High Performance Habits – Start by Seeking Clarity

Brendon Burchard is an on-line entrepreneur who specializes in productivity and effectiveness. His latest book is High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way. He advocates six habits that he claims extraordinary people possess.

  1. Seek Clarity

“High performers don’t necessarily get clarity. Instead, they seek it more often than other people — so they tend to find it and stay on their true path.

For example, successful people don’t wait until New Year’s to perform a self-evaluation and decide what changes they want to make.

A simple approach to seeking clarity is to focus on four things: self, skills, social, and service. How do you want to describe your ideal self? How do you want to behave socially? What skills do you want to develop and demonstrate? What service do you want to provide?

  1. Generate Energy

Our research shows, unsurprisingly, that most people lose energy throughout the day. By 2 or 3 p.m. they’re starting to flag, and many finish the day feeling wiped out.

But some people — some extremely busy and productive people — aren’t wiped out.

What we found is that most people bleed out energy and intention in the transitions between tasks, between meetings, etc.

High performers have mastered their transitions. They’re more likely to take a quick break, to close their eyes, to meditate — to give themselves a short psychological break that releases their tension and focus from one activity so they are primed to take on the next.

If you want to feel more energized and creative and be more effective at work — and leave work with plenty of “oomph” to enjoy your personal life — give your mind and body a break every 45 to 60 minutes. While that can sometimes be tough to do, whenever possible, plan your day in those chunks.

  1. Raise Necessity

Before every major activity, high performers raise the psychological necessity regarding why it is important for them to perform well.

  1. Increase Productivity

High performers increase the outputs that matter. When Jobs came back to Apple, he stripped down the product line. Then he focused on increasing the quality of the products that remained.

That’s what we all have to do: The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.

High performers are also more productive because they see five steps ahead, and align themselves to achieve each of those things.

  1. Develop Influence

High performers develop influence by teaching people how to think and challenging them to grow.

Teach people how to think and you change their lives. High performers say things like, “Think of it this way” or “What if we approached it this way?” or “What do you think about this?” Over time, they train the people around them how to think — because when you impact someone else’s thoughts in a positive way, you have influence.

  1. Demonstrate Courage

We did a tremendous amount of research on courage, and we found that in the face of risk, hardship, judgment, the unknown, or even fear, high performers tend to do a couple of things.

First, they speak up for themselves. They share their truth and ambitions more often than other people do. They also speak up for other people more often than others do. In short, high performers are willing to share the truth about themselves.

Many people complain about the struggle. High performers don’t. They’re fine being in the weeds, getting muddy. They know that showing up, even when they’re tired, will help make them the best.

Knowing that the process will be hard — not just accepting that it will be hard but appreciating that working through the tough times is necessary for success — makes them less afraid.”

The words above are directly quoted from Burchard by Jeff Haden in his post on Inc.com. Check out the post for a more thorough discussion of these ideas. But before you do that:

Perhaps it would be worthwhile to ask yourself if you truly want to be extraordinary. Being extraordinary requires a great deal of focus, self-discipline and hard work. It means working more than average and doing more than expected. Not everyone is committed to doing all that.

If you decide you want to put forth that high level of effort to achieve more than average, then these habits will serve you well. However, if you are not committed to going that extra mile those habits will mean little.

That is really applying Buchard’s first habit: seeking clarity. I suggest we must first seek clarity in what we want to achieve and what price we are really willing to pay.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.

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