My daughter is finding her ability to solve third grade math problems. A few weeks ago she was comparing herself to other people in her class. We told her it doesn’t matter what others are doing and if it is something important to her she will have to practice everyday. In the last two weeks she managed to double her online score. However, today when she started working harder problems at the next level her score went down. She stressed out comparing herself to others in her class once again. My wife told her, “Instead of comparing yourself to others, why don’t you compare yourself to how you did yesterday.”
Businesses use metrics to do the same thing. They set performance expectations for themselves. Thus they now whether they are improving or degrading in their daily, monthly and yearly activities. If they degrade they figure out the cause and take corrective actions to improve again. If my daughter can learn to do so, she will start managing herself and the activities she decides are important to her. She will manage the business of herself.
Managing the business of you starts with setting expectations for yourself.