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Published on December 29, 2020

Top 7 Self-Management Skills For Peak Performance

Top 7 Self-Management Skills For Peak Performance
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If you want to operate at peak performance levels to achieve more in life, then it is important to develop critical self-management skills. These are the skills needed to manage personal abilities to be used in various areas of life. Whether you want to excel in business or your personal life, your success depends upon your ability to manage your own performance.

This article highlights 7 self-management skills you will need for peak performance. Each skill listed also includes an actionable item to help you get started. Master these skills for optimized performance and personal growth.

1. Hold Yourself Accountable

One of the most important self-management skills for peak performance is the ability and willingness to hold yourself accountable. If you say that you are going to do something, then make sure you do it. Take ownership of your goals and the work needed to achieve them. If you know that a task or activity requires a certain level of effort, then it is your responsibility to make it happen.

If you fail to act or the performance is not sufficient, then be honest with yourself and determine what changes or adjustments are needed to do better next time. Be true to your word.

Hold yourself accountable by writing your goal or commitment down on paper. You can carry this piece of paper in your pocket to serve as a reminder or dedicate a journal to these goals and personal promises. Writing it down makes it real and tangible. Reflect on what you have written a few times daily to reaffirm your commitment. Do this until you have completed the task.

2. Set Clear Goals

Have you ever set a New Year’s Resolution that quickly fell by the wayside within a few short weeks? While the media likes to give special attention to New Year’s Resolutions because it is a hot conversational piece, these goals are no more special than any other we might set throughout the year. Top performers know that sexy titles do not make goals any more attainable.

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Take action by setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals. Use the criteria below with your personal and professional goals.

  • Specific – Be specific with what you want and state your goal in simple terms. Boil it down to one clearly written sentence. Avoid ambiguity. Perhaps you want to lose weight or earn more money. Each of these ideas is a good starting point, but they lack clarity. Considering the examples noted above, an individual who lost only one pound or earned just one more dollar will have technically achieved the goal. But chances are that a goal setter would be disappointed with such insignificant results. That is why it is important to be specific by stating exactly what you want.
  • Measurable – Use numbers to help measure your results. This way you will know if you are on track to attaining your goal.
  • Achievable – This is your goal so make sure it is something that you have the ability to achieve. Assess personal strengths, skills, tools, and resources. Do you have everything necessary to achieve the goal or is something still needed?
  • Realistic – Determine whether the goal itself is realistic and can be achieved within the predetermined time frame.
  • Time-based – Put a deadline on the goal. When do you want to achieve it? This creates a sense of urgency and can be a motivator to get things done.

3. Develop Time Management

We live in a world filled with shiny objects and noisy distractions. Everywhere we turn, someone is trying to get and keep our precious attention. That’s why an important self-management skill you should develop is time management.

Have you ever logged onto social media to quickly respond to a message but an hour later realized you were still scrolling through your newsfeed or had fallen down the YouTube rabbit hole? If this becomes a habit, then those minutes and hours will add up and turn into days and weeks lost.

Here are two quick tips for better time management. To promote productivity, create time blocks, and schedule your most important activities for these time periods. To eliminate distractions, turn off notifications on social media apps. This is especially important while attending to activities within your scheduled time blocks.

Utilize the calendar on your smart device to schedule important events. There is also a wide range of apps to set reminders, track to-do lists and tasks, and keep yourself organized.

4. Be Self-Motivated

Some people are motivated by external drivers such as money, praise, or purchasing material items. Others are motivated by internal drivers such as feelings of satisfaction, fulfillment, or personal achievement. It is also possible to be motivated by both depending on the situation.

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When working towards a goal, here are three questions to ask that will help maintain motivation:

  • Why is achieving this goal important to me?
  • By achieving this, what will it do for me?
  • By achieving this, what will it get me or allow me to do?

If you find yourself losing motivation, then ask yourself these questions. You may need to go through these questions a few times to get to the deeper and more meaningful reasons that will serve as primary motivators.

Focus on your goal and continue to drive forward. You might not be successful on the first attempt, and that is okay. Get up and try it again. Keep going until you succeed.

Sir Winston Churchill said, “Success is the ability to go from one failure to the next with no loss of enthusiasm.”

5. Adapt to Change

One of the most important self-management skills is being adaptive to change. For millions of people around the world, 2020 provided a master class in learning to deal with change that nobody signed up for but were given front row seats to anyway. Change is a natural part of life, and we must be able and willing to adjust course when necessary.

Think about the last time you were driving somewhere and saw an orange sign that read “detour ahead.” Chances are you probably let out a short grumble and mentally prepared yourself for the coming inconvenience. While you had not planned for the detour, you navigated the situation and ultimately reached the destination.

