Advertising
Advertising

Published on January 20, 2020

6 High Performance Habits of the Most Exceptional Individuals

6 High Performance Habits of the Most Exceptional Individuals

Have you ever wondered why some individuals are exceptional and succeed while others cope with their failures and misery?

The difference between the greatest leaders, first-class scholars, high achievers, productive employees, and the average individual is clear:

They exhibit high-performance habits consistently no matter what they do or where they find themselves.

So what’s high-performance?

High-performance is being exceptional, going beyond the limit and succeeding above established norms over a long time.

In this article, you will learn what the high performance habits are, and how to fit them into your daily routine.

The 6 High Performance Habits

Brendon Burchard, author of the book High Performance Habits: How Extraordinary People Become That Way advocates the following 6 high performance habits in his book:

1. Clarity

Find out what you want from life, where you want to be, how you want to relate with others and what can help you to become significant in life.

Establish your vision, core values, and purpose in life. Then, focus on activities that align with your internal standards.

Clarity simplifies living, however achieving clarity demands commitment, consistency, and change, especially if you are easily distracted, busy or overwhelmed.

2. Momentum

Your mental energy determines your posture and success in life.

Momentum can position you to stay ahead in life. It can also guide you to achieve your goals. Momentum generates a domino effect where everything falls into place in your life.

3. Necessity

Necessity is about finding the reasons you must be exceptional. These reasons should include internal standards such as your core values, beliefs, and the requirement for excellence and external standards such as public commitments, competition, social duties, and deadlines.

4. Productivity

Productivity is about staying focus as well as getting focused on generating quality output. It is the ability to prioritize what is vital until it is achieved. This is what separates the high performers and productive people from the wannabes.

5. Influence

Nobody attains significance in isolation. High-performance people develop influence with those who surround them.

Advertising

Influence is the ability to have a significant impact on others intentionally. They understand their success will be limitless when they impact others positively.

6. Courage

Courage is a pathway to a successful life. According to Peter Drucker:

“Anywhere you see a successful business, someone took a courageous decision.”

Courage is the quality of mind or spirit that empowers an individual to confront danger and pain difficulty without being afraid. It is standing up when others are giving up. It is taking action when others losing gut.

Why Is It Vital to Develop High Performance Habits?

Brendon’s findings revealed these traits about high performers. Here are the attributes:

– They are more exceptional and successful than their colleagues, yet they are not under pressure.
– They exude confidence that they can accomplish their goals against all odds.
– They are productive and have mastered how to generate quality output.
– They are passionate about what they do, regardless of conventional rewards.
– They are admired and can adapt as leaders.
– They are strong and healthier.
– They feel they are making an impact on their work and people love them.

If you want to exhibit these attributes, you must develop high-performance habits.

How to Cultivate High-Performance Habits

Less than 15 percent of the total population are exceptional and high-performers. I strongly believe there’s a lot you can do to be more productive, successful and exceptional.

Brendon also established 6 practical ways you can exhibit the six high-performance habits of the highly successful individual.

1. Seek Clarity

High performers seek clarity more than the average individuals. If you want to be exceptional, seek clarity and learn how to stay on the true path.

For instance, exceptional individuals don’t wait till the year-end before they assess their performance, they evaluate themselves daily. You need to be clear about your ‘why? what? and how?’. This will help you to sift out distractions and consistently focus on what is relevant to your goals.

Here’s an example:

You can focus on these four: self, social, skills, and service. How can you describe your ‘ideal self’?’ How do you want to socialize? What skills do you aspire to develop and also demonstrate? What problem(service) do you want to solve?

If you can answer these four questions, it will give you an edge over others who lack clarity about life.

2. Generate Momentum

According to Brendon’s research, most individuals are fagged out by 3 pm. They may manage to go through the day but they are completely wiped out by evening.

Advertising

But do you know that the high performers are not wiped out by 3 pm? They are literarily starting their day.

What then is the secret?

They have gained control of transitions. They can quickly take a break, meditate or close their eyes to release their tension and align their focus on the important activity.

If you want to become creative and energized, as well as retain your efficiency all through the day, learn how to embark on psychological breaks every forty-five to sixty minutes. This might be tough to implement, but try to plan your day in chunks.

