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Last Updated on March 17, 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.

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

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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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.

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

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.

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!

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Featured photo credit: ian dooley via unsplash.com

Reference

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Leon Ho

Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Last Updated on January 6, 2021

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

14 Ideas on How to Measure Productivity to Make Progress

Everyone has heard the term productivity, and people talk about it in terms of how high it is and how to improve it. But fewer know how to measure productivity, or even what exactly we are talking about when using the term “productivity.”

In its simplest form, the productivity formula looks like this: Output ÷ Input = Productivity.

For example, you have two salespeople each making 10 calls to customers per week. The first one averages 2 sales per week and the second one averages 3 sales per week. By plugging in the numbers we get the following productivity levels for each sales person.

For salesperson one, the output is 2 sales and the input is 10 sales: 2 ÷ 10 = .2 or 20% productivity. For salesperson two, the output is 3 sales and the input is 10 sales: 3 ÷ 10 = .3 or 30% productivity.

Knowing how to measure and interpret productivity is an invaluable asset for any manager or business owner in today’s world. As an example, in the above scenario, salesperson #1 is clearly not doing as well as salesperson #2.

Knowing this information we can now better determine what course of action to take with salesperson #1.

Some possible outcomes might be to require more in-house training for that salesperson, or to have them accompany the more productive salesperson to learn a better technique. It might be that salesperson #1 just isn’t suited for sales and would do a better job in a different position.

How to Measure Productivity With Management Techniques

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to fine tune your business by minimizing costs and maximizing profits:

1. Identify Long and Short-Term Goals

Having a good understanding of what you (or your company’s) goals are is key to measuring productivity.

For example, if your company’s goal is to maximize market share, you’ll want to measure your team’s productivity by their ability to acquire new customers, not necessarily on actual sales made.

2. Break Down Goals Into Smaller Weekly Objectives

Your long-term goal might be to get 1,000 new customers in a year. That’s going to be 20 new customers per week. If you have 5 people on your team, then each one needs to bring in 4 new customers per week.

Now that you’ve broken it down, you can track each person’s productivity week-by-week just by plugging in the numbers:

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Productivity = number of new customers ÷ number of sales calls made

3. Create a System

Have you ever noticed that whenever you walk into a McDonald’s, the French fry machine is always to your left? 

This is because McDonald’s created a system. They have determined that the most efficient way to set up a kitchen is to always have the French fry machine on the left when you walk in.

You can do the same thing and just adapt it to your business.

Let’s say that you know that your most productive salespeople are making the most sales between the hours of 3 and 7 pm. If the other salespeople are working from 9 am to 4 pm, you can potentially increase productivity through something as simple as adjusting the workday.

Knowing how to measure productivity allows you to set up, monitor, and fine tune systems to maximize output.

4. Evaluate, Evaluate, Evaluate!

We’ve already touched on using these productivity numbers to evaluate and monitor your employees, but don’t forget to evaluate yourself using these same measurements.

If you have set up a system to track and measure employees’ performance, but you’re still not meeting goals, it may be time to look at your management style. After all, your management is a big part of the input side of our equation.

Are you more of a carrot or a stick type of manager? Maybe you can try being more of the opposite type to see if that changes productivity. Are you managing your employees as a group? Perhaps taking a more one-on-one approach would be a better way to utilize each individual’s strengths and weaknesses.

Just remember that you and your management style contribute directly to your employees’ productivity.

5. Use a Ratings Scale

Having clear and concise objectives for individual employees is a crucial part of any attempt to increase workplace productivity. Once you have set the goals or objectives, it’s important that your employees are given regular feedback regarding their progress.

Using a ratings scale is a good way to provide a standardized visual representation of progress. Using a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 is a good way to give clear and concise feedback on an individual basis.

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It’s also a good way to track long-term progress and growth in areas that need improvement.

6. Hire “Mystery Shoppers”

This is especially helpful in retail operations where customer service is critical. A mystery shopper can give feedback based on what a typical customer is likely to experience.

You can hire your own shopper, or there are firms that will provide them for you. No matter which route you choose, it’s important that the mystery shoppers have a standardized checklist for their evaluation.

You can request evaluations for your employees friendliness, how long it took to greet the shopper, employees’ knowledge of the products or services, and just about anything else that’s important to a retail operation.

7. Offer Feedback Forms

Using a feedback form is a great way to get direct input from existing customers. There are just a couple of things to keep in mind when using feedback forms.

First, keep the form short, 2-3 questions max with a space for any additional comments. Asking people to fill out a long form with lots of questions will significantly reduce the amount of information you receive.

