Education, social connections, resume and pedigree are all helpful ingredients in today's formula for success, but they're not always the determining factors - although they might get you in the door for the job you want, they won't keep you there. In our saturated business environment, performance and time management are the real secrets to success and may very well be the most valuable currency we have.
Today, the amusement park is the only place that has room for coasters. It takes expertise, energy, and innovative thinking to deliver successfully in today's workplace. Those who perform and deliver by correctly managing their time will be here tomorrow; likewise, those who don't will be gone before they know it.
Everyone has the same 10,080 minutes in a week. Yet some people have time to change the world, while others barely have time to change their socks. Having the energy to use your time effectively and efficiently is what drives success. If you're looking to increase your daily performance and see a noticeable spike in productivity, try making these easy changes:
1. Be a creature of habit. Have a daily routine--almost a ritual--that empowers you. Get up, go to work, eat, exercise and go to bed at the same time every day. Finding a routine that allows for optimal sleep and a healthy diet will also instantly decrease stress.
2. Take care of yourself first. High achievers have daily routines that allow them to take care of themselves before they take care of others. Some exercise first thing in the morning, others read or pray. These routines put them in a stress-free mindset before taking on the day. You'll find that the effect is long-lasting: it will also help you manage tasks and prioritize later.
3. Eat for Energy. Eat all of the lean protein and raw or steamed veggies you want. Use healthy fats like olive oil and coconut oil for cooking, and drink half your body weight in ounces of water every day. Indulge in the foods that help your body stay strong and healthy, and be cautious of everything else.
4. Exercise. There is no downside to exercise: it increases energy, boosts mood, stokes metabolism, increases stamina, and relieves stress. President John F. Kennedy once said, "Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity." I think the good President was trying to tell us if we want to be a good thinker, we need to get into the gym and be a bit of a stinker.
5. Schedule downtime. Even the most ambitious will burn out if they run too hard for too long. My business coach and friend, Dan Sullivan, stresses carving out some free time or time 100% away from work activities every day. He insists on it because he knows that you cannot be "on" all the time.
The key to a successful life is to use what you've got-- your education, social connections, resume and pedigree-- to bring value to the world. The best way to fulfill this goal is by being an energetic contributor to the environment you are in. Performance is today's universal currency, and with the right focus on health and productivity you can enhance your performance and bring long-lasting value to your workplace.