The coronavirus has certainly magnified the ongoing challenge for many business owners, professionals, and even employees, who are struggling to find consistency and maintain high productivity professionally.
Most people live their life reactively and by default, not by choice. By working towards creating your very own personal operating systems, you’re empowering yourself to create structured frameworks within which you will be able to boost your personal performance and deliver outstanding results.
In this article, we will review a handful of the defining principles of this practice, so that you can easily apply them to your own life, your business, and your team.
1. Clarity, desire and belief
The first step is to have crystal clear clarity on what you want to achieve each hour, day, week, and year. Don’t just set a goal or target and ‘work towards it’ attach a strong emotive payoff that will elevate the desire to do what it takes to achieve that target.
Set targets and goals that you have total belief that – with the right structure and commitment – you will achieve. When you have total belief, you will give and get total commitment.
2. Set momentum goals
Productivity and performance are all about momentum. A momentum goal is one that:
- Is a ‘stretch goal’ yet with the right work is achievable
- Creates total belief and commitment
- When achieved will act as a ‘slingshot’ towards the next goal
- Will create a ‘winning effect’
3. Do more than is required
As humans, none of us are truly operating at full capacity. There are always things we can do more of, do better, or even do less of that will boost results. You should set a goal each day to find one thing that you can do even 1% better.
Take a full-time workload, for example, or 5 days per week for a 4-week month (that’s just 20 days). If each of you and all of your team members could manifest and deliver a 1% per day improvement at the beginning of each week, the cumulative effect over that month would be 20% + 15% + 10% + 5% = 50%. That’s a 50% boost in productivity just from the relatively simple delivery of 1%.
There is a well-used story about an old coal mine that wanted to boost output 10% from their two shifts. The foreman said to each of the shifts they needed to do more and work harder. They replied that they were working at capacity delivering a total of 7 tonnes of coal per shift.
Before the night shift turned up, he created a sign which read “Top Shift Day Shift – 7.5 Tonnes”. Not wanting to be beaten the night shift delivered 8 tonnes and crossed out the sign. The day shift took pride in being the best so on their shift, they delivered 8.5 Tones and put it up on the sign. This continued till they both maxed out at their new output of 10 tonnes per shift three times the boost that the foreman was asking for.
They had clarity, focus, and the clear belief they could do it. Their desire and the emotive reward were to be top shift which created their winning effect and they could all find their ‘1%’ in each of their own outputs.
The power of the ‘winning effect’ and creating winning habits
Renowned clinical psychologist and author, Professor Ian H Roberston, has described how animals and fish have been proven to experience a surge of testosterone and dopamine after a kill, giving them a boost of confidence to go after bigger prey. He says this is the same in humans and that regular ‘wins’ often leads to permanent physiological and physiological changes.
You see this many times in athletes, too. They experience a breakthrough win, then continue to go on to much bigger and better achievements.
In our own businesses, we should work to foster a habit of winning. Yet many times, people simply set the wrong goals for themselves and their teams.
Let’s say you set a goal that really deserves to be on your wish list. You would like it to happen, however, you don’t have total belief that it will. Therefore you don’t commit fully as you don’t want to be let down by going 100% and not achieving it. Shortly after starting, because you aren’t putting in 100%, you are falling behind targets, which makes you feel like a loser, which compounds the issue, and you fall further and further behind.
You end up accepting less than the target, saying ‘I gave it my best’, perhaps believing that it was destined to be this way.
Using these three principles you set goals with belief, clarity, and a burning desire to make it happen. You then set some well-crafted Momentum Goals. Once you get started you look for the 1% to do more than is required. This puts you ahead of targets and you are already feeling like a winner. This gives you the boost and you now have the confidence to look for more 1%. You hit the end of your Momentum Goal earlier or better than expected and full of momentum, instead of being dejected from falling behind.
This momentum then creates for you a ‘Slingshot Effect’ on to the next Momentum Goal, with still greater confidence and belief that it will be achieved.
So whether you are a solo professional, run your own business with teams, or are fully employed and are now working from home, these exact principles can work for you to boost your own and/or your teams’ productivity, resilience, and sense of achievement.
Being guided by these principles on a daily basis will enable and support you to keep moving forward despite what is happening around you and throughout the world right now. Gaining clarity and momentum, and striving for that extra 1% can make a massive difference to your life, both professionally and personally, and the productivity of those around you.