Four Steps to Self-Management

By Jul 15 , 20090 Comments

self-management-750Regardless of what we do, where we do it, or how well we do it, every business owner has exactly the same amount of time each day – time is the universal equalizer in that everyone, absolutely everyone, has the exact same number of minutes and hours in each day.

The key isn’t in time management, the key is in self-management when we effectively manage ourselves, we achieve efficiency with our time.

Here are a few tips to help improve your self-management:

Self Management Tip #1: Out of the Starting Gate
Do you ever lie in bed and contemplate your upcoming day? You think, “I’m going to call that new customer after I have my first cup of coffee.” Then you decide the call can wait, and you hit the snooze button a few more times. We all want to be more productive and achieve success. But at times, we find it difficult to motivate ourselves to take action especially first thing in the morning.

Some people view motivation as somewhat elusive how can some people always be energized. Getting started has less to do with whether you have the energy and more to do with your desire and willingness to accomplish any given task, i.e. motivation.

As an entrepreneur, you are passionate about your business. Once you dig in, start a project and see the results of your labor, you become even more galvanized. Stop delaying your success, and begin your day with enthusiasm by taking action.

Self Management Tip #2: Get ready for tomorrow, today
At the end of each workday, take a blank sheet of paper and write down everything you must accomplish tomorrow. Then, arrange the tasks in the order they need to be accomplished. The next day, you won’t have to decide what to do first, and crossing off the things you accomplish will give you great satisfaction. Don’t let the simplicity of a to-do list fool you; it’s one of the best self-management tools ever invented.

You can create to-do lists for the week and month as well. This will give you an overview of what to expect each week and give you time to make any changes in advance. Use it in combination with a calendar, and keep in mind that to-do lists are for tasks to be completed, while a calendar is for recording appointments.

Self Management Tip #3: How do you value your time?
Throughout the day, periodically stop what you’re doing and ask yourself if what you’re doing is the best use of your time. Ask yourself these few questions:

  • Is the task you’re working on a top priority?
  • Is the task going to increase your business or income?
  • Does the task correspond with your goals?
  • Is it a task that someone else could handle, leaving you free to handle more important tasks?

If you answered no to any of the questions, switch to another task or delegate the task to someone else.

Self Management Tip #4: Are you realistic or optimistic?
One skill entrepreneurs should tackle first is the skill of estimating how long things take. And that’s a very simple skill to develop; you just have to concentrate on it. Take the time to ask yourself some questions such as:

  • Do I have the equipment necessary to do this?
  • Is there set-up involved?
  • Do I have the required tools, space, and resources?
  • Will I be doing the work myself?
  • Will I be relying on others to achieve the task?

If you go through this process, then you’re in the position to make smart decisions about which tasks you will do, which tasks you won’t, what you should delegate, and how you can create shortcuts. This is a breakthrough skill that will serve you well if you take the time.

About the Author:
Susan Bock’s professional career spans 20 years of being in the business of running a business. Her experience began with American Express and she concluded her “corporate” career after 15 years with multi-national advertising and communication firms. She is known for her demonstrated leadership abilities and commitment to successfully maneuvering through the ever-changing business landscape.

Susan is frequently quoted in articles and publications regarding the unique issues facing women in business and is often a keynote speaker at professional meetings, industry seminars, and executive retreats. to read more about her presentation topics, tele-classes and programs, visit her website at