Secondly, be aware that customers are much more likely to submit feedback forms when they are unhappy or have a complaint than when they are satisfied.

You can offset this tendency by asking everyone to take the survey at the end of their interaction. This will increase compliance and give you a broader range of customer experiences, which will help as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

8. Track Cost Effectiveness

This is a great metric to have, especially if your employees have some discretion over their budgets. You can track how much each person spends and how they spend it against their productivity.

Again, this one is easy to plug into the equation: Productivity = amount of money brought in ÷ amount of money spent.

Having this information is very useful in forecasting expenses and estimating budgets.

9. Use Self-Evaluations

Asking your staff to do self evaluations can be a win-win for everyone. Studies have shown that when employees feel that they are involved and their input is taken seriously, morale improves. And as we all know, high employee morale translates into higher productivity.

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Using self-evaluations is also a good way to make sure that the employees and employers goals are in alignment.

10. Monitor Time Management

This is the number one killer of productivity in the workplace. Time spent browsing the internet, playing games, checking email, and making personal calls all contribute to lower productivity[1].

Time Management Tips to Improve Productivity

    The trick is to limit these activities without becoming overbearing and affecting morale. Studies have shown that most people will adhere to rules that they feel are fair and applied to everyone equally.

    While ideally, we may think that none of these activities should be done on company time, employees will almost certainly have a different opinion. From a productivity standpoint, it is best to have policies and rules that are seen as fair to both sides as you’re learning how to measure productivity.

    11. Analyze New Customer Acquisition

    We’ve all heard the phrase that “It’s more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.” And while that is very true, in order for your business to keep growing, you will need to continually add new customers.

    Knowing how to measure productivity via new customer acquisition will make sure that your marketing dollars are being spent in the most efficient way possible. This is another metric that’s easy to plug into the formula: Productivity = number of new customers ÷ amount of money spent to acquire those customers.

    For example, if you run any kind of advertising campaign, you can compare results and base your future spending accordingly.

    Let’s say that your total advertising budget is $3,000. You put $2,000 into television ads, $700 into radio ads, and $300 into print ads. When you track the results, you find that your television ad produced 50 new customers, your radio ad produced 15 new customers, and your print ad produced 9 new customers.

    Let’s plug those numbers into our equation. Television produced 50 new customers at a cost of $2,000 (50 ÷ 2000 = .025, or a productivity rate of 2.5%). The radio ads produced 15 new customers and cost $700 (15 ÷ 700 = .022, or a 2.2% productivity rate). Print ads brought in 9 new customers and cost $300 (9 ÷ 300 = .03, or a 3% return on productivity).

    From this analysis, it is clear that you would be getting the biggest bang for your advertising dollar using print ads.

    12. Utilize Peer Feedback

    This is especially useful when people who work in teams or groups. While self-assessments can be very useful, the average person is notoriously bad at assessing their own abilities.

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    Just ask a room full of people how many consider themselves to be an above average driver and you’ll see 70% of the hands go up[2]! Now we clearly know that in reality about 25% of drivers are below average, 25% are above average, and 50% are average.

    Are all these people lying? No, they just don’t have an accurate assessment of their own abilities.

    It’s the same in the workplace. Using peer feedback will often provide a more accurate assessment of a person’s ability than a self-assessment would.

    13. Encourage Innovation and Don’t Penalize Failure

    When it comes to productivity, encouraging employee input and adopting their ideas can be a great way to boost productivity. Just make sure that any changes you adopt translate into higher productivity.

    Let’s say that someone comes to you requesting an entertainment budget so that they can take potential customers golfing or out to dinner. By utilizing simple productivity metrics, you can easily produce a cost benefit analysis and either expand the program to the rest of the sales team, or terminate it completely.

    Either way, you have gained valuable knowledge and boosted morale by including employees in the decision-making process.

    14. Use an External Evaluator

    Using an external evaluator is the pinnacle of objective evaluations. Firms that provide professional evaluations use highly trained personnel that even specialize in specific industries.

    They will design a complete analysis of your business’ productivity level. In their final report, they will offer suggestions and recommendations on how to improve productivity.

    While the benefits of a professional evaluation are many, their costs make them prohibitive for most businesses.

    Final Thoughts

    These are just a few of the things you can do when learning how to measure productivity. Some may work for your particular situation, and some may not.

    The most important thing to remember when deciding how to track productivity is to choose a method consistent with your goals. Once you’ve decided on that, it’s just a matter of continuously monitoring your progress, making minor adjustments, and analyzing the results of those adjustments.

    The business world is changing fast, and having the right tools to track and monitor your productivity can give you the edge over your competition.

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    Featured photo credit: William Iven via unsplash.com

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