Personal Productivity:
Self Management Skills for Business Owners

Good self management skills are necessary to optimize your personal productivity and they basically come down to having self awareness and discipline. For business owners this has an added flow-on effect on your team too.

“If you wish to succeed in managing and controlling others - learn to manage and control yourself.” William Boetcker

It is just as important for business owners to invest in their own self improvement as it is in educating themselves about business.

The more you improve yourself, the more you improve your business.

The business coaching process often involves personal time management skills as one of the basic building blocks for business success. However, this is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to personal development.

Improving your self management skills requires self awareness and discipline and it is often easier to achieve by working with a personal coach. They will not only be able to give you honest feedback but also suggest other areas for personal development that you may not have thought of.

Top 5 self management skills for business owners to master are:

1. Personal time management skills

Learning time management skills is the first place to start for business owners. This is a self management skill because you are not actually managing time itself, it is about how you manage yourself in relation to time.

Time is finite, there will always be 24 hours in a day so you can't change it, you can only change how you use it.  

2. Prioritizing skills

In order to be really productive you need to be clear about what you need to spend time on and where you need to put your energies. This is where the need for discipline comes in.

Sometimes when small business owners start employing staff they feel like they need to fill up the time they're paying for so they generate extraordinary amounts of 'work stuff' for their employees to do. 

There's no thought or planning that goes into it - they just 'dump' work onto their team without consciously deciding whether it's really important or even necessary for the business.

Start each day by prioritizing what you need to achieve that day. If you've got a huge to-do list, get ruthless about what really needs to be done. Delete anything that is not essential to achieving your business goals.

Delegate as much as possible but consciously decide what you want your team spending their time on - avoid clogging up their time with unnecessary tasks.

3. Planning and organizing skills

The bigger your team becomes the more important it is to be well organized otherwise your just end up creating a lot of confusion.

You may be a fun person to be around but if you're chaotic and disorganized you will not be a good boss and eventually it will adversely affect the morale in your business.

Being organized requires discipline and having sufficient mental space to anticipate what’s coming next and be ahead of the game.

It means being disciplined and getting yourself in control of your schedule and workflow.

Start by setting aside regular time to spend planning your work schedule and getting well organized. 

4. Emotional Resilience

Running a business can be a rollercoaster ride at times. Successful entrepreneurs have to be flexible enough to adapt to changing circumstances but also strong enough to not be knocked over by them.

They also need to develop sufficient personal strength that stress and emotions don’t interfere with their focus. Allowing things like this to get in the way of your focus and productivity can be an obstacle to your business.

There are two keys ways to improve your emotional resilience:

  • Develop strong personal boundaries so that other people can’t throw you off track (eg. don't allow people around you to dwell on the negatives without providing a solution).
  • Learn how to stop your mind running off in all directions - be more in the present moment and take a breather so you don't over-react to difficult circumstances.

5. Self Care

All of the above self management skills are much easier to work on when you’re in good physical shape. If you have a lack of physical energy it affects everything else that you do.

Mind, body and spirit are connected and each one needs to be nurtured in order for us to operate at our best

  • Physical health – plenty of sleep, good nutrition, regular exercise, drinking water etc
  • Mental health – reading inspirational books, limiting your exposure to the news, acquiring new knowledge, learning new skills etc
  • Spiritual health – holidays and time off, doing things that you love, walking in nature etc

Paying attention to all of these areas will make you far more productive. Personal productivity is about energy and clarity rather than the number of hours you work. Once you make this shift you’ll realize what working smart rather than hard really means.

Business Coaching Questions:

  • Are you making things difficult for your team?
  • Which self management skills do you need to work on?
  • Are you ready and willing to invest in yourself?

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