Self Improvement Skills

The Basics Of Self Management

Why change the world when we can change ourselves?

- Mahatma Gandhi


1. Self-management is the judicious use of a set of varied skills that will help you get the most of your life. It is important that you start to use self-management as soon as you can, starting from college/high school and carrying the best practices into your professional adult life.


2. Type of skills used in self management:


The basics


- Breathing and relaxing: We can't manage ourselves properly in a stressed state of mind. We should learn manage our stress (coping skills, mindfulness, meditation etc), breathe properly and relax our mind and body, so that you can charge up again for the next day.


- Emotional well being: The power of positive thinking (past is past, plan for the future, act now), dealing with worry and anxiety, and self-confidence cannot be stressed enough. We all know their importance. How can we manage ourselves properly if we are wallowing in deep despair.


- Motivating yourself: Using positive self-talk (e.g. changing to 'I must/I want; instead of 'I should...'), positive imagery (seeing yourself in successful scenarios), and positive affirmations ('yes, I can do it',) to continue to do well in life. We should deal with whatever life throws at us with a positive and pro-active attitude.


- Physical well being: Have a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet. These are the basics, my friends.


Working life


- Being productive: Managing time, prioritizing tasks, using smarter ways to do things (checklists, cheatsheets etc), setting SMART goals, handling distractions, focusing first on things that are important.


- Constant self regulation: This is a very important aspect of self management. We must monitor, control and direct our behavior towards circumstances that keep changing - learning new skills, controlling our emotions, focusing on solving problems rather than complaining and so on.


3. The 12 rules for self-management


- Live by your values, whatever they are.

- Speak up! No one can “hear” what you’re thinking without you be willing to stand up for it.

- Honor your own good word, and keep the promises you make.

- When you ask for more responsibility, expect to be held fully accountable.

- Don’t expect people to trust you if you aren’t willing to be trustworthy for them first and foremost.

- Be more productive by creating good habits and rejecting bad ones.

- Have a good work ethic, for it seems to be getting rare today... “old-fashioned” values like dependability, timeliness, professionalism and diligence are prized more than ever before. Be action-oriented. Seek to make things work. Be willing to do what it takes.

- Be interesting. Read voraciously, and listen to learn, then teach and share everything you know.

- Be nice. Be courteous, polite and respectful. Be considerate.

- Be self-disciplined.

- Don’t be a victim or a martyr. You always have a choice, so don’t shy from it:

- Keep healthy and take care of yourself. Exercise your mind, body and spirit so you can be someone people count on, and so you can live expansively and with abundance.


(Source: Peter Drucker, Harvard Business Review)


4. The 10-10-10 life management tool


First, decide which issue you need to resolve and pose the problem to yourself as a question:

Should I quit my job? Should I start my own business? Should I end my relationship?


Next, be honest and exhaustive as you consider each option and ask yourself what the consequences will be:

- In the next 10 minutes? [that is, right now]

- In 10 months? [in immediate future]

- In 10 years [long term effect]


Finally, take the data/notes you have compiled and compare it to your beliefs , goals and dreams.


(Source: Jack and Suzy Welch)


5. The four agreements


Agreement 1: Be impeccable with your word

Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.


Agreement 2: Don’t take anything personally

Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.


Agreement 3: Don’t make assumptions

Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.


Agreement 4: Always do your best

Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.


(Source: ‘The Four Agreements’ by Don Miguel Ruiz)


6. Lead a simple life


No one who can rise before dawn 360 days a year can fail to make his family rich.

- Chinese Proverb


1. Use three boxes to quickly sort everything you have

2. Create a no-distractions zone.

3. Create a short-list.

4. Deflect all requests for a week.

5. Go schedule-less.

6. Single-task.

7. Start your day with peace.

8. Eat only 7 things.

9. Go paperless.

10. Go media free.

11. Limit yourself to 3 tasks.

12. Limit yourself to one project.

13. Send only five-sentence emails.

14. 30-day rule: If you want to buy something, you have to write it on your 30-day list, with the date that it was added to the list. After 30 days, if you still want it, you can buy it.

15. Only wear a few colors.

16. One in, two out. When you bring something into your house, you have to get rid of two things.

17. Work four days a week.

18. Retire early.

19. Limit storage space.

20. Staunch your information flow.

21. Send only five emails a day.


(Source: Leo Babauta)


Thank you for reading.

This guide is from The Success Manual, which contains 200+ guides to succeeding in business, career and personal life.  Get the pdf ebook for $12 only.