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10 Ways Managers Can Better Manage Themselves

We all want to be at the top – and at the top of our game – but let’s face it. Being a manager is not for the faint of heart. 

Managing others can be stressful and challenging, but what about when you have to manage yourself? Many managers overlook the importance of self-management, yet it is crucial for personal and professional success. 

Without being able to successfully manage yourself, you can’t expect to lead a successful team. After all, leading by example is the best strategy for long-term improvement. 

In this post, we’ll share 10 ways managers can better manage themselves to become happier, more productive, and successful.

Why is Managing Yourself Important?

Leadership is no easy feat. It requires finesse, strategy, and above all, a strong sense of self. While many aspire to be leaders, few understand that managing oneself is key to becoming a successful one. You may be wondering, “Why bother with self-management when leadership is all about inspiring others to do their best?”

The truth is that consistency is key in leadership, and consistency stems from a clear and structured routine. Knowing how to manage yourself effectively means that you are able to stick to your commitments, manage your time well, and stay focused on your goals. 

This ultimately enables you to be more consistent in your leadership approach and decisions. When you are always hitting your personal targets, your team will be more likely to trust that you’ll do the same when it comes to the organization’s goals and keeping things running smoothly.

It also fosters emotional intelligence. This is the ability to recognize, understand and manage our own emotions and those of others. It’s a critical trait for leaders to possess if they want to inspire and motivate their team members. 

When you manage yourself effectively, your emotional energy is put towards your team rather than being spent on managing your own emotions and struggles. You’ll become more self-aware and be able to anticipate your team’s needs better.

And remember, a leader’s role requires managing people, processes, projects, and a never-ending to-do list. Without effective self-management skills, it can be tough to get everything done without sacrificing quality, creativity, or downright burning out. When you manage yourself well, you prioritize what’s most important and set realistic goals that you can accomplish effectively. 

This translates into productivity that becomes infectious in your organization. Your team will start to follow your lead, ultimately leading to a more productive and happier work environment.

10 Ways Managers Can Better Manage Themselves

As a leader, the way you manage yourself sets the tone for how your team operates. Managing yourself is leading by example. It’s a practice of discipline and diligence that encourages others to follow your lead. 

When you demonstrate your ability to manage yourself well, your team will be motivated to emulate your behavior, ultimately cultivating a leadership culture across the organization.

So how do you do it? Here are ten easy strategies you can incorporate into your daily routine so that you can manage yourself better – and lead your team to success. 

1. Identify Your Own Areas of Improvement, and Set Goals

First things first, you need to identify the areas of self-management that you want to improve. If you’re saying, “I don’t have any areas that need improvement,” that’s a red flag. As managers, we all have skills or traits we’d like to improve upon. Understanding our weaknesses is the first step in becoming stronger leaders. 

Whether it’s better communication or problem-solving skills, start by reflecting on areas where you feel you can grow. 

Try to be as specific as possible, such as ‘I want to improve my ability to delegate tasks’ or ‘I want to improve my time management skills.’ Once you have identified your areas of improvement, you can move on to setting goals.

The next step is to set goals that will help you grow in your chosen areas of improvement. When setting goals, it’s important to keep them SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound). For example, instead of setting a goal like ‘Improve time management,’ try setting a specific goal like ‘I will complete all my priority tasks by 3 PM each day for the next two weeks.’ This goal is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.

Once you have identified your areas of improvement and set your SMART goals, it’s time to create an action plan. Your action plan should outline the steps and activities you need to take to achieve your goals. 

For example, if your goal is to improve your delegation skills, your action plan could include tasks like; ‘Research delegation techniques,’ ‘Schedule a meeting with a mentor to discuss delegation skills,’ or ‘Delegate at least three tasks to team members this week.’ With an action plan, you’ll have a clear plan of action that will help you achieve your goals.

2. Set Up Solid Routines for Yourself and Others 

A good routine is an essential part of success, especially in management. 

When routines are in place, it reduces decision fatigue and cognitive overload. You know what you need to do and when to do it. As a result, you become more efficient and effective, making better use of your time, and maximizing your overall impact.

Creating a routine might seem challenging, but it’s easier than you think. Start by identifying the critical tasks that need to be done regularly. Next, allocate specific timeframes to perform each task. 

For instance, if you need to write an important report, allocating two hours every day until you complete it can be a sound routine. You can use tools like calendars, task management apps, and to-do lists to help you stay on track. Make sure you stick to your routine consistently, even when you don’t feel like it.

Remember that you need to establish routines not only for yourself but also for your team. By doing so, everyone knows what their tasks are, when to complete them, and how they fit into the broader goals of the team. These routines will promote accountability, reduce stress, and improve team collaboration as everyone knows what their fellow team members are doing. You can implement routines like daily check-ins, weekly meetings, or setting up specific hours for uninterrupted work.

Throughout this process, be open to feedback and adjustments. Routines are not set in stone, and they can change as situations arise. For instance, if you discover a routine is not working correctly or needs improvement, don’t hesitate to adjust it. 

