High Performance People? Total Myth!
By Tim Berfield:
One of the things I’ve been fortunate enough to learn is that there really are no “high performance” people, and no one is specially wired to perform at the greatest levels of achievement. There are, however, people who exercise certain habits and through those efforts achieve high performance results.
Lately, I’ve been making an effort to integrate some of these habits into my own life and have experienced greater productivity and general well-being. Although there are many more practices to list, I wanted to share some of the habits I’ve been using each morning to kick start my day.
Give your phone a rest
Before I go to bed, I put my phone in another room to charge. That way all the distractions, stress and temptations that go with it are removed. If I wake up in the middle of the night and my phone is within reach, it’s just too easy to get lost checking Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or email, even though all I meant to do was check the time! This is where a cheap alarm clock comes to the rescue. No frills, just the time. Keep the place you sleep as peaceful, quiet and distraction free as possible. You can’t perform if you’re not rested.
Get your body moving
After waking up, it’s time to stretch, do Yoga, or Tia Chi. Any low intensity movement practice works well here so it really doesn’t matter what you choose. I usually go to the gym later in my morning routine, so stretching works well for me and I can keep that practice whether I go to the gym that morning or not.
After stretching, I’ll sit in a straight backed chair and meditate for 20 minutes or so. There are lots of methods and helpful apps out there if you’ve never meditated before, but I highly recommend this practice to center yourself and reduce stress. Most of the top performers in the world from CEOs to athletes have some daily meditation practice. You can go longer than 20 minutes if you like, just be mindful not to bump your head on the ceiling should you start to levitate.
I use an app for logging this, but any tool where you can write a list of things you’re grateful for will do. If you’re going through hard times or some tragedy, finding things to be grateful for might seem challenging, but this is when gratitude is most powerful! If you’re stuck, just list some of the people and things in your life that support you, those from the past that had an impact on you, and some of the people who inspire you.
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.
— MELODY BEATTIE
This is probably my favorite habit. First, create your list of affirmations. I have one for each of my goals, so as an example, I need to get back in shape. My affirmation goes something like this, “I am 210lbs of pure ripped to the bone bad-assery. When I walk into the gym the free-weights tremble in fear and the machines cry for help!” This is stated in the present, positive and for me is funny enough that I can remember it. I say it each morning and out loud in the car on my way to the gym.
Next it’s time to review my goals and check anything already on the schedule so I can plan my day. I like to do this before I check emails or any social media so the day is framed first. This helps me stick to my goals and be less reactionary. I can fit minor emergencies in where necessary without allowing them to hijack my day.
These are just a few habits you can use to create a morning routine and position yourself for greater productivity. They’ve help me and I hope you can gain from them too.