Self-management is the ability to handle and control our actions, feelings, and thoughts. When we manage ourselves, we take full responsibility for our behavior and well-being. We prioritize goals, make decisions and hold ourselves accountable for completing the necessary actions. In other words, we take responsibility and organize our work, rather than being controlled or dependent on a superior.


Self-management helps you do things that are essential to your well-being—at work and personal life. These skills give you greater control over your career, allowing you to embrace exciting and challenging opportunities more often. When you learn to manage yourself, you also understand the importance of time management in achieving your goals and aspirations.

When you possess strong self-management skills, you tend to stay productive and find ways to appreciate being independent. Self-management skills reflect professionalism and shows that you are an extremely reliable employee. Without these skills,your employer may not feel very confident about your role and performance in the organization.

Take the case of Naveen, the Executive Vice President of Sales at a leading mobile devices company. Six years ago, as a branch manager in the same company, he had difficulty managing his emotions. He would snap at his colleagues for no reason, renege on commitments to clients and fail to turn up for meetings he had called. Naveen was good at his job and had a great mind for marketing strategies. His waywardness and a complete lack of commitment to his growth or well-being made it challenging. On the verge of losing his job, he forced himself to undergo counselingon self-management skills. Naveen gradually turned into the high achiever that he is today because he worked on his ‘self’.

Here are four key realizations that helped him turn around.

1. Take care of yourself

When you prioritize your well-being, you automatically begin to control the way you lead your life. You eat healthily, get adequate sleep, and do physical exercise. It also means you take proactive steps to balance your emotional health. You find ways to relax, embrace your surroundings, and become mindful of your behavior.

2. Practice being patient

Managing yourself comes easy when you cultivate a strong sense of patience. When you learn to be patient, you gain a remarkable ability to empathize. You eventually realize that you cannot control every situation and need to persevere and stay resilient.

3. Focus your attention on one task

Contrary to popular belief, successful people do not multitask. Certainly not all of the time. By focusing on one job at a time, you begin to feel more organized and on top of your work. By prioritizing your responsibilities, you feel calmer and focused. You avoid being overwhelmed or stressed.

4. Reflect on your strengths

By understanding what you are good at and becoming an expert in those areas, you have greater control over your career trajectory. Embracing your strengths will help you feel more confident and at ease. You will find clarity about what works for you, what you need to do to gain more autonomy and seek opportunities to grow professionally.


Successful employees intrinsically manage both their work and their personalities. At its core, self-management depends on some critical skills—managing time and commitments, being self-motivated, relishing new challenges, and nurturing personal & professional networks. These skills are not something everyone is born with, but can develop them with practice and patience. Learning how to manage oneself is unique to each person. There is no single approach that works for everyone. However, this does not change the fact that managing ourselves is critical to our success in life.