Do you know the formula for peak performance? I’m still working on it but here are my latest thoughts on the matter.
My research confirms the value of learning, focus and commitment.
Spend 5 hours per week learning
Clear out your diary and ruthlessly focus on achieving your goal
Commit to your goals - do or die
If you do then great, please share your success stories with me and I can pass them on. If you don’t then read on...
1. Time spent learning is an investment
In today’s fast paced business climate we are all time-poor and therefore the idea of taking “time out” to learn means we typically spend more time doing and not enough learning & growing. Successful people are “voracious learners” - Bill Gates, the late Steve Jobs, Larry Page and others are known to spend at least five hours per week learning. If you have ten minutes check out this inspirational article about lifelong learning.
Vincent Van Gogh seems to have understood about the Aggregation of Marginal Gains, he said “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together”. If we think about the pace of business these days, constant innovation and evolution means that if we don’t learn (a little every day...) we quickly fall behind.
Let’s make every 1% count. It’s an investment in your career, your products, your life and you’re worth it.
2. Focus on the right things
Continuing the “time-poor” theme, what if you could recover at least 20% of your working day to focus on the right things? It is not surprising that many people in organisations with a meeting culture struggle to reliably deliver on their goals. Having worked in large corporates for much of my career I know it’s easy to get sucked into a false sense of security of being busy and helpful. It’s easier to stay focused when we are 100% clear on the goal, prioritise and let nothing hold you back. In practical terms this means:
have a clear vision and roadmap for how you will deliver your goal
align, prioritise and track all your activities accordingly
consider a Diary Detox
Focus ruthlessly on your goal - like your life depends on it. Let nothing hold you back.
3. Commit or die trying
Now here’s an extreme story that I’d like you to consider. “Like your life depends on it”.In all my work with high performing teams I encourage people to fail fast and learn from the experience. I have even been known to say “we failed but nobody died” but I’m inspired by James Clear’s fascinating post about the Tendai Monks that die trying to attain enlightenment. It’s a five minute read and as always with James Clear, well delivered. If you don’t have five minutes he summarises it as:
“If you have something that is important to you, then eliminate the unrelated and unimportant tasks, get started no matter how big the challenge, and commit to your goal.”
What are your top tips for peak performance - I’d love to hear from you.