Ok, let me make this clear right up front. Is it possible to be firing at 100% every day and attaining ‘peak performance’? No! Perfection is unattainable and the pursuit of perfection can be more limiting than it is beneficial. Example would be someone that is trying to get their business idea to 100% (perfect), before they launch…..it is therefore, unlikely they will ever launch. Our peak potential may vary from day to day depending on a variety of factors, some inside and some outside of our control. What we can do however is ‘stack the odds in our favor’. What do I mean? If you construct a routine, adopt processes and tools that improve your energy, clarity of thought, focus etc. then you are going to be able to operate at your peak more often and for longer.
So let’s clear up what ‘peak performance’ means. To me, ‘peak performance’ is operating at your maximum possible potential and level of output, that results in an outcome achieved which has no potential for improvement at that moment in time. This could be in sports (not leaving anything in the tank and giving it your all), it could be in business (channeling all your energy and creativity into a new project or meeting where the outcome creates new opportunity, growth, or progress), it could be in your family life (where you are completely present and mindful when playing with your children).
Where I see people falling short of their true potential and outcomes not being as favorable as they could have, is when they do not invest in their routine and wellbeing, yet expect their bodies and mind to operate at a level that is outside if it’s physical capabilities. So, what can you do to give yourself the best chance or peak performance:
- Sleep: Having 6.5hrs – 8.0hrs of quality sleep every night is so important to our bodies ability to rest, recover & repair. The duration required is impacted by your level of exertion that day, but we can explore this 1:1 for your situation. Tools to improve sleep are (to name a few); lavender oil, magnesium, chamomile tea, no screens 60 – 120 min before bed, consuming a smaller meal in the evening.
- Managing your caffeine intake: Coffee provides so many benefits such as energy uplift, good for brain health, is classed as ergogenic meaning performance enhancing. However, more does not necessarily mean better. Excess caffeine can also increase the severity of energy peaks and troughs, and this often results in the increased consumption of caffeine to ‘offset’ the feelings of low energy and focus. Utlise peppermint oil as an energy supplement as apposed to excess caffeine.
- Daily movement. Break up the day with ‘micro movement’. You do not need to do a full 60 minute gym session to feel the performance enhancing benefits of exercise. Simply getting outdoors every 90 minutes for a 5 – 10 minute walk will increase creativity, clarity of thought and energy.
- Delegate tasks that are not your strengths, to focus on the areas inside your wheelhouse and tasks that you derive enjoyment from.
- Only check your emails twice a day. Send me an email and see what auto reply you receive (email@example.com). Remove the distraction and often emotional reaction associated with the influx of regular emails.
- See my blog from last week. Implement the Pomodoro technique.
Will every day be perfect? No…..and do not expect it to be. Some days you will just be tired, or have a headache, or get interrupted by colleagues, but know that if you did all you could to optimise your performance, the outcome you achieved was the best it could have been.