Peak performance is no accident. It requires not only hard work, but preparation, focus and intention. The high-performing leaders I work with use these five techniques to be at their very best.Want to ramp up your performance this year? Focus on clarity, growth, and reflection. #peakperformance #professionaldevelopment #highperformers Click To Tweet
1. Clarify your goals.
When you’re aiming for peak performance, the first step is to make sure you’re really clear about what it is you’re hoping to achieve. As the saying goes, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.”
Goals like, “Be a top performer” or “Sell more products” sound good, but lack the specifics you need to take action on them. And you’re missing out if you focus only on what you want to do. Make sure you’re crystal clear on what your customers (and your boss) need, want and expect.
2. Zero in on your growth and development.
It’s exciting to learn new things! Having the opportunity to develop your skills and abilities — and even better, to apply them on the job — makes work even more interesting than it usually is. And the more interesting and engaging your work is, the more likely you are to make the effort to perform well.
Of course, growing and developing means you’ll be taking some risks, too, but thoughtful risk-taking is key to learning.
3. Show up the way you want to.
If a coaching client tells me they want others to see them in a certain way so they can be more successful, I ask them to focus on how they show up, and not on what other people think. Showing up is within your control; how others perceive you is not.
When you want to show up at a work presentation as confident and knowledgeable, it’s not enough just to hope you will. You’ve got to practice and prepare. The more thoroughly you prepare, the better shot you have of presenting your materials and yourself in a way that serves you well.
4. Be intentional about your work-life transitions.
Peak performance requires focus, which can be tough when your mind is split between work and home. So many of my clients talk about work bleeding over into their home life and vice versa, and not feeling fully present with either one.
One of the best ways to address this is to look at work-life transitions — how you move (physically and mentally) between work and home. Create habits to open and close your workday. Some clients listen to business-related podcasts on the commute into work and music on the way home. Some open and close their days with to-do lists.
These habits can help you make the mental shift from one place to another, and be more present wherever you are.
5. Take time to reflect and renew.
Grinding work out day after day, putting in a zillion hours a week nonstop can actually make you less productive and tank your performance. But what can you do?
Take time each week to reflect on what went well, what could have gone better and what your next steps are. This exercise helps you lock in your hard-earned learning, and can also ensure that you don’t make the same mistakes multiple times.
Another simple way to renew is by tidying up your sleeping habits. Studies show that getting more quality sleep can ramp up your mental processing speed, help you to make fewer errors and improve your focus. And speaking of renewal, take your vacation days, for heaven’s sake!
Clarifying your goals, focusing on your development, showing up the way you want to, managing your work-life transitions and taking time to reflect and renew are all great ways to step up your productivity and your performance.
How will you make sure you’re at peak performance? Let us know in the comments below.
This article first appeared on Forbes.com.