Harnessing peak performance at work
01 December 2021 at 11:00AM
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Performance can sometimes be an intimidating word, not to mention pretty subjective. Ultimately, most of us have a desire to perform well at work and in life, and more importantly, we all have the capacity to.
When we use the word performance, this isn’t about benchmarking our success against commercial or business targets or objectives, or achieving that sought-after promotion. This is about personal performance – how you can harness the very best out of yourself day in and day out.
We outline a few ‘hacks’ that can help you to elevate your personal performance, improve your output, and feel a greater sense of fulfilment.
For anyone seeking performance – whether you’re an athlete or a businessperson, self-reflection is a necessary exercise. Without understanding who you really are, what it is you want to achieve, and analysing your strengths and weaknesses, it is very difficult to achieve personal growth. How you go about self-reflection is a matter of preference, but one effective way to do this is to write down and track various components of your work-life – this can even be as simple as rating yourself in each area and establishing where you want to get to. The last bit, and potentially the hardest, is understanding and planning how you’re going to get there.
Example – I tend to make decisions on my own rather than seeking input from my team. This sometimes means I lack alternative perspectives on a situation and limits mine and my team’s growth potential. Teamwork – Current rating 6/10.
Desired rating 8/10. I will schedule a weekly catch up with others in the team to help get a wide perspective and new ideas.
Peak performance at work can come in many different forms depending on your role and place within the organisation.
Discipline and ‘stick-at-it-ness’ is a fundamental when you’re trying to raise performance standards. Discipline helps to make us more accountable to ourselves and form positive habits that we can use to drive consistency of performance over a longer period of time.
Being disciplined in the way you carry out your work really helps you to focus on the core elements that will help you get there and block out any distractions and general “noise” that won’t. The added benefit of this approach is that it dramatically improves your time and organisational skills as you are more selective with your capacity and start to reassign your time to key areas.
Example – I currently spent five hours a week checking emails and only two hours a week getting to know members of my team. This year I wanted to develop my leadership skills within the organisation and support my team more effectively. I’ll restructure my week so I always have an extra hour to spend with members of my team. I will set reminders so I ensure I do this on a weekly basis going forward.
There’s a popular saying that “learning never stops”. As human beings we are blessed with a limitless ability to learn, adapt and improve ourselves and the things we do. A restless curiosity and thirst for learning hand-in-hand with innovation. The world is constantly changing around us and so are the requirements and tools for us to perform at our optimal at work. Our “go-to’s” from a couple of years ago might be completely irrelevant now.
But innovation through learning can come in lots of different forms: listening to podcasts, reading books and blogs, subscribing to a YouTube channel on a related topic or even bouncing ideas off a colleague, drawing on their experience.
Example – I’ve been using this service for a few years now and I’m not sure that it is as effective as the ones my competitors are using. I’m going to spend a bit of time upskilling myself on other similar services used in other industries to see if those can improve my work.