Building Self Management Skills: Empower Your Students

Author: Antoinette Morris

Posted: 11 Sep 2023

Estimated time to read: 4 mins

Read this blog to learn more about the CASEL competency 'Self Management' and the impact it has on student academic outcomes, wellbeing and behaviour management.  

What is self management?

Self management, one of the five CASEL social emotional learning competencies, equips students with essential skills to regulate their emotions, set and work towards goals and navigate challenges effectively. By building self management skills, students develop resilience, self-discipline and the ability to make responsible choices. In this blog post, we will explore strategies for empowering students to cultivate self management skills and achieve more.

Interested in learning more about social emotional learning?

Why is self management important?

Building self management skills in your students has an array of benefits: 

Academic success: Self management skills contribute to improved academic performance by helping students stay organised, manage their time effectively and remain focused on their studies.

Healthy relationships: Individuals with strong self management skills are often better equipped to navigate interpersonal relationships, as they can regulate their emotions, communicate effectively and resolve conflicts in a constructive manner.

Mental health and wellbeing: Self management plays a significant role in maintaining good mental health. It helps individuals cope with stress and emotional challenges, reducing the risk of mental health issues such as anxiety and depression.

Life success: Self management skills are not limited to academic settings but are essential for success in various aspects of life, including career, personal relationships and overall life satisfaction.

Strategies for self management

Develop emotional regulation skills 

Help students develop emotional regulation skills by teaching them strategies to manage their emotions effectively. Encourage deep breathing exercises, mindfulness practices and positive self-talk such as daily affirmations and labelling strengths.

These techniques won't work unless you provide a calm and supportive environment where students can express their feelings constructively. Remember: modelling these behaviours and practices yourself is the best way to get your students to listen and understand! 

Teach goal setting and planning 

Guide students in setting realistic, meaningful goals for both the short and long term and creating action plans to achieve them. Teaching them the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goal-setting framework works well as a foundation. After all, creating wildly unrealistic goals can be more damaging than not setting them, so it's important to supervise the goal setting process.

Break larger goals into smaller, more manageable steps to maintain motivation and track progress. When goals have been set, regularly review and adjust as needed, as well as celebrating steps taken towards those goals to boost students' self-confidence and motivation.

CASEL Competency_Self management (1)

Encourage effective time management and organisation 

Time management is a crucial aspect of self management. Teach students effective  time management techniques, such as creating schedules, prioritising tasks and avoiding procrastination. Help them develop organisational skills, such as maintaining a planner or digital calendar, using folders for class materials and organising any digital files using a predetermined system. These skills enable students to stay focused and meet deadlines, consequently reducing their stress.

Build resilience and self discipline 

Grow self discipline by encouraging students to practice delayed gratification and resist distractions. Teach them strategies for maintaining focus and staying motivated, such as setting rewards or engaging in mindfulness breaks. Cultivate resilience by teaching students to bounce back from setbacks, learn from failures and view challenges as opportunities for growth. Provide support and encouragement when faced with obstacles.

Focus on problem solving and decision-making skills 

Empower students to become effective problem solvers and decision-makers. Teach them problem-solving frameworks, such as identifying the problem, brainstorming solutions, considering consequences and evaluating options, or any others that you find helpful. Encourage critical thinking and weighing pros and cons before making decisions with open class discussions. Provide opportunities for students to practice problem-solving and decision-making in real-life scenarios, fostering their independence and self-confidence.



Building self management skills is essential for students to navigate challenges, set goals and make responsible choices. By teaching emotional regulation techniques educators can empower students to take ownership of their actions and thrive academically and socially. Self management equips students with the tools they need to succeed both inside and outside the classroom.



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