3. Raise Necessity

Before they embark on any endeavor, high performers always raise necessity psychologically. They seek to understand why it is crucial to perform exceptionally.

If you want to be exceptional, align your identity with excellence. Refuse to settle for mediocrity. Discharging your duties with excellence is so vital to your identity just like oxygen is essential for your survival.

Several people are afraid of attaching their identity to what they do. High performers can put their names on their performance and put themselves on the line. This is what raising necessity is all about. Excellent performance must be a priority for you.

How then can you raise necessity?

State whom you are doing it for. List the people that are meant to be on your A-game list. Always bring that to focus when you perform.

It could be your wife, children, less privileged, customers, team, end-users. Who are you performing well for?

Your major responsibility is to prime your psychological ability to perform exceptionally. To achieve this, raise a necessity so that you can initiate actions with an improved level of intention. This will enable you to perform excellently.

4. Enhance Your Productivity

Highly exceptional individuals optimize their outputs. When Steve Jobs took back the mantle of leadership at Apple in 1997, he brought the company back from the verge of bankruptcy. He streamlined the product line and focused on optimizing the quality of the remaining products. The iPod, iPod and the iPhone were released under his leadership. [1]

This is what you have to do:

Focus on the main thing and dismiss the inconsequential.

High-performers are more efficient because they are visionaries. They know what’s ahead and they position themselves to achieve what’s next.

Advertising

If you want to be productive, you must ask yourself:

– What are my next five moves?
– What are the five greatest moves that brought me here?
– What are not the major moves?
– What are the skills and competencies I need to develop to make those moves?

These questions will help you avoid distractions and focus on success.

For instance, if you want to vlog, you need to hone your speaking and video editing skills, learn how to write a script and how to collaborate for success.

Do you know the interesting thing?

Most high-performers don’t establish their next five moves consciously, they just make it happen.

But now that you know, you can.

5. Develop Influence

High performers teach others how to think and challenge them to take responsibility for their lives. This is how they develop influence.

You can change your life by teaching people how to think smart.

Learn how to cold call people around you. High performers challenge people with thought-provoking questions such as, “What if you addressed it this way?” or “What do you say to this?”. They consistently train the people that surround them on how to think smart.

You can only have an influence when you impact the thought processes and patterns of other people.

Here’s the good news:

“If someone is inspired because you are alive, you are not only a leader, you are a high-performer.”

High performers spur the people around them to grow. This is the secret to becoming influential and exceptional.

6. Demonstrate Courage

Brendon’s extensive research also revealed that high performers exhibit some traits when they face hardship, risk, judgment and the unknown.

Advertising

First, they stand for themselves. They communicate their vision and ambitions than the average people. They not only speak for themselves, but they also speak for others. They are not afraid to share truths about themselves.

Not only that, they understand that struggle is fundamental to success. They pursue their ambition knowing it wouldn’t be easy.

They knew if it were to be easy, there will be no Steve Jobs, Isaac Newton, Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, Williams Shakespeare, of course, me and you. If it were to be easy, you would not have been born.

I have seen several people complain about struggle. High performers get muddy, they work hard. They show up when others give up. They deliver when others celebrate mediocrity.

They know it’s not going to be easy, but they fight to succeed.

If you want to be a high performer, you must be courageous.

How then do you get the courage to stay focused on your goals?

It’s simple:

Focus on who you are doing it for and work hard to achieve your goal. This will inject you with the courage that you need.

The Bottom Line

I would leave you with the words of Denzel Washington, an Outstanding Actor in Motion Picture and a high performer:

‘Without commitment, you’ll never start, but more importantly, without consistency, you’ll never finish.’

Ease is a great threat to becoming a high performer than hardship. Keep learning!