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Develop flexibility by reframing the situation. In other words, learn to view the situation from a different perspective. The proverbial phrase, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade” is a perfect example. The situation might not be ideal, but you can still make the most of it. Learn to be flexible and adjust course as needed, while continuing to drive forward towards your goal.

6. Use Coping Skills to Deal with Stress

Playing at higher levels typically means having to deal with increased levels of stress. It naturally comes with the territory. Take a proactive approach to deal with stress by utilizing coping skills and having healthy outlets to channel negative energy. Effective coping skills could include activities like listening to music, going for a walk, reading for pleasure, or exercising.

How do your mood and behavior change when you are experiencing stress? Learn to recognize the signs and utilize the coping skills that work best for you. It might also be a good idea to incorporate activities like yoga or meditation into your weekly routine.

Readers who have never meditated before might like to wade in with an easy and relaxing walking meditation. Walking meditation is a form of moving meditation that is exactly as it sounds. Rather than sitting still to perform this meditation, the individual does it while walking. Moving meditations have the same benefits as their motionless counterparts.

Simply go for a 10-15 minute walk outside and focus on your breathing. Take deep calming breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth. Use this time to connect with your inner self and relax. This is your personal time, so leave your phone at home to avoid interruptions.

7. Institute the Habit of Daily Learning

Invest in your future by dedicating 30 minutes every day to learning something new. Advances in technology have allowed people to learn from world-class leaders and mentors at any time of the day in a manner that is most convenient to them.

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Download your favorite self-help books to read on the go or listen to the audio version in your car or while working out. Watch old TED Talks or attend webinars hosted by experts halfway around the world. Follow your favorite content creators on social media or subscribe to Lifehack and receive tips delivered directly to your inbox. Learning has never been easier.

Right now, the podcast industry is booming. There are currently more than 850,000 active podcasts amassing over 34 million episodes. Whether you want to get the winning edge in your market, advance in your career, or simply want to pick up a new hobby, there is a podcast that has exactly what you are looking for.

Final Thoughts

Practice these self-management skills every day. Make them a part of your daily routine to operate at peak performance levels and optimize personal growth. These self-management skills are transferable and can be easily applied and adapted in all areas of life.

Practice makes progress. Like anything in life, the more you do it the better you will become.

More Self-Management Tips

Featured photo credit: Paico Oficial via unsplash.com

More by this author

Rich Perry

Rich is a Communication Strategist who helps entrepreneurs craft their message and empower them to deliver it.

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

17 Traits That Make a Successful Person Stand out from the Crowd

17 Traits That Make a Successful Person Stand out from the Crowd
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If you are like most people, you probably have big goals and dreams that you would like to succeed in — you want to be the top in your career, live a healthy lifestyle, or flourish in your relationships.

Everyone dreams of a positive future, but most people don’t realize the secret to a truly successful life:

You determine your future in the way you spend your everyday moments. If you want to be a successful person, you must consistently develop good daily habits. As Aristotle pointed out:

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”.

Building positive daily habits is a huge challenge, but can you imagine the amazing things you could accomplish with just a little commitment and determination?

Creating lasting, healthy habits is the real key difference between people who are successful in life and those who are unsuccessful.

You might be wondering which specific habits make the biggest difference. Not to worry, I’ve compiled a comparison list to help you get a jump start on a successful future.

1. Successful people embrace change. Unsuccessful people fear change.

Change is a constant for all of humanity, and it is important that you develop a positive relationship with it.

When unexpected or unwelcome changes arise, ask yourself how you can embrace it instead of running away. A few practical ways to reverse a change-fearing mindset include:

  • Take a moment to recognize and address any fears associated with the upcoming change.
  • Communicate with a person you trust about your negative feelings toward change.
  • Practice positive thinking, which you can read about in the next section.

2. Successful people exude joy. Unsuccessful people think, say and do negative things.

A joyful, positive disposition can seem like a distant reality in today’s cynical world, but it may be easier to achieve than you think. All you have to do is notice the good things around you and practice being thankful.

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Mindfulness and gratitude are not just buzz words – choosing a positive attitude can honestly change your life. Many studies have found that thankfulness leads to greater happiness. Furthermore, research indicates that gratitude may even have a lasting positive impact on the brain and overall mental health.[1]

3. Successful people forgive others. Unsuccessful people hold grudges.

As a human being, you have likely been offended or hurt by others plenty of times. Don’t give in to the temptation to hold a grudge. Let it go.

Note that forgiving someone does not equate to giving up your boundaries (which are very important) or even admitting that the offending party is right. You should choose to let go for your own peace of mind.

4. Successful people track progress. Unsuccessful people just criticize.

Some kinds of criticism, such as constructive criticism, are good for personal and professional development. The kind of criticism I’m talking about is the pessimistic, nagging, unhelpful variety. This is the kind of criticism in play when you are unfairly harsh to yourself or others.

