Most of people are looking to perform better at work and evolve in their careers. But, until recently, the concept of sustainable performance was not a topic of interest in the workplace. On the contrary, productivity and performance were often accompanied by neglect of health and well-being. Today, at least, we are beginning to devote more time to learn tools for sustainable performance.
The complexity of challenges increases in our world today. At the same, we have to deal with greater competitiveness and an accelerating pace of change. This scenario is frequently overwhelming people’s capacity to sustain optimal performance and pursue their potential.
How to achieve sustainable performance
A simple way to achieve sustainable performance is to avoid overloading the body and mind. Once you go beyond a certain point you enter a state of chronic stress. A state in which your body and mind are under unrelenting demand – something that is easy to do these days. This constant state of stress can significantly decrease your performance and eventually culminate in panic attacks or burnout.
How can you keep pushing the envelope to give your best? And how to do that while managing the effort you put in so that you don’t go too far?
These reflections inspired us to take a deeper look to find effective and practical solutions. Initially, our goal was to discover solutions that worked for ourselves. Then we wanted to share it with the people closest to us. Finally we decided to share our experience with people who are interested in growing sustainably in their field of work.
And so, this idea was born to reveal all the ingredients needed for maximum performance as a human being. To flourish without destroying your well-being or relationships with family and friends.
Focus: presence and clarity as tools for sustainable performance
We began this journey with the belief that focus is a foundational skill for optimal performance. Most people want to be good at everything. But this disperses the precious time, energy and attention needed to generate results that set you apart. When this happens we end up being slightly better than average at many things, but not great at anything.
Focus can manifest in two primary ways, either as being fully present or as being committed to a long-term objective. We believe both aspects should walk together. Recognize how the commitment to goals can interfere with your ability to be present in the moment. And how we can resolve the distractions of our daily routine without losing sight of your longer term objectives.
To improve your performance, you need practice, experience, and time to mature in a particular area. But performance isn’t strictly about the businesses measurables. It’s a multi-faceted journey that should contemplate quality of life and well-being.
The grind can be balanced out with a dose of motivating pleasure. This requires learning how to regulate a series of factors that make up the framework of the human experience. For performance to be sustainable, you’ll need a complete tool set for recovery and adaptation. And not just productivity, productivity and productivity.
The essential tools for sustainable performance
Once you have clarity on your path forward, self-awareness is the next essential skill. Because it will facilitate the process of training and developing a robust skill set. But isn’t self-awareness always a distorted view of reality? We’ve developed a practical approach to evaluating and addressing this obstacle.
By increasing your self-awareness, you will learn to identify when your mindset is being productive and when it is not. Specially if it blocks your ability to progress towards your goals or the well-being you want. How could having an optimistic mindset impact how you face adversity?
Attitude and mental resilience
Cultivating an optimistic mindset is even easier when we are clear about why we are doing each task. When mentally visualize the rewards of our work, our mental resilience increases, and we can program ourselves for success. But imagining what we want is not enough. We need to commit ourselves to taking action on a daily basis that leads us to what we want.
Relationship and leadership skills
When we know what we want, we have the attitude and mental resilience to take effective action. Then, it becomes important to develop our ability to effectively engage ourselves and other people for the task at hand.
Relationships with family, friends, colleagues, leaders, and subordinates are key in defining our performance. If we have a conflict with any of these groups, if we don’t have good communication with even just one of them, we lose motivation, we destabilize our emotions and we sacrifice our mental clarity.
For a leader, cultivating healthy relationships should be a voluntary effort and is not dependent on the behavior of others.
Self-regulation and self-confidence
However, whether you are a leader or a team member, to sustain good long-term performance you need to know how to regulate your levels of energy and stress to respect your limits. With the willingness and ability to modulate for the optimal level of stress, you can build your self-confidence and thrive.
Appreciation is a fundamental attitude that helps relieve stress and bring more satisfaction to the work routine.
Among the hundreds of productivity hacks, we’ve narrowed it down to three guiding principles for sustainable productivity: get 1% better or closer to your goal everyday, stay organized by reviewing priorities regularly, and commit to 10k hours of focus dedicated to your objective.
If you’ve enjoyed these tools for sustainable performance, I’d like to invite you to try our transformative Focus & Sustainable Performance module of our Mindfulness Design series.
*This text is an excerpt from the book Focus & Sustainable Performance of the Mindfulness Design Series, which will be published soon.