More Success Habits

Featured photo credit: ian dooley via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

How to Delegate Tasks Effectively (Step-By-Step Guide) 7 Growth Mindset Dos And Don’ts 7 Most Efficient Note Taking Methods Effective Learning Theories (and How to Benefit from Them) How to Improve Focus and Concentration by Mastering the Flow

Trending in Habit

1 How to Create Your Best Morning Routine for Success 2 How to Change a Habit With the Four Quadrants of Change 3 How to Have Self-Control and Be the Master of Your Life 4 10 Good Habits To Have in Life To Be More Successful 5 9 Exceptional Work Habits To Be More Efficient

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on February 25, 2020

How to Create a To-Do List that Super Boosts Your Productivity

How to Create a To-Do List that Super Boosts Your Productivity

It’s 6:00 am. You have just woken up and are ready to take a shower. After the showering, it’s time to eat breakfast, catch the news by reading the morning paper, and then start your work.

You are feeling wonderful, relaxed, and happy. You have very high expectations for the day and you want to be as productive as possible.

Fast forward to 2 pm the same day. You are working in a rush and you barely had a chance to take a lunch break.

You start to feel a bit stressed and tired because of the busy schedule. Besides, it seems that you have to go back to certain tasks and fix them, because you didn’t have time to focus on them properly.

The day which started so fine has turned into a stressful one. You just jump from one task to another – as quickly as possible – without doing anything properly.

You wish you’d find a reset button, so that you could start your day from all over – with a different strategy.

What you probably experienced was this: you planned your day the night before and you felt you were on top of your tasks.

However, things started to go wrong when you kept adding tasks after each other to your list and finally your task list was many miles long. Your to do list also contained tasks which were pretty much impossible to get done in one day.

The other point which contributed to your hectic and stressful day was not understanding how much time completing a particular task would take and when to execute the task. If you had this information, it would have been easier to figure out the right timing for executing the task.

Finally, there really wasn’t any flexibility in your plans. You forgot to add a buffer between tasks and understand that certain tasks are much larger than what they seem outside.

But you know what – these reasons alone weren’t the main reason for your stress and busyness …

Advertising

What People Are Wrong About a To-Do List

Do you really know what you are supposed to do?

How much time did you actually spent on planning your day – was it just 5 minutes while the television set was distracting you?

If so, then this was probably the biggest reason why your day became so stressful.

When you plan your days, you should truly understand the tasks you are about to do – and what it takes to accomplish them. This is necessary especially with important tasks, because you are able to make progress with the tasks that matter the most.

The lack of time spent on planning will also be shown as too many big tasks stuffed to your daily list. If you haven’t broken down the task into smaller pieces, it’s probable that you are not going to get them done during the day. This in turn makes you to beat yourself for not completing your task list.

Finally, don’t treat creating a task list just like some secondary thing that you try to do as quickly as possible. In fact, when you pay more attention to your next day’s task list, the more likely is the list going to be realistic and less stressful for you.

Components of a Good To-Do List

When I talk about a good task list, I consider these characteristics to be part of it:

Balanced

The task list contains both important and less important tasks. Let’s face it: although we all would like to work on just important tasks ( e.g. goal related ones), we have to take care of the less important tasks as well (like running errands, taking care of your household or other everyday stuff).

Enough Flexibility

What happens when you have planned a task, but you are unable to take care of it? Do you have a plan B in place? If not, try to figure out the alternative action you can take in these scenarios.

Time for Transitions

Understand that transition times also eat your time. Make sure that when you plan your task list, this time is also included in your plans. Adding some extra buffer between tasks will make your list more flexible and realistic.

Not Too Many Tasks for One Day

Giving you an exact figure on how many tasks you should have on your daily list is difficult. It depends on your situation. But I’m willing to say that anything between 5-10 tasks should be enough for a day.

Advertising

Understand that certain tasks are very quick to take care of, so it’s easier to include more tasks on certain days. Just make sure that there are also important tasks on the list so that you are able to move on with your bigger projects.

Shield of Protection

Build a shield of protection around your task list, so that as few tasks as possible can land to your list and that the number of items on your list won’t increase during the day.

In the first case, try to eliminate the sources for your tasks. This is done by reducing your commitments and limiting the projects you have. The fact is that the more commitments (or projects) you have, the more likely they are going to end up as tasks for your daily list.

In the second case, make your list a closed one. I learned this concept by reading Do It Tomorrow and Other Secrets of Time Management by Mark Forster. In order to create a closed task list, all you have to do is to draw a line under the last task on the list. When you have done this, you are not allowed to add any new tasks to your list during the day. This ensures that the number of tasks is actually decreasing as the day goes on.