Toss unfounded criticisms aside and consider tracking your “wins” or your progresses, no matter how small. Take mental notes or keep a progress journal.

If you have a solid sense of what you have achieved, you will be less tempted to be hard on yourself.

5. Successful people share information, data and ideas. Unsuccessful people hoard.

If you have useful information or generate brilliant ideas on the regular, your first instinct may be to keep it all to yourself for personal gain and solo recognition.

Instead of hoarding bright ideas, share them with your team. Your talents will be on display for the team, and the team will be able to support you and make your ideas a reality.

6. Successful people are humble. Unsuccessful people talk more than they listen.

Humility is key. The ability to listen to other people, really listen and understand, is essential to success in both work and relationships — and to listen you have to be humble.

Everyone has experienced the frustration of being in a one-sided conversation. When someone approaches you with a question or concern, put your own world aside for just a moment and give them the kindness of your full attention.

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7. Successful people take risks. Unsuccessful people take the easy way out.

The next time your heart is racing and you want to walk away, consider embracing the risk. You never know what might happen if you take a chance.

Embracing risks looks like accepting the speaking engagement even though it seems a little scary. Success takes the courageous route, not the easy route.

8. Successful people learn, improve and read every day. Unsuccessful people stop learning.

Instead of binge-watching a show tonight, save an hour before bed to read a book and expand your mind.

Unsuccessful people are afraid to be flexible – they don’t challenge themselves to learn new things. Avoid this pitfall by exposing yourself to new thoughts and ideas every day.

9. Successful people handle problems well. Unsuccessful people act before they think.

The next time you run into a problem or even an emergency, try to work through your initial panic reaction with a few deep breaths.

Instead of acting rashly, think through your next actions as quickly but as logically as you can.

Learning to handle problems thoughtfully is an absolutely essential tool in the successful person’s toolbox (that’s you!).

10. Successful people accept responsibility for their failures. Unsuccessful people blame others.

Along with a previous tip about humility, this is one of the hardest things you’ll ever learn to do – but also the most rewarding. When you’ve failed, you must fight the urge to pass the blame. Successful people are able to fail honestly and gracefully.

And, hey, don’t feel bad about failing. Some of the most successful people in the world have failed too many times to count. It’s all a part of the process.

You can check out this article for more tips on how to fail well:

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How Failure Helps You To Succeed and Grow

11. Successful people work with passion and commitment. Unsuccessful people have a sense of entitlement.

A short and sweet lesson for you:

You should never expect to achieve the things you want without working hard.

Follow your passion and stay committed to pursuing it. Work hard and stick to your habits every day. You’ll earn your reward.

12. Successful people spend time with the right people. Unsuccessful people think they already know it all.

A lot of people miss out on useful relationships and information sharing because they think they can do it all alone.

Spend time with people who inspire you, spur you to be a better person, and remind you that you can’t go it alone.

13. Successful people make to-do lists and maintain proper life balance. Unsuccessful people waste their time.

Ah, time management. Unsuccessful people never master the art of organization and planning.

Here are a few tips for you when it comes to time management:

  • Make to-do lists. Seriously, this will help you. Make time to do it every morning, evening, or whenever you are able.
  • Keep track of your time. Are you happy with the way you are currently balancing things? What changes can you make?
  • Keep a calendar full of your long-term goals (see next tip).

14. Successful people write down goals and think long term about their burning desires. Unsuccessful people get distracted every day.

Why is it so important to keep a long-term goal calendar? Here’s the deal:

The things you are passionate about today need a backbone.

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Give your passionate ideas sustainability by writing down goals and staying on task instead of succumbing to distraction.

15. Successful people compliment others. Unsuccessful people try to bring others down to their level.

There is no greater confidence than saying “no” to sudden jealous or envious feelings and choosing to sincerely admire someone’s talents instead.

Unsuccessful people live in a world driven by competition, but successful people know that building people up is far more rewarding than bringing them down.

16. Successful people want others to succeed. Unsuccessful people secretly hope they fail.

In the same vein as the point above, this tip is all about good intentions.

Care for the people around you. Encourage them toward their successes. Hoping that others fail will not help you at all.

17. Successful people know their purpose and mission. Unsuccessful people don’t know what they want to be.

The last thing that differentiates successful people from unsuccessful people is one of the most important:

Keep your mission in mind.

Don’t be swayed to and fro by passing emotions and events. Know who you are and pursue your dreams wholeheartedly.

Final thoughts

Above all, stay confident. Truly believe that you can be and are successful. Strive to prove it in your day-to-day habits and activities!

What are you waiting for? Choose one of the habits above and get started today.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Berkeley University of California: How Gratitude Changes You and Your Brain

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