Priorities for Performance

The topic of priorities is huge. Today, I want to answer the question, “How do your priorities relate to your performance?” Below I have considered three practical ideas: two are “micro” practices and the third is a “macro” practice all related to your priorities. Your performance will explode if you implement these practices. The ball is in your court!

Promises — Promises are statements about something you commit to uphold or ensure will happen. There are two types of promises you can make: Promises you make to others and promises you make to yourself. Performance increases when you promise yourself or someone else something, and then DO what you promise. The most basic (but sometimes hardest) place to start is to simply do what you promise.

Take a few minutes to consider the things that you promise yourself. Do you keep your promises to yourself? It may be surprising to you how many you don’t. Write down those promises you aren’t keeping. Open your eyes to those promises you are not keeping and make a decision to keep them.

Now take it one step further. Over-deliver. Do more than you promised yourself, or more than you promised that person. Promised yourself you would do a thirty minute run? Go forty. Promised yourself you would read a chapter in the book? Read two. Promised yourself you’d make thirty calls. Make thirty-five. Promised someone you’d help out for two hours? Give three hours.

When you make and keep promises, your performance will increase. When you start over-delivering, the only way is up!

Pace — I get my son to regularly run 1 and 2 kilometer runs on weekends and holidays. He is full of energy and is an impressive athlete. He is disciplined, but he is impatient. When he sets out for his 1km run, his first 500m are usually extremely competitive, and then … he walks. Then a few seconds later, he picks up the pace… and then he walks again. He has the potential to run very solid 1km run, but he won’t ever reach his performance potential unless he learns to pace himself.

“body of water under stratocumulus clouds” by Ameen Fahmy on Unsplash

I find that many people (including myself) work / live life in the same way. We jog, then slow down, then sprint, then slow down, then jog. You get the idea. How do you pace yourself?

  • Start by understanding your objectives for the day. You won’t run a 10km run the same way you run a 2km.
  • Break up the journey into smaller intervals. For example, see how many calls you can make in 15 minutes, or how many tickets you can close in 15 minutes. If its a run, fix a distance ahead of you to focus on achieving at a certain pace or in swimming, a certain number of breaths per length, and keep to it.

Pace is ultimately about consistency in your life. The less choppy, the less “up and down” your the sea of your life is, the faster you will cruise.

Primary Aim — This is the mission you exist for. It’s THE thing you want to be remembered for. When you consider all the things you could do with your time, prioritize what will move you towards accomplishing your primary aim. You should see the building blocks of your day as the individual bricks that are helping construct the road that leads to your primary aim.

When your friends are out partying, you are focused on your goals. When others are buying another car, or another doo-dad, you are living lean, stacking your cash and then putting as much as you can into income-producing investments like #multi-family real estate.

When you are priorities driven, life will accelerate and excite you. I challenge you to consider your priorities both on a micro and a macro level. Take a few minutes to consider your promises, pace and primary aim and watch your performance improve.