How to Create a To-Do List That Boosts Your Productivity

To make a list that you can actually accomplish the next day, do the following:

1. Eliminate the Tasks

Go through your commitments and decide if you really need each one.

For instance, I was an active member of our local computer club in my hometown, but then I realized that I don’t have enough time for that activity anymore. Although I’m still a member of the club, I don’t participate in its activities anymore. This has eliminated the tasks related to that commitment.

2. Take Your Time to Plan the List

Don’t rush creating your task list – spend some time on the planning phase. If required, “isolate yourself” for the planning part by going to a separate room in your home (or even going outside your home). This way, you can actually think the tasks thorough before you enter them onto your list.

Try to spend at least 15 minutes with your list when you plan it.

3. Move Important Tasks to the Beginning

When planning your day, make sure that the important tasks are at the beginning of your list. This ensures that you get those tasks done as quickly as possible.

For instance, as a blogger, I make sure I have the content creation tasks at the beginning of my list. As soon as I wake up, I attack those tasks immediately and they get done before I go to work.

Advertising

4. Track the Recurring Tasks

You might have recurring tasks on your list, but do you know how much time they take to accomplish?

If you don’t, make sure you do some time tracking to figure it out. This helps you to plan your day better, as you know how much time a task takes and if there is a certain time slot in your daily schedule, when the task could be executed.

5. Batch Similar Tasks

Look at your list and find out if there are similar tasks that you can batch-process. This way, you can get certain tasks off your list faster and easier.

6. Define the Tasks in More Detail

Don’t just include a task like “build a website” on your list; make sure you have broken the task to smaller pieces. The smaller the tasks are, the easier it is to take accomplish them.

7. Do Some Prep Work in Advance

Make sure that you prepare for certain tasks in advance.

For instance, I write the outlines for my guests post on Sundays, so that it’s easier (and faster) for me to start writing the actual posts when I wake up. With a little bit of prep work, I speed things up and make sure tasks get done when the right day comes.

8. Automate the Maintenance

Naturally, you could use a pen and paper approach to your task list, but try to take advantage of technology too. In fact, try to find a tool that takes care of the maintenance of your task list for you. My preferred tool is Nozbe, but there are other task management applications that you can try too.

9. Know Your Task Types and Your Schedule

Finally, when you plan your day, ask yourself these questions:

What else do I have on the schedule?

This question refers to your personal schedule. For instance, if you are traveling, make sure that your list reflects to this fact. Don’t try to “overstuff” your list with too many tasks, since it’s more likely you get only a fraction of them done.

Is the task a gatekeeper?

This question asks if the task is blocking other tasks to be executed.

Every once in a while, we might have a task, which has to be taken care of first. After you have done that, only then you can take care of the sequential tasks.

Advertising

When you focus on creating your task list in a focused manner, you’ll be able to spot the gatekeepers easily.

Do I have icebergs on my list?

This question asks if your task is actually much bigger than what it seems. Sometimes when you start working on a task, you’ll soon realize that it’s much bigger than what you initially thought (compare them to icebergs, where only the tip of the iceberg is above the sea level, but the majority of the ice is below the water).

Once again, when you focus enough on your task list during the creation phase, it’s easier to spot these “icebergs” and split the tasks into smaller, much more manageable chunks.

Is the task distraction-proof?

This final question asks if the task is distraction-proof. Not all the tasks are created equal: some tolerate more distraction, while others require your full attention.

For instance, I can check my Twitter stream or do simple blog maintenance even when I’m around my family. These tasks are distraction-proof and I can take care of them – even if I don’t have my full attention on them.

The Bottom Line

If you still have a hard time of achieving your daily tasks, make sure that you analyze the reasons why this happened. If anything, do not beat yourself up for not finishing your task list.

No one is perfect and we can learn from our mistakes.

It takes a bit practice to create a “smiling” task list. However, once you learn to put all the pieces together, things are going to look much better!

More Productivity Tips

Featured photo credit: Jacqueline Kelly via unsplash.com

Read Next