Skip to main content

Student life

5 ways to boost productivity at home

This article appears in: Study tips
CDU student Ally working at home on her lounge floor

If you’re going to be working remotely, like so many of us have been recently, self-management skills become even more essential. At home, there’s no one else around to motivate you, to stop you from indulging in distractions and to structure your working day. It’s all up to you.

As the name suggests, self-management skills are about managing yourself better and getting the most out of everything you do. They are incredibly important across all roles and levels and employers love to see them, as employees with these skills are generally more self-sufficient and productive.

To manage yourself you need to have good practical personal organisation skills, but that’s not all: effective self-management is built on five key areas.

Whatever environment you’re working in, one of the keys to success lies in your ability to manage yourself well.

1. Take initiative

This is about being engaged enough to see what needs to be done, to be motivated enough to do it (before someone else tells you to) and to take complete responsibility for it.

To take initiative you need to take an interest in what’s going on outside of your bubble of tasks or duties, to have the confidence to volunteer yourself for the challenge or take on the responsibility and the resourcefulness to find solutions.

2. Be conscientious

You need to care about what you’re doing.

There’s no point in taking on a challenge if you’re not going to give it your best shot. You need to commit to the task and work hard to get it done, but you also need to really care about what you’re doing. A conscientious person has strong attention to detail and always checks their own work thoroughly.

3. Manage your time

This is about how you organise yourself, manage your workload, meet deadlines and manage expectations. Organising yourself may be as simple as having a to-do list or using a task management tool like Trello. You also need to be clear about your deadlines as that’s the easiest way to prioritise your time. Never over-promise because that’s a sure-fire way to end up under-delivering and if you do have to push back on a deadline, make sure you communicate this clearly.

If you have to push back on a deadline, make sure you communicate this clearly.

4. Practice self-awareness

Understanding your strengths, development areas, preferences and tendencies means you’re more likely to succeed in the tasks you put yourself forward for, as they’ll be a better match with your existing or aspiring skill set.

You’ll also be more likely to catch yourself with regard to weaknesses in your working style and be more sensitive to your own resilience levels. This will help you to manage stress, balance work with the rest of your life and get the job done more efficiently and effectively.

5. Take ownership of your development

The actions you choose to take or not to take are your responsibility.

Self-management also means taking responsibility for your own development. Although managers, mentors and teachers will offer valuable guidance on how you can grow and develop, the actions you choose to take or not to take are your responsibility.

Use your self-awareness to identify what you’re good at and what you need to develop, your initiative to take advantage of opportunities and your conscientiousness and time management skills to do the best job you can do. Make yourself, as well as others, proud of what you can and should achieve.

Whatever environment you’re working in, one of the keys to success, not just in terms of your performance but your overall well-being and happiness, lies in your ability to manage yourself well. 

Honing your self-management skills will ensure you continue to thrive in whatever you’re doing.


Explore 300+ courses

Hear more from CDU

Keep up-to-date with key dates, study tips, student stories and more.