You can also ask your team for feedback to find out if the routine is working for them or if adjustments need to be made. A flexible approach to routines can help you grow in your management role and improve your skills.

3. Make Time to Rest

Our minds and bodies need rest and recuperation time. Just like we set aside time to work, it’s essential that we prioritize time to rest. Create a schedule that allows for downtime. If you’ve been working all day, don’t bring your work home with you. Instead, set aside time for yourself to read, exercise, or just take a nap. By prioritizing rest, you’re sending a message that you value yourself, and your well-being is essential to you.

During your rest and recharge time, disconnect. Make it a point to turn off your phone, log out of your emails, and disconnect from social media for a few hours. By doing this, you’ll be able to clear your mind, stay focused, and avoid burnout.

Remember that rest doesn’t necessarily mean you need to spend hours doing nothing. It’s more about the quality of the rest than the quantity. So, if you only have 30 minutes to rest, make the most of it. Turn off your phone, take some deep breaths, or listen to music. It’s not about how long you rest but how well you rest.

4. Time Your Tasks, Then Prioritize Them 

Time management is all about prioritizing tasks and ensuring you complete important tasks on time. An effective way to stay on top of your to-do list (and to develop better self-management skills!) is to time each task and then prioritize them based on their importance.

Start by timing how long each task takes to complete. Once you have a good estimate of how long each task takes, prioritize your tasks based on their importance and deadline. 

Focus on completing the most important task first, then move on to the next task. This will help you stay on track and complete important tasks on time.

5. Welcome Change and Feedback From Others 

As a manager, you’re constantly juggling multiple responsibilities, and it can be exhausting to keep up with everything. 

However, it’s so important to remain open to change and feedback from others. This is a vital component of effective management. Not only can you identify areas that need to be improved for the sake of your employees, but you can figure out what you can do to become better at managing yourself, too. 

Ask your colleagues for feedback on your work or management style. Use this feedback to improve and make adjustments to help you manage your time better. Be open to change if something isn’t working.

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Ask your team to provide input on your management style and be willing to change as a team.

6. Take a Class or Pursue Other Professional Development 

One of the best ways to improve as a manager is to never stop learning and growing. Taking a class or pursuing another form of professional development can help managers gain new skills and knowledge that they can apply to their work. 

Whether it’s a course on effective communication or a workshop on time management, there are plenty of options available. Not only will this help you, as a manager, become better at your job, but it will also increase your confidence and job satisfaction.

7. Develop a Strong Vision

As a manager, you need to be able to set clear goals and objectives for your team and to communicate those goals effectively. But to do that, you first need to have a strong vision for where you want your team to go. This means taking the time to think about your long-term goals, and how you can align your team’s work with those goals.

At iCreatives, we understand the importance of investing in personal growth and development. That’s why we offer a wide range of staffing and recruiting services to help marketing departments, ad agencies, and other creative teams find the best talent to support their goals.

Whether you’re looking for temporary or full-time employees, freelancers or contract workers, we can help you build a team that’s aligned with your vision and business objectives.

8. Conduct Two-Way Performance Reviews

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Taking the time to conduct two-way performance reviews will help you grow as a manager.

Performance reviews are often one-sided, where the manager provides feedback to the employee. However, conducting two-way performance reviews allows employees to provide feedback to their manager as well. It’s a smart way to boost your organizational culture and help yourself grow as a manager.

This can help managers identify areas where they need to improve and become more effective leaders. It also helps employees feel heard and valued, which can improve morale and job satisfaction.

9. Invest in Your Personal Networks

In today’s business world, networking isn’t just a nice-to-have; it’s a necessity. Building relationships with colleagues, industry peers, and potential vendors can help you stay on top of trends, find new opportunities, and navigate important business decisions. 

When you have a strong network, you can tap into a wealth of knowledge and resources that can help you become a more effective manager. Plus, you’ll have people to turn to when you need advice or support.

One great way to build your personal network is to get involved in industry associations or groups. 

For example, if you work in marketing, there are likely several groups in your area that bring together marketing professionals for networking, education, and social events. Another option is to attend conferences or trade shows related to your industry. These events are a great way to meet new people and learn about the latest trends and best practices in your field. 

10. Build Your Emotional Intelligence and Self-Regulation Skills 

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the ability to recognize and manage your own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. Managers who possess high levels of EI can create a positive work environment, build strong relationships with their team, and handle conflict effectively. 

Self-regulation is also an important aspect of managing yourself as a manager. This involves being able to control your own emotions and behavior to achieve your goals. Practice self-awareness, mindfulness, and empathy to build your EI and self-regulation skills.

The Takeaway

Being a manager isn’t easy, but investing in yourself can help you become a better leader and build a more successful team. By following these tips, you can stay on top of trends, identify new opportunities, and communicate your goals effectively. 
So take the time to invest in yourself, and watch as your career – and your team – flourish. And if you’re looking for top talent to help you achieve your goals, contact iCreatives today.

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