. Self-discipline allows a person to feel his individuality, his inner strength, his talent. He is the master of, rather than a slave to, his thoughts and emotions.”
9. Stay Healthy
You are a human being, not a robot. Your mind and body need rest. Take breaks from work to relax and rejuvenate your mind and body. Take care of yourself and exercise regularly to stay in shape. Avoid bad eating habits such as binging on fatty foods, working long hours without breaks and sitting on your desk all the time. Find a partner that can encourage you to push harder towards your fitness goals.
10.Learn, Learn, Learn
Always stay in the learning mode. Learn something new every day and it will make you a better person and professional. It could be a new language or playing a new instrument or learning how to code. Successful people never stop learning, which is why they constantly improve and get better at what they do.
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Which rules do you follow to manage yourself? Feel free to share it with us in the comments section below.