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How Peak Performers Get Things Done, With The Same 24 Hours In A Day

Oct 17, 2007
Do you have the feeling that 24 hours in a day is never enough and sleep is really overrated?

Learn from the peak performers. They:

(1) do not seem to need any sleep

(2) are always motivated in almost anything

(3) handle the workload of three people and

(4) bear a strong resemblance to the Duracell Bunny ( forever in the pink of health, highly sought after and shows no sign of slowing down).

So what are they doing to organize their lives, make wise decisions, get things done, achieve phenomenal success and best of all, find time to enjoy life?

Let's take a leaf from the book of the high achievers and discover what gives them the energy for peak performance! (And whether or not they run on batteries)

Here are 4 strategies that peak performers used in self-management.

1) Know your motivator.

All peak performers know clearly what goals they are working towards; it is their core desire and passion, it is their purpose in life! They have 'seen' their own future where all the late-night-sleeps, TV-abstinence and other sacrifices make it possible. The thought of being one step closer to their 'finishing line' with every step that they take, gives them all the energy and motivation they need.

We can see this strategy as a safety net. When we are procrastinating, feeling tired, asking ourselves, "Is there really a need to work so hard?" or just wanting to let go of everything, we can always rely on our motivator to give us the support we need.

2) Think before you act, always

In the midst of a multi-tasking environment, it is so easy to succumb to poor decision making; just choose whatever the easiest route is. Peak performers will take some time, everyday, to reorganize their thoughts. Before they attempt anything, they will decide if it is aligned with their purpose, mission or values first before doing it. When they see a new opportunity, they will stop to ponder whether it is useful to him, instead of shrugging it off.

High achievers understand that "great haste makes great waste". A wrong decision, a choice made on impulse (e.g procrastination) can waste their time, money and energy.

3) Act!

When they are very sure that things need to be done, they make sure it's done. No excuses are given, 100% focus on the task ahead.

Progress is built upon actions, not empty words. Delayed action means slower progress and a longer time to reach their targets.

4) Innovation

This final attribute is what differentiates the peak performers from the computers.

A computer may generate the results of a million calculations easily, but it plays by a finite set of rules, its level of comprehension is limited and based on algorithms, not unlike confined to a box. Conversely, peak performers can produce great results too, but it is the potential to think-out-of-the-box that matters. 'Creativity', 'ingenuity', let's address it as 'innovation'.

Innovation creates new opportunities, new markets and allows the human society to progress, for example: a 17-years old high school dropout who earn a five digit income monthly by providing free Myspace layout (Ashley Qualls of Whateverlife), a failed adhesive glue project to become a million dollar business ( 3M's post-it-note), a supper of seaweed discarded in the snow which became a delicacy and an invaluable tool for microbiology research (agar cultures), et cetera.

So why is innovation so important to being a peak performer?

Prolonged high performance are not solo efforts, it is the result of leveraging upon the time, energy and money of other people. Some common forms of leverages includes, using automation, employees, loans, workable systems etc. It takes a innovative spirit to discover new leverages and improve upon existing ones.

And that is how peak performers have such high output! In other words, they know how to save valuable time by reducing the workload on the individual, by constantly using and modifying the leverages around them!

Then how can we develop an innovative spirit?

Being innovative requires the mind to form connections between the parameters of different events and subjects, and generate new idea. For example, "what if we can replace the hard wiring in a car with Bluetooth?" and "Would it be better if bullet-proof materials are made cheaper and lighter?"

For the connections to be formed, frequent exposure to new stimuli such as a new cultural experience, picking up a new skill or just conversing with strangers are needed.

Of course I have left out a great deal of details, this article is long enough as it is. However, you can always pick up a great book in your neighborhood library, or watch some great videos on the topic on Metacafe and YouTube. Don't disregard them as collections of cheesy clips, there are wonderful materials in those websites (especially on lock-picking).
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