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The Daily Dot is a daily post aimed to give the reader an edge in business and professional development in 2 minutes. It's purpose is to provide interesting, thought provoking and informative content through ideas, up-to-date information and advice focusing on achieving ‘outstanding results’ within a professional context.

Wednesday 30 Sep 20

The TakeawayThe Key to Achieving More without Working More

How to Achieve and Maintain Peak Performance at Work

What if you could work fewer hours, but achieve more?

Achieving peak performance at work isn’t about the number of hours you work. 

It’s about learning how to consciously manage our energy throughout the day and having the ability to focus on one task at a time.

Why is Peak Performance Difficult to Achieve?

One of the most overlooked and yet most important aspects of achieving peak performance is our own internal energy.

We each have a finite supply of energy that we exhaust throughout the day; this is called ego depletion.

Whilst caffeine and sugar can provide an energy boost, they are just a short-term fix rather than a sustainable solution.

Here are 3 things you can do to alter the way you use your energy to help you reach peak performance.

1. Work in 90-minute Time Blocks

While many people pride themselves on working for hours on end, this isn’t the most effective way to get results and achieve peak performance.

Instead, we should aim to work in 90-minute, uninterrupted time blocks. This way, we can focus all of our energy on one task and complete is more quickly and efficiently.

The easiest way to achieve 90-minutes of uninterrupted working time is to schedule it in your diary and inform colleagues to not disturb you unless it’s urgent and needs your attention immediately.

2. Eliminate External Distractions

External distractions like emails and conversations with colleagues are one of the main things that steal our energy.

When working in 90-minute time blocks, it’s important that you’re as uninterrupted as possible.

Here are 5 things you can do to limit external distractions

  • Close your emails

  • Turn your phone off or on aeroplane mode

  • Close unnecessary tabs

  • Close your office door

  • Turn off notifications on your laptop/computer

3. Rest and Recover

After each period of intense focus, it’s important to rest to allow yourself to recover so you don’t get burnt out.

It’s recommended that for every 90 minutes of focused work, we should allow ourselves 30 minutes of rest.

There are many things you can do to rest your mind, including

  • Listening to music

  • Going for a walk

  • Having something to eat and drink

How to Know if You’re Reaching Peak Performance

It can be difficult to recognise whether you’re being as efficient and productive as possible.

One of the most effective ways to find out is to ask your manager and colleagues as they have a different perspective.

You can also click here for a quiz that will give you an indication of whether you’re reaching peak performance.

“There is no man living who isn’t capable of doing more than he thinks he can do” Henry Ford


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