Personal Skills

Personal skills refer to a set of skills essential to effectively manage and balance one’s academic work and personal life. These skills enable students to take charge of their own learning and overall well-being through appropriate decision-making and problem solving. These skills play an important role in the academic as well as career success of students.


Time and Work Management

Time is one of the most precious things for an undergraduate student. Many students struggle to manage their work and personal lives effectively. They struggle to find time to study, work on assignments, participate in club activities, spend time with family etc. This happens because of poor time management due to lack of awareness and better time management skills. Effective time management is not just one skill. It is a set of several important skills. 

Planning and organizing

This skill helps in setting long term and short term goals, dividing the goals into small tasks, developing daily, weekly and monthly work calendars, and prioritizing tasks. 

Time Tracking and Reviewing 

This skill is essential to keep track of time taken for various tasks and to reflect on it. The process helps in reviewing plans and improve actions to successfully complete a task. 

Overcoming Procrastination 

Procrastination is the act of delaying or postponing a task or set of tasks. It is the force that prevents you from following through on what you set out to do. It is important to learn the techniques to overcome procrastination to make the best use of your time

Managing Distractions

Knowing your personal distractors and managing them properly is also an important skill to learn. In today’s world of technology, many things seek your attention and distract you from your studies and other important work. It is important for you to know these distractors and to not let them distract you while you work or study. 

Converting Wasteful Time into Useful Time 

There are several chunks of time during a day that are wasted due to poor planning, such as time in between classes, time wasted while waiting for transport, etc. One should be conscious of these timeslots and make effective use of them with proper planning. 

To get further information on ways to manage time effectively refer to the following resources:

Stress and Emotional Management

Stress is a situation that triggers a particular biological response. When a person perceives a threat or a major challenge, chemicals and hormones surge throughout the body and trigger a fight-or-flight response. 

Stress is a part of life, and a little bit of stress can be a good thing – it helps us work harder and faster in spurts. However, a consistent state of stress impacts negatively on a person’s health and ability to work effectively. Learning how to deal with stress so that it does not control your mind or harm your body is an important skill to learn. 

Likewise, it is also important to learn to manage emotions like ‘fear’, ‘grief’, ‘disappointment’, ‘loss’ etc. These emotions are also an inevitable part of life and one needs to learn to deal with them effectively in order to be healthy and active. 

For more understanding use the following resources


Assertiveness is a style of communicating or talking with people. Assertiveness means telling people your needs or ideas clearly and directly. It means not being afraid or shy when you tell people what you want.

Assertiveness is a style of communicating your feelings and opinions openly, directly and honestly with others while also remaining respectful of the needs and rights of others. Assertiveness is an important attitude which can be learnt by acquiring a set of skills. Being assertive gives you confidence, self-respect, and courage. It gives you space to set your boundaries, express your ideas openly, and safeguard your rights. Assertiveness is important to ensure academic success and it helps you to say ‘No’ to all unnecessary engagements and distractions to focus on your goals. 

Some people confuse assertiveness with being selfish, rude and stubborn, but this is not true. Assertiveness is not about winning arguments but agreeing on a workable compromise.

Read more about assertiveness and skills required to be assertive


Many students struggle to look after themselves while focusing on studying, preparing for examination, working on their assignments and projects.  A majority of students fail to prioritize self-care, a key task during the four important years of their undergraduate education. Practicing self-care is as important as focusing on academics. Good self-care can keep you physically and mentally healthy which is essential for academic and career success. 

Self-care involves assessing various aspects of our lives to see which areas need improvement and then addressing these areas. It includes taking action to keep oneself mentally, physically and emotionally healthy and live a balanced life. It may include sleep, diet, physical health, relationships, emotions etc. 

To further understand self-care and practice it in your life click on the following:

Creative Problem Solving through Design Thinking

Design thinking is a non-linear, iterative process which seeks to understand users, challenge assumptions, redefine problems, and create innovative solutions to prototype and test. The method consists of five phases—Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test, and is most useful when you want to tackle problems that are ill-defined or unknown. Design Thinking has a broad application and allows ideas and information to be gathered and organized, decisions to be made quickly, solutions to be improved rapidly with continuous feedback gathered and acted on immediately.

Skills in design thinking may help you resolve your academic issues and career challenges as well as develop plans to address your personal problems. 

Decision Making

Decision-making is a process of making a final choice among available options by weighing both the positive and negative options. By improving your decision making skills, you can make decisions pertaining to your academic, personal and career lives with confidence, clarity and ownership. The ability to make thoughtful decisions will empower you to take charge of your life instead of depending on the judgement of others. 

Good decision making skills will help you greatly in your academic and career success. They will help you make appropriate decisions about your courses, finalizing majors, deciding careers etc. 

Effective Decision Making Skills in 21st century under conditions of uncertainty involve the ability to recognize risk, formulate strategies for action, and coordinate with others in order to bring a certain condition in control.

You may go through the following resources to learn more about decision-making skills

Video on decision making at https://www.decisioneducati

Managing Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive dissonance is the feeling of discomfort that arises when your beliefs run counter to your behaviors and/or new information that is presented to you. People tend to seek consistency in their attitudes and perceptions, so when what you hold true is challenged or what you do doesn’t match with what you think, something must change in order to eliminate or reduce this conflict.

At Habib University, you will meet with diverse people from different cultures and beliefs. You will be exposed to new ideas and will observe different practices which may contradict with your current belief system and practices. This contradiction may trigger dissonance and you may experience stress, anxiety, and a sense of discomfort. It is very important for you to have the necessary skills to face such situations. At times, this dissonance may even bring about positive changes in you, but you need to go through the phase of dissonance. 

Your ability to keep calm and reflect on the contradiction, analyze them without bias, make connections, and resolve conflicts is an essential skill for you to have.