With Zoom fatigue and endless days merging into each other, the art of self-management has become even more critical.
Self-Management can be defined as “a combination of behaviours that focus on how people manage themselves in their work and their life ,” self-management encompasses three core skills, namely:
- Developing effective prioritisation and time-management skills
- Fostering motivation and capacity to independently acquire new knowledge or skills in order to support yourself in life and work
- Building and nurturing your personal network
Self-management is a suitcase competency which include physical, mental, social, and spiritual attributes. To find balance does not mean trying to change the unchangeable but to adapt within.
Some helpful self-management practices to try out:
- Learning to silence the inner critic. Especially for perfectionists, silencing a critical inner voice becomes important for maintaining productivity and working relationships. Start by noticing, rationalising, and pre-empting inflated critical thoughts, responding with grace, patience, and gratitude with yourself and others. Counteract irrational thinking with curiosity and re-evaluation of the standards and expectations we set for ourselves.
- Get comfortable with discomfort. Acceptance that things are not going to plan is important to see that we can still enjoy and progress through conditions we may not prefer or even like. Furthermore, learn to detach your personal value from a linear cause-and-effect type thinking to manage through the occasional mistake or constructive feedback you encounter.
- Shifting one’s mindset to accept the unpredictable nature of the future is vital in aiding the anxieties created by such. Remaining proactive and open to growth can help us to remember that nothing is permanent, and all one can control is their reactions to situations.
- Part of self-management is sensitising ourselves and being actively aware of what we are doing and why we are doing it. An effective way to foster self-awareness is regular mindfulness practice. Mindfulness has assisted me with identifying what I need and facilitating purposeful fulfilment of those needs. An intentional recollection into the present moment as well as breathing exercises are helpful in managing stress rooted in perfectionist ideals.
- Resilience is potentially one of the best tools in our self-management kit. I like to think of managing stress by exercising our resilience muscle and as with any muscle, the more you exercise it, the stronger it is and longer its strength can be sustained. Practically use organisational and time-management software to clear the clutter in my head at the end of a workday and help me reach my deadlines. Learning when to switch off from daily demands as well as zooming out to gain a larger perspective on tasks or decisions, has helped me better prioritise and deflate the stressful to-do list. Recalling my mental milestones of challenges faced and overcome, perhaps even excelled through, reminding myself of my competence helps to boost my confidence and ease underlying stress.
- Exercise acts as a powerful tool to pull oneself away and switch off from the workday, with the added benefit of physical health too! I treat it as a sacred time and schedule into my day to let the worries and preoccupations fade into the background for some mental clarity and time to re-energise.
I hope these have been helpful!
Author: Amy Globe
Find out more on the topic here:
- Managing Oneself https://hbr.org/2005/01/managing-oneself
-  Power to the People: Why Self-Management Is Important https://er.educause.edu/blogs/2015/9/power-to-the-people-why-self-management-is-important
- Self-management: A key skill during a lockdown https://www.sabpp.co.za/blogpost/1856003/347148/Self-management–A-key-skill-during-a-lockdown