Future Focused Skills: How to develop self-management skills

Future Focused Skills: How to develop self-management skills
Pearson Online Academy UK Global

In our previous posts in the Future Focused Skills series, we explained why it's important to teach future focused skills, and gave tips on developing critical thinking, creativity, communication, and collaboration. Today we look at how young people can find opportunities to develop self-management skills. 




What it is 

People with strong self-management skills are often more motivated, reliable, and need less oversight than those who are less organised. They are generally able to manage their emotions, behaviour, and effort. Those who self-regulate are self-reflective and regularly monitor their progress allowing them to continually learn and improve. 


Otherwise known as  

  • Time management 
  • Work ethic 
  • Professionalism 
  • Attention to detail 
  • Self-starter 
  • Initiative 


Tasks to seek out 

  • Long-term, multi-step projects or assignments. 

  • Proofreading projects or assignments. 

  • Pursuing short- and long-term goals. 

  • Activities that require the management of emotions, including tasks that are stressful or frustrating. 


Ways to practice the skills within these tasks 

  • When you have a long-term assignment or project, use goal-setting strategies, such as setting SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic/Relevant and Timely). Break down large tasks into more manageable sub-tasks and think through how much time the different sub-tasks will take.  

  • Anticipate roadblocks you might face (for example, getting distracted from schoolwork by social media) and identify strategies for avoiding or working through them (for example, restricting your access to specific times of day). As you begin to work, consider how you are progressing. If you are getting off-track, consider changing your work habits or the strategies you are using. 

  • Think about situations where you experience emotions that are unhelpful. This could include stress about school assignments or anger at friends that lead to hurt feelings. Explore resources that support emotional management skills, including deep breathing and other physical relaxation strategies, mindfulness meditation, and self-talk. Try out these strategies to see what works. 

After practicing, ask for immediate feedback from teachers or peers so that you can build on your performance and improve next time. 

In our next post in the series, we will tackle how to develop leadership skills.