What is self-management?

Self-management is shown in people who

  • accept responsibility
  • act with integrity
  • show flexibility
  • develop personal resilience
  • show initiative
  • demonstrate appropriate assertiveness
  • practise effective time management
  • demonstrate an ability to improve performance based on feedback
  • come up with ideas unaided
  • show an ability to meet your objectives independently

University life can be quite overwhelming at times - Freshers Week is a great example of just how many activities there are on offer, before lectures have even kicked off! - so from Day 1 it is really important to develop strong self-management skills. They will help you make the most of your time at university and get you prepared for the exciting but busy life that awaits post-graduation.

Students who display self-management skills can be extremely attractive to employers. It suggests that they can hit the ground running, solve problems quickly and effectively, and generally make their lives easier! If you are considering starting up your own company or undertaking freelance work during or after your studies, it is imperative that you can perform well in this area.

Self-management 'behaviours'

  • Meeting personal goals and objectives
  • Coming up with new ideas and using your own initiative to move projects forward
  • Remaining committed and persevering when your workload is particularly heavy
  • Showing flexibility when plans change unexpectedly and being able to prioritise
  • Accepting change positively and looking for support when necessary
  • Assessing risks and foreseeing problems before they arise
  • Thinking entrepreneurially and creatively

Self-management skills development: examples and evidence

Self-management examples and evidence

Academic related

Consistently meeting work deadlines

Working on/completing a dissertation or lengthy project

Planning a revision schedule

Preparing and delivering a presentation

Completing the holiday reading list

Completing course work in advance

Arriving at lectures on time

Coming up with ideas to improve your course in a consultative forum

Attending Teaching and Learning Centre events|, such as

  • Studying and surviving at LSE
  • Adjusting to life at LSE
  • Managing your time
  • Effective reading strategies
  • Overcoming perfectionism
  • Overcoming procrastination
  • Managing study-related stress
  • Mindfulness and stress management

Starting up your own business

Fitting in clubs/societies alongside academic commitments

Long distance running/marathons

Learning a new language at home

Independent travel/gap year

Regularly attending the gym

Signing up to self-improvement courses

Creating a marketing campaign (eg for election to university societies)

Work experience/volunteering  

Regularly meeting and/or exceeding sales targets

Organising an event with an allocated budget

Completing an appraisal form

Writing a business proposal

Opening and closing a shop/restaurant at the beginning and end of a day

Working from home

Visiting elderly people on a weekly basis

Assisting at the local youth club

Keeping a learning log/reflective journal about your experiences


Familiarising yourself with online self-management tools

Using project management packages

Keeping a diary and recording 'to do' lists (online or hard copy)

Building a career development plan

Signing up to an IT Outlook course to improve time management skills

Building and maintaining a comprehensive LinkedIn profile

Actively seeking feedback from peers