10 Key Factors of Performance & Productivity That You May Not Know

10 Factors (9 of which you can influence) that drive productivity & performance.

Human performance is a complex beast. It is comprised of both:

1. TALENT – a person’s natural gift of performance ability. Some people have more natural ability to perform at higher levels than others. This is the part that cannot be changed!

2. SKILL – the learning and development of being able to perform better by focusing on changing the input variables that impact performance. This is the part that CAN be changed.

This is exciting and empowering because regardless of the TALENT we each possess we each have the ability and power to positively impact our circumstances via developing the SKILL (this extends to pretty much anything). These can be thought of as the first 2 drivers of performance & productivity.

There is also another component to consider that warrants a special mention. When we’re growing up, we are exposed to all sorts of events and experiences that shape our mental, physical and emotional blueprints, that are carried on into adulthood.

These blueprints tend to be helpful if the childhood experience is a good one and unhelpful (and even outright destructive) if it’s a bad one. A bad one can be due to one (or a few) big adverse experiences, or it can be lots of smaller accumulative adverse experiences.

This is a huge topic and could go into a lot more depth, but that’s for another time perhaps. But what the takeaway is in the context of this article, is that NURTURE impacts humans at a deep level and therefore it can make performing (and life) either easier or harder, depending on the person’s circumstances.

There are so many factors (a.k.a. input variables) that go into an individual’s performance equation. Here are 10:

1. Talent

- As above.

2. Skill

- As above.

3. Rest

- This is an absolute cornerstone of high performance.

- It should not be confused with sleep.

- Sleep is an incredibly important component of rest, but is not the whole pie.

- Other passive forms of rest are helpful.

- But crucially, both mentally and physically active forms of “rest” enable us to recharge at a much deeper level.

4