Why is it that we allow the everyday hustle to impede our progress in becoming the ultimate warrior of our professional lives through successful personal management? Some people even allow personal management to take a backseat to the results produced by their actions, claiming their success as evidence contrary to their need for better personal management techniques. What these people fail to realize is by failing to practice personal management skills they are failing to become elite and productive ninjas of efficiency in their work life. All that is required is the honing and polishing of five simple personal management skills for being awesome!
1. Time Management and Planning Skills
“It is vain to do with more what can be done with less” – William of Occam, the originator of Occam’s razor
Pareto’s law states that 80 percent of our output is generated by 20 percent of our efforts. Imagine if you could work less and gain more ground weekly than you have been able to make up in the past few years. Time management is the key to this personal management skill. All of the awesome and productive workers that I have met successfully manage their time. You could probably work less and be much more at peace with yourself with some quality time-management training.
Having time management skills is simply having the ability to recognize and solve time management problems. It is as the old adage says, to never put off for later what can be done right now. You can develop this personal management skill by keeping a calendar and beginning to schedule everything. You heard right, everything. This includes scheduling your free time and the time it takes to get from one meeting to another.
Think about what happens when your scheduled meeting ends at 3:00pm and your next appointment is scheduled for 3:00pm. You are either going to leave the first meeting early or you will be late to your next appointment. You failed to schedule travel time between the meetings. When you take the time to plan your day’s activities and practice the discipline of following your daily plans you will develop the ability to start and finish projects when you are supposed to. You will also become much more adept at estimating how long a project or a task will take to accomplish. In addition, whatever you do, do not procrastinate. Procrastination is the number one offender against your ability to manage time.
2. Financial Management Skills
“It is not how much you make that counts but how much money you keep” – Robert Kiyosaki, investor, businessman, and author of best-seller Rich Dad Poor Dad
Money management is the wall upon which your personal management skills sit lopsidedly like humpty dumpty. On one side, through the disciplines of successful financial management comes successful personal management as well. There is no need for all the king’s horses to put anything back together. On the other side, humpty falls to the ground and the rest of his personal management skills shatter into the pieces of a broken shell. The reason being is the discipline required for successful financial management is powerful enough to bleed its way into just about every aspect of your life. When you can assert yourself over your financial situation, you can assert yourself to the realization of your goals. Personal management becomes an even greater aspect of your life.
A 27 year old woman once stated that she was going to become a millionaire. You might scoff at such a remark but after ten years, she had earned ten million dollars and had given 3 million dollars away to charities. The woman was determined to manage her financial status in a way that brought great wealth. She used personal management skills to achieve her goal.
You can perfect your financial management skills by trying a few of the following:
- Create a budget and tailor your spending to meet its requirements.
- Save every receipt from every purchase that you make in one month and find out how much money you’re really spending. You might be surprised to find out where your money is actually going.
- Create income and expense reports that allow you to see the bigger picture of your financial situation.
- Manage your personal finances as if you were managing a business’s finances.
When you are on the road to successfully managing your financial situation, you are growing exponentially towards becoming awesome.
3. Communication Skills
“The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives” – Anthony Robbins
Until you know your voice and can confidently share what is on your mind, personal management will not become a larger part of your affairs. Knowing your own voice gives you the ability to carry a healthy inner dialog, which then confidently guides you towards your goals. With great communication skills comes the power to influence and encourage others and yourself. You won’t be able to practice personal management until you’re able to listen to that inner dialog and understand where you are headed. A few tricks to improving your communication skills are:
- Practice active listening. Try to look the person speaking in the eyes and think only about the words that they are speaking.
- Speak slowly and ask questions to test whether the listening party understands what is being communicated.
- When writing, always write a first draft and edit the draft into a final copy after asking whether the purpose of your communication is clear and understandable.
- When you find yourself caught up in your own thoughts, try to relax and “Watch” the thinker thinking those thoughts. You are not your thoughts. You are greater than your thinking.
4. Organizational Skills
“Organizational effectiveness does not lie in that narrow minded concept called rationality. It lies in the blend of clearheaded logic and powerful intuition.” – Arialdi Minino
Personal management would be incomplete without the ability to stay organized. We cannot accomplish any goals without the resources required to get the job done.
Some people have desks and drawers cluttered with papers and junk. They feel they need these things “just in case”. However, they are probably wasting more time trying to find the things they need than getting the job done anyway. You can greatly increase your personal management skills by getting organized. The best part is you already have the skills required to be organized, you just need to start putting them to good use. Here are a few great organizational skills that will improve your personal management techniques:
- Throw stuff in the garbage. Most people can get away with throwing 50% of the things they save away without any negative consequence.
- Use a PIM (Personal Information manager) such as Outlook or a Day Runner planner / organizer.
- File paperwork away in a manner that is consistent and understandable.
- Reduce your information collecting points. Most people have multiple email inboxes, paper inboxes, voice mailboxes, snail mailboxes, etc. That is too many locations to manage incoming information. Try to whittle it down to only a couple.
5. Continued Self-Development Skills
“Everything we would ever need to become rich and powerful and sophisticated is within our reach. The major reason that so few take advantage of all that we have is simply, neglect.” – Jim Rohn
This is the most important personal management skill of them all. Without the ability to continue moving forward with personal development you will be unable to recognize the areas that need to be corrected in order to increase your time, financial, communication, and organization skills. Without continued self-development, your personal management skills will falter and the awesome person that you are will fail to reach its full potential.
A few ways to increase your continued self-development skills are:
- Schedule a weekly appointment with yourself in order to evaluate your progress and your setbacks
- Spend time each morning focusing on what it is you’re going to accomplish for the day
- Review your day at its closing and accept the areas that need work and praise yourself for the day’s victories
- Remain open-minded and flexible. Remember, change is inevitable.
- Create goals and long term objectives
- No matter what, continue moving forward
By practicing these 5 personal management skills you will assert yourself towards productive personal management. You will find yourself much more confident and relaxed in your everyday dealings. Your finances will be more of a blessing that a pain. You will be understood and you will know exactly where you are heading. Through personal management your integrity will far outshine your faults and you truly will become…awesome.
(Image courtesy of jfgornet under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 generic license.)