How to Achieve High Performance in 2021
How do you perform at your absolute best? Take a look at these top tips to get started today!
This may be the oddest year we’ve witnessed in a long while, but let’s face it - it has taught us so much. Remote work has grown exponentially, making many people aware of its huge benefits.
In fact, an increasing number of both employers and employees have stated that they’d like to continue the practice, at least from time to time.
Now, what does that tell us about performance?
Some people thrive in the office setting, but they typically suffer from a chronic lack of time. If there’s one thing remote work has taught us, it is that not a single day is too short, as long as we plan well and use our time as it suits us - not the other way around.
So, basically, the key to achieving key performance in 2021 lies in good organization, prioritization, focus and regular breaks. Actually, it’s as simple as it has always been; it’s just that we usually don’t allocate any time to think about our own perspectives outside of work.
What Are Your Goals?
So, what are your professional goals? If you’re just getting by every day waiting for the working hours to pass one way or another, it’s not good. Rather than thinking about what will make your boss happy, set the goals that will make you happy.
This is the only proven way to actually be satisfied with your job. It also offers an insight into a bigger picture: when your projects are successful, they will contribute to overall company success. Consequently, you are directly affecting company growth.
Begin by defining your goals and writing them down. It’s okay to not start big, as long as you’re not undervaluing yourself. Be realistic and set milestones so that you can track progress. Step by step, your performance (and self-confidence thereby) will grow - until you are fully satisfied with your achievements.
Being disciplined doesn’t mean you need to overwork yourself in order to finish each task - on the contrary. It is highly recommended to create a schedule, allowing sufficient time for everything, and stick to it.
The most efficient of schedules contain a detailed calendar of all daily activities, including breaks and leisure time. They are especially helpful to remote workers who haven’t learned the ropes of time-management yet.
Remember to be realistic when drafting your schedule. Allow sufficient time for each activity, rather than messing up the schedule because of poor judgment.
There will always be some tasks that are more urgent than others. It is important to do them first, allowing sufficient time to finish them properly, and only then move to the next item. For complex tasks that require more than one day to finish, don’t force things. Rather than overworking yourself and stopping in the middle, find the perfect timing to take a break.
In this way, you won’t be wasting any time on revisions because you will naturally move on from the last logical stop. Plus, you may just find that some tasks can take much less time in this way.
Multitasking is a huge no go in all aspects of life and is especially detrimental when it comes to working. The issue is quite simple: people cannot multitask. They can perform multiple actions, true, but inefficiently. The only thing it will help you achieve is high-stress levels and the sense of time loss.
This is to say, when a new task pops up while you’re in the middle of doing a high-priority task, don’t just pause the ongoing task on the spot. Never ever do this, no matter how urgent the new task may seem to be. Rather, proceed to the natural stop and only then dedicate your attention to the new task.
When doing this, make adjustments to your schedule. Never compromise on your free time. Don’t skip breaks and don’t work extra hours unless the situation is so urgent that your company will go under if you don’t finish the task promptly. Hint: that will never happen. The world won’t come down if you refuse your free time to be abused, either.
Say Goodbye to Interruptions
Needless to say, in order to achieve high performance, you’ll need to focus on your work. This means that no interruptions will be allowed to interfere. Of course, some things you simply cannot affect. If an earthquake hits, you won’t be able to keep your focus anyway.
We’re talking about common interrupters, such as email notifications, meaningless breaks (e.g., spent scrolling through your social media newsfeed) and so on.
In short, focus is also a form of discipline, one in which you’ll simply have to train your brain to work according to your schedule, no matter the circumstances.
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t be adaptable when it’s time to be, but daily tasks planned ahead rarely call for major changes to your plans.
Be Clever in the Way You Do Things
Lastly, many people deal with repetitive tasks on a daily basis, and most of them take loads of time. These actions can be optimized by batching similar tasks together. In this way, when you’re moving on to the next task, you won’t have to prepare your brain before you get started.
All that has been discussed here can be summarized as a set of tips comprising common sense. Everyone can learn to prioritize and batch similar tasks together and everyone certainly can turn off their email notifications.
It is important to remember that, no matter how stressful the situation appears to be, you shouldn’t compromise your plans. Adjustments are fine, but skipping whole breaks is a huge problem. Both your brain and body need rest and if they don’t get it, you won’t be capable of achieving high performance - no matter how many extra hours you work. In short, it is a complete waste of time and energy.
Finally, learn to say no. This is usually one of the bigger issues for the majority of people, mostly because they are afraid of losing their jobs or something along those lines. The key is in constantly improving your professional ethics, performance and mindset. Grow alongside your company, share in its successes and failures, be proud of every group achievement as if it were your own, but never put your own well-being at risk. It really is as simple as that.
Angela Ash is a writer at heart, focusing on numerous topics related to business, productivity, mental health, travel and more. But, she also loves to edit, is addicted to HARO, and somehow finds time to write poetry and play the piano.