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Improve your self-management

There comes a time in everyone’s life when you must sit and ask yourself the hard questions: “What do I actually want?” “What's important to me in life?” This is the moment you stop fooling around and start taking responsibility for your actions in order to achieve your purpose in life.

Self-management – or defining what you really want

Finding out what's really important to you isn’t always easy. And making the right decisions for you personally is an art. Luckily, you don't have to do this all by yourself, because there are various techniques and tips that can help you find your way to inner peace and contentment.

Self-management vs. time management

Time management and self-management are often spoken of in the same breath, which is misleading. Of course, there are similarities, but at a certain point they diverge. Where time management focuses on dividing up the 24 hours in a day, self-management focuses on making the right decisions. Ultimately, if you want to use  your time correctly, you need to be clear about your priorities and what you want to achieve.

Self-management hand with wooden cubes

Which technique to choose?

Less stress, taking charge of your time and setting the right goals? Where your neighbor swears by method X, your pool cleaner recommends method Y. But which is the best? Answer: none. Because only you can decide which techniques are useful for you. Different methods suit different people. Our motto: just give it a try. Here are the four best-known techniques:

  • The Eisenhower Method: As in the former U.S. president. He once formulated a way to keep on top of your in-tray. First you should ask yourself whether something is important or unimportant and then whether it's urgent or not urgent. Out of these two questions, four categories emerge:

1. Important and urgent

2. Important but not urgent

3. Unimportant but urgent

4. Unimportant and not urgent


Whether it’s your incoming mail, your schedule or your personal goals, if you can arrange all your tasks and goals in this way, you can easily make the right decisions.

  • The Pomodoro method: Unfortunately, has nothing to do with eating pasta. This method is about taking breaks when doing certain tasks. Do you want to answer your e-mails within 20 minutes? Great, but after that you take a five-minute break. Taking periodic breaks allows you to keep stress at bay.
  • The SMART method: SMART stands for:

 1. Specific: Be clear about your goals. The more specific you are, the easier to determine the priority.

2. Measurable: Your goals should be quantifiable, so that you can check afterwards whether you have reached them.

3. Attainable: Make sure your goals aren’t too lofty. Losing 40 pounds in one week probably isn’t going to happen. Make sure your goals are reasonable and feasible.

4. Relevant: Does this matter? Ensuring your goal is worthwhile to you makes you responsible for achieving them.

5. Time-bound: When do you want to reach your goal?

  • The GTD method: Another shortcut. This time it's about Getting Things Done. If Eisenhower's method seems too elaborate or not meaningful to you, just do it in a simpler form. Decide what seems most important to you and what seems less important.


Methods: “Staying Power” is essential. Motivation allows you to stick to your method. And nothing keeps you motivated like a reward. That said, always make it a point to celebrate success. Big or small, you should be proud of what you've achieved so far. So, patting yourself on the back is all part of the job.

Still finding it difficult to stay motivated? Find yourself a buddy, because together you can do more.

Lastly (but certainly not least): ditch the routine. Doing something because you always did it that way is not a good reason. Be brave – embrace the new.

Remember, not everything will go according to plan – life would be entirely too boring if it did. Now that you’re armed with these tools, never lose sight of your own goals and desires, and you’ll be well on your way to rocking your everyday life like a boss.

Team Clean wishes you the best.