How College Students Can Improve their Self-Management Skills

Have you ever wondered why two students with equal talents may perform differently in college?

While surely a lot depends on our life circumstances, self-management still has a fundamental importance in how successful a person is. What is it exactly and why does it matter?

Self-management is a number of tools and techniques that help students to control and direct their emotions, actions, and behaviors to overcome obstacles, advance in various spheres of their life, and have a full and happy life in general. 

Good self-management skills largely define whether you become a successful learner or not. They also help students to fight stress, stay positive and active, and make wise and valuable choices to be healthy, energized, and avoid burnout. To cut the long story short, they help students to be in control of their lives rather than simply react to circumstances.

These six strategies will help you to become the guru of self-management.

Practice Time Management

Time management is the first step to successful self-management. It helps to stay on top of your progress and priorities, remove time wastes, and have more valuable and meaningful experiences.

Sometimes, students think that good time management skills mean to fit all assignments and obligations into your daily/weekly/monthly schedule and accomplish them with flying colors no matter what. However, it’s far from the truth. To lead a successful and, most importantly, a happy life, students need to experience its every facet. Therefore, it’s important to make time for travel, hobbies, and social interactions rather than simply cramming for the next exam. 

Time management always starts with making up a schedule that would allow you to move forward with your plans and obligations but would also contain small pleasures every now and then. Don’t expect it to be easy: you’ll have to master prioritizing and make peace with the idea that some things have to be delegated. But once you do, you’ll take a huge burden of worries, insecurity, and anxiety from your shoulders.

Control Your Thoughts

Many students suffer from loss of motivation, self-sabotage, or self-deprecation which significantly damage their academic results and quality of life in general. Oftentimes, it happens because of the destructive dialogues they lead with themselves. Unreal expectations, loser attitude, and complete disbelief in personal talents often have no objective grounds but do influence negatively student’s behavior and decisions. Such students tend to give up halfway and in heavier cases, show aggressive and self-destructive behavior. 

The very first thing to do is to start tracking thoughts in your head and replace negative statements with a positive and realistic mindset. For example, “I can’t do this because I am too dumb” should be replaced with “I can do this if I put enough effort/ask someone to help”. 

Next, students should stop cherishing false expectations that don’t draw them closer to their goals but only bring disappointment. It is important to realize that Rome wasn’t built in one day and all major changes don’t come overnight. However, the more effort you put into something, the faster you approach the desired result.

Set and Achieve Goals

Achieving goals is crucial for our confidence and healthy self-esteem. Every time you accomplish what you’ve planned, your brain releases endorphins in your bloodstream making you feel happy and proud of yourself. However, it is even more important than that; determination largely defines how people see you and affects your health, well-being, and success in life.

To use it as an effective tool for your self-management, follow the SMART-rule when setting your goals. This means that they are should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-limited. The purpose is not to perform heroics but to have a regular inflow of small victories to stay optimistic and upbeat even when it gets too hard. There is another important remark though, make sure your goals are not imposed by someone else; otherwise, the way towards them will seem unbearable.

Have a Vibrant College Life

College is not just about studying; it is a perfect chance to grow personally and emotionally, build a valuable network of contacts, and try yourself in different roles. Meeting with peers, attending community or club gatherings, and occasional parties are important for an enjoyable college experience, emotional stability, and confidence. Try yourself in as many areas as you can. This will give you an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses, as well as an assurance that the sky is your limit. 

Tame Procrastination

Being skilled in self-management means knowing how to deal with procrastination. In a nutshell, we procrastinate when we know that we have to do something but the task seems too unbearable emotionally or physically that we keep postponing it. In reality, you will have to finish it anyway after you throw out of the window a lot of time and mental effort.

There are a lot of ways to tame procrastination: a five-minute rule to get into the swing, breaking a large assignment into smaller tasks so that it didn’t seem so intimidating, attacking the most unpleasant job to finish it ASAP, or do something related to get in the mood. Sometimes, even deciding to fail better than lagging. Choose what works best for you. 

Manage Stress

While the previous five strategies also help reduce stress levels, there is something else you can do to find emotional balance. For some, like Ally Morris, making peace with your weaknesses works better than positive affirmations: “I’m a blogger but I hate writing. That’s why I used an MBA essay writing service when I was studying for my degree. And I use writing help for my blog too. Guilty!” Others prefer meditations. Give it your best shot and find something that works for you.

Students with good self-management skills less often suffer from anxiety or depression and usually, are more independent and caring about others. They tend to have healthier emotional intelligence, take things easier, and describe their overall college experience as positive and fun. To join their number, you know what to do!

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