Top 17 Self Management Skills for Workplace Success

Self management skills and qualities.
Developing self management skills and qualities can help you achieve success at workplace.

Top 17 Self Management Skills for Workplace Success

The ability to effectively manage oneself is the beginning of success in the workplace and in life generally.

Activities in the workplace can be cumbersome, tiring, complex, and sometimes hazardous, but with self management one can surmount the challenges and achieve success.

Through proper management of oneself, activities in the workplace move smoothly and effectively, hence success on the job is easier to achieve.

What is Self Management?

Self management is the ability to organize, coordinate, and maintain a healthy balance of life within and outside workplace.

It is important to note that what happens outside the workplace can cause a ripple effect on what happens at the workplace.

So, you need to have self management skills to maintain a balanced life both within and outside the workplace.

In this article, we will discuss the various self management skills and qualities you need to develop to maintain a good balance between life inside and outside the workplace.

17 Self Management Skills and Qualities for Success in the Workplace

  1. Stress Management

Part of the challenges faced in the workplace is stress. This is almost impossible to evade. Stress is a general issue in the workplace.

However, the ability to manage stress can go a long way to determine how effective one can be in the workplace.

Stress management in the workplace can be seen as how employees or employers overcome or handle stress in the workplace.

First, to manage stress starts with proper planning before going to the workplace. This is very helpful in managing stress.

During planning, you are able to consider the nature of work at the workplace and the energy demanded to carry out the job.

Taking cognizance of this fact is accompanied with how to generate energy to carry out such job.

Second thing to do is to draw the recovery plan. Like stated earlier, stress is almost inevitable but recovery plan is key to managing it.

This plan includes what to avoid before, during, and after work to help step up the recovery process. Also, diet is taking into account as well as proper rest.

2. Time Management

Time management is a self-management skill that can help you excel in your workplace.

Some people say time is money and to an extent that is true. If you can save time or use it wisely, you can get a lot done without much stress. Learn to allot more time to more important things than frivolities.

Spending time on unproductive activities is a sure way to become less effective in your workplace.

Though it is good to take time out to be with friends and family, however remember that should not take much of your time.

Be disciplined in the allotment of your time to various activities. Put more time to research on subjects relating to your job.

The consequences of time wastage can manifest in your general input and output in your workplace.

This is true because, what you do with your time outside the workplace will definitely play a key role in what the quality of your output in your workplace will be.

3. Organizing Skill

Organizational skill is one key skill that shows maturity and personal growth. Sometimes, you might be delegated to oversee the activities of your colleagues or you can be made a leader of a team in your workplace.

This skill will help you know how to handle the individual differences of people you are asked to organize.

Organizing skill is also a sign that shows that one can be trusted with greater responsibilities.

Nothing gives an employer greater peace of mind than knowing that someone can stand in their place in their absence and perform their duties effectively. When one is on delegation or is a leader then this skill must be called upon.

Failure to develop this skill can hinder individual progress, as well as general progress of the job.

Organizational skills come with experience through observation, questioning, and active participation in workshops and seminars relating to leadership.

Having organizational skill can give you an edge over others in the workplace.

4. Problem Solving Skills

The biggest challenges faced in every workplace are not the problems faced but lack of capable minds who can proffer solutions to the problems.

Problem solving skill is important to self-management and very much needed in every workplace.

Which employer would not appreciate and elevate an employee who addresses a pressing need?

Ability to solve problems in the workplace is not rocket science, neither is it an impossible task to overcome.

Constant self-development through research and productive thinking can make this skill a reality.

Different problems demand different approaches to solving them.

One aspect of this skill which cannot be neglected is capacity building. The more capacity you build increases your chances of being able to solve diverse problems in your workplace.

Do your best to build capacity not just in what you are used to, but in other things, and push yourself beyond what you think you can do and see how amazed you will be with your achievements.

5. Decision Making

We make decisions daily consciously and unconsciously. As long as problems keep rolling in, then there’s a need to make the best decisions to get those problems solved in no time.

It is not enough to make decisions, but decisions that are good on the long run. These decisions can be tough, but they can be worth it.

Decision making can be personal and general too. Personal decisions can come in the form of deciding on how to handle issues that have to do with you in the workplace without distorting the balance of your job or go against the rules of your job.

This is tough as without proper consideration, you can yield to pressure of the work and do what is unprofessional in the workplace.

General decisions come in the form of partaking in meetings and with careful deliberations on different subject matters can take a stand on what you believe is the right thing to do.

This happens mainly when it comes to affairs that concern employees working in an organization.

