How to Manage Yourself When No One Else Will

How to Manage Yourself When No One Else Will

Often, it is hardest to manage yourself. After all, it’s difficult to treat yourself in the same way you’d treat another person. It’s easy to make excuses for yourself. But don’t worry, because as you adopt the role of your own boss, you are in a unique position to become exactly the kind of boss you’ve always admired. You can be tough but fair and drive yourself to achieve great things.

Know your limits

When you first find yourself responsible to manage yourself, it’s important that you are able quickly identify your limits in regards to the work that you’re doing. For the first day or two, work flat out. Doing this will give you a useful yardstick with which to measure your productivity on future days. You won’t have to work that hard every single day, but you’ll know what your best is.

It’s kind of like how other jobs would have a probation period, except that you would be completely in charge of everything and it’s more to see what you’re capable of, rather than deciding on whether or not you can actually do the job.

Challenge yourself

You know what you’re capable of and you know why you don’t make your goals. If you didn’t get as much work done as you should have done, then you should look at yourself and your work motivators. In a normal work environment, one of the things that keeps you going is the fact that you don’t want to get told off by your boss, or that you don’t want to let other team members down. If you’re not getting any feedback from management, you need to learn to also be afraid of letting yourself down.

If you don’t reach a target which you know you reasonably could have reached, then think of some form of self-denial or challenge that will spur you on just that little bit extra. Force yourself to work extra hours to make up for lost time, or look at your productivity and the ways you are actually working. Implementing the Pomodoro Technique can be a great productivity booster, but you’ll have to find the methods that work best for you.

Reward yourself

You must be sure to reward yourself for hard work and celebrate your own wins when you manage yourself. Maybe after a week’s hard work you deserve that nice new shirt you’re after? Or maybe you get something extra nice for dinner because you know you put in a really good effort? Employees should receive praise when they do well, so make sure you praise yourself too.

Incentivization is important. You don’t need to necessarily do it based on the whole day’s work, either. You might, for example, like to keep a box of nice biscuits with you while you work and help yourself to one each time you do something good.

Rewards can also be career-driven, not pleasure-driven. Maybe you can finally reach out to that mentor you’ve been meaning to talk to? Make sure you keep adding new elements and layers to your work, and that you spend part of your work time innovating and exploring. Discovering something new about yourself and the role is infinitely rewarding and will keep your mind active and motivation levels high.

Don’t forget to delegate work and take breaks

Taking on too much work yourself will lead to exhaustion, and you requiring long periods of time out of the saddle. Make sure your workload is sustainable. Check out this guide on self-care to see what you could be doing to stay mentally fit and able  – when you’re a manager, with so much responsibility riding on your shoulders, it’s recommended that you take care of yourself.

Consider putting enough faith into your middle management or general staff to run the business every now and then while you enjoy a break. Having trained up your workforce to keep the show running in your absence will be a load of your mind, and will prevent any mishaps happening should you need time off for personal reasons. After all, you never know what is coming around the corner, and it’s best to be prepared.

Try not to take your work too seriously

Of course, your work is your livelihood, and that’s why you are a manager and a leader. But taking your work too seriously can put unnecessary strain on yourself and those around you.

Despite the gravity of your responsibilities, you should change your management style to make your organization a fun place to work. Consider offering your employees perks such as days off on their birthday, and flexitime. Giving your staff the chance to work hard yet play hard too will make your workplace a more enjoyable and productive place.


Self-management isn’t quite as difficult and daunting as it at first might seem. Once you have put measures in place to keep yourself working at a steady pace, you’ll soon get into the swing of things. The difficulty is in getting things started in the first place. As long as you’re able to incentivize yourself and avoid wasting time on the less important things, you should be able to do a great job. How do you keep yourself motivated?

About Victoria Greene

Victoria is a Brand Marketing Consultant & Freelance Writer who works with ecommerce businesses and marketing teams to create valuable content and targeted marketing strategies. She is a very self-driven person with a lot of experience working as her own manager. She enjoys sharing her knowledge through guest posting.

Posted in: Career, Uncategorized

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