“Self-management is more like a social and emotional skill that we all need to embrace. No matter how old you are, if you are able to develop this, [you] will go far in life.” – Joven
By the end of the day, many of us feel overworked, stressed, and overwhelmed. When it comes time to relax, we can’t help but think of all the tasks we have yet to complete even after the workday ends. Many of us are left with lengthy to-do lists, full email inboxes, etc. Weighed down by seemingly never-ending responsibilities and the fear of failing to progress on a project while working on something else — like another task.
Become Your Own Leader
Capping off a Thursday evening, we sat down and spoke with our Chief Operating Officer, Joven Suobiron, who shared his wisdom and insights on how he learned the art of managing himself over the years working at Xillium. “I’ve transitioned from one role to another… I [supervised] a small group of virtual employees,” Joven started. From overseeing a team to leading big projects, self-management is a crucial skill he has learned as a leader. His advice to Xillium employees, “If you know how to manage yourself, you’ll be able to deal with your clients’ complexities” and to managers, “you’ll be able to manage your staff & the company as a whole”. You become your own leader when you learn how to self-manage.
“If you’re aware [and] able to regulate your emotions, at the end of the day, you’d become productive, efficient, and effective in whatever you do. Joven talked about self-regulation being an important element of managing oneself. “By knowing your emotions, you have to know your triggers,” he said. “If you know what makes you angry or happy, you’re able to act properly in the most spontaneous of situations,” he went on, giving emphasis on how important it is to self-regulate so we can take better care of our emotions and mental health. After all, being able to stay calm in stressful situations can lead to smarter decisions.”
The Power of Small Wins
Part of our culture in the company is working on multiple projects and spending the appropriate amount of time working on them. However, some of us would feel burnt-out and that our efforts were not paying off. “Goals give us direction,” Joven began, explaining how goal setting is a powerful process for motivating oneself and moving forward. “Setting [short term] goals and striving to achieve them motivates us that we have to do something…” He continued, “at the end of the day this will give [you] daily wins or small victories… No matter how small they are, it still gives you a sense of fulfillment that you’re able to do something for today.”
He went on to give us more steps on how we can improve our self-management skills. Some include: managing daily stressors and time, strengthening decision-making skills, creating a regular routine and most importantly to taking care of oneself. The latter being the “meat of self-management”, Joven said, “Develop new skills, get a more physically fit body, perform well in your job. And be happy.”
Self-management is a valuable workplace skill that can — and should be — cultivated. It may take months, perhaps years to some, before it becomes second nature. But as Joven said, taking small steps leads to “daily wins, small victories,” and focusing on small victories makes executing large goals more manageable. These small steps pave the way for a larger path to success.
Liezel is a senior writer at Xillium, holding a degree in literature. Prior to joining the company, she spent six years mentoring foreign Asian students to improve their English communication skills in a web-based education. Her academic involvement included developing and revising instructional materials and content. Liezel's career in distance learning has honed her skills in communication, management, research, and technology.