6. Confidence

Confident people are more likely to succeed in their workplace than the opposite set of people.

Confidence is also a leadership quality needed in the workplace and in life generally. For you to carry out your job properly, let nothing dent your confidence. Not even a mistake no matter how critical the mistake might be.

Confidence most times does not come by default. It is built over a long period of time and constant upgrade in knowledge.

Nothing dents confidence like ignorance. Constant upgrade in the knowledge of your job breeds confidence and good mental strength.

However, uncontrolled confidence can lead to overconfidence, and when that sets in, mistakes and oversight may also set in.

To carry out your job effectively, you must be confident, especially when dealing with clients or customers.

Exhibiting lack of confidence can hinder progress in the workplace and to some extent shows lack of preparation in the job.

Improve yourself, gather knowledge about your job and watch your confidence grow.

7. Self Preservation

Self preservation is the ability to protect yourself from the risks involved in your job. The truth is that the job you do or want to do may have some mental and physical challenges that come with it.

Your ability to manage or preserve yourself from the adverse effects of the job can help maintain all round balance in your workplace.

We earlier discussed stress management and we will call it up here again.

It is necessary to find out how best to approach your job to prevent burn out, physical harm, etc. Remember the more you can preserve yourself will help you last long in your job.

So draw up a plan on how to approach your job.

Certain jobs are more tiring, cumbersome, and hazardous, and have more risks than others.

So, your approach to the different jobs is not meant to be the same. That’s why some jobs make out allowances and leaves to enable their staff have time out to stay away from the harmful effects of that job.

Oil companies are perfect examples of jobs that provide leave and allowances for employees.

8. Mental Strength

Different jobs demand different levels of mental strength. Mental strength needed by a doctor is quite different from that needed by an office clerk.

A doctor deals with the unpleasant sight of open wounds and blood which is not applicable to an office clerk.

So, before applying for a job, find out if you have the mental strength to deal with the demands of the job.

However, mental strength can be developed consciously with time.

This is a self management quality which can make a difference in the workplace.

Train yourself to do things you wouldn’t do ordinarily. This implies pushing yourself beyond your present limits. There’s always more to what you can do than you know.

Mental strength is needed in every area of your life, especially your workplace. Make deliberate effort to increase your mental ability because it will definitely decide how far you can go in your job.

If possible, try having a coach who will train you on certain work related issues. This can help.

9. Accountability

Accountability is the ability to render account of your activities in and around the workplace.

Accountability is necessary because in every business or workplace, even the minutest detail matters for record purposes.

Therefore, part of self-management skills to have is accountability.

Accountability can be vertical or horizontal; vertical in the sense that you are accountable to whoever hired you.

Employers will always demand accountability from the individual employees working for them. So unaccountability is an act of unprofessionalism in the workplace.

Horizontal accountability is for your colleagues in the workplace. Though they may not be your bosses, yet it is necessary to be accountable to them.

This is a sign of respect, nothing more than that. Keeping things to yourself in the workplace may be a good idea but certainly not the best idea.

10. Creativity

Creativity is the ability to use different techniques to solve any problem. It pays to be creative in the workplace.

This is always in the heart of employers and can reduce their workload.

Creativity gives you the ability to solve problems with ideas and tools made available to you.

Creativity starts with positive thinking. First, see the possibilities in a given circumstance and engage the mind in a productive thinking.

Without productive thinking, creativity is not in any way possible.

Doing one thing always and expecting a different result is madness. If you want to achieve a different result in your job, try something new or improve on what you are already doing.

This is key to staying top in your job, and you will become indispensable.

11. Self Motivation

How motivated are you in your job. Motivation is the excitement you get whenever you think about your job.

It is no news that many people are not excited about their jobs for reasons like the pay, working conditions, and incentive based issues.

Though they are not to be blamed, however, understand that there’s no perfect job anywhere in the world.

Your job may not give you reasons to be excited, but your ability to motivate yourself despite the negativities surrounding your job can help you perform better in it.

There is no job satisfaction anywhere but you need to find a way to motivate yourself in your job.

Self-motivation is the best form of motivation you can have because it’s not dependent on the activities of anyone.

One thing that can keep you excited in your job is your ability to have your personal vision apart from the vision of the organization where you work.

Your personal goal gets you excited always and even in difficult times, you remain upbeat. The importance of self-motivation cannot be overemphasized.

12. Tolerance

Tolerance is the ability to endure unwanted conditions and events in the workplace, and it is one quality you really need to have for effective self management.

Tolerance though does not connote weakness or anything of sort. Tolerance helps you endure short term discomfort for long term benefits.

There’s no job satisfaction anywhere but tolerance plays a key role for one to remain on the job.

In your workplace, tolerance is needed towards your superiors. Superiors or bosses in the workplace may not be friendly for some reasons, but it is not in your powers to change them.

You have to tolerate them. This is necessary, if not you may find yourself in the firing line.

Also, tolerance is needed to be able to cope with other colleagues in the work place.

People come from different backgrounds and as such behave differently and see things differently.

You have to be tolerant enough to work with them on daily basis. Negative reactions to what you see as misbehaviors of others should be minimal.

13. Communication

Communication is a special skill to harness in your quest for self-management.

The ability to make your opinion known on certain matters without offense to others is a self management skill to have. This is because it is not enough to know what to say, but how and when to say it.

Building your communication capacity can be a key factor of success in your workplace.

People are always sensitive to what we say, as well as what our body language depicts.

Body language is one aspect of communication you need to work on when in the workplace.

It is wrong for your body language to send a different message to people from what you intend to say.

Body language is more telling than the mouth. So work on your body language as well as your intonation when communicating in the workplace.

Be open-minded when been corrected for offensive and vulgar points in your communication. The use of “F words” is not professional in the workplace, no matter the circumstance.

14. Open Mindedness

This is the ability to entertain suggestions and ideas as well as being open to correction.

No one is an island of knowledge. So it is a good skill to be able to entertain suggestions as well as asking relevant questions in order to learn and improve in your job.

Shutting out ideas will not help you grow in your job.

To be open-minded demands that you are teachable regardless who teaches you in your workplace.

Pride makes one unteachable and an unteachable individual is an unemployable individual.

This is the problem of many people in the workplace today, some people do not see the need to be taught or corrected.

Open-mindedness always helps you to make sound judgment and reduces your chances of making blunders or costly mistakes in the workplace.

When you listen to advice and corrections, especially from more experienced people, your work becomes easier and mistakes become minimal.

15. Critical Thinking

This skill is not easy to come by because to think critically demands quietness and meditation.

Some people cannot think and that is why they hardly solve problems well.

Critical thinking grows with more time as you practice that act of quietness.

It is better to think twice and cut once than thinking once and cutting twice. You can relate the interpretation to the workplace to mean being sure before acting.

Critical thinking is the foundation of creativity. Inability to think critically can deny you the ability to create solutions for critical problems you might face in your workplace.

This is true. Critical thinking is a good self-management skill which every individual in the workplace needs to harness.

A little example is a case of what happened in a car manufacturing firm (name withheld). After manufacturing a wonderful and ready to take it to the showroom, a problem arose.

The car could not pass through because of the height. A lot of suggestions were made but none of the suggestions could solve the problem at hand.

But a security man who had been thinking critically came up with a good suggestion. His suggestion was for the tires to be deflected and the car be towed out of the factory.

That turned out to be the turning point in the job of the security man. That applies to every workplace. Critical thinking pays.

16. Goal Setting

Goal setting is like creating a mental picture of what you want in your job and life, and it is a great quality to have for a successful self management.

You may not be able to achieve your goal, but the excitement of the goal will keep you going despite all odds.

Goal setting makes your job more purposeful. You should set realistic goals so that you don’t pressure yourself for something that is not achievable within the time frame.

Hindsight saves you from the mistake of the past, insight helps you tackle the problem of the day, but foresight is what keeps you going beyond today.

Whatever level you want to get to in your job will come as a reward of working on your goals diligently, notwithstanding the challenges that might confront you.

One good question that any employer will always ask during interviews is, “What is your personal goal or vision in regard to the job you want to have?”

This might sound easy to answer, but it is very tricky because the interviewer will take cognizance of how realistic your goals are.

Goals should be realistic and time bound.

17. Versatility

Versatility is the ability to be effective in more than one role in your work.

As the economy of nations continue to dwindle, employers are bound to trim down their work force to stay afloat in the industry. Some workers are laid off while others are retained.

One of the reasons some worker don’t get laid off is versatility. Versatility is a necessary skill to have as it increases your relevance in your workplace.

Naturally, versatile workers are hot cake in the workplace; they are near indispensable because of emergency reasons.

Versatility is not a natural gift but a product of continuous training and improvement in different capacities.

Versatility is a matter of building capacities. Though it is good to be a specialist in a field, however it is better to add up more skills to your abilities.

This can make a difference in the workplace in critical times.


Having self management skills and qualities is necessary for achieving greater efficiency and success in the workplace, and maintaining a balanced life.

This article provides various skills and qualities that you need to develop to achieve effective self management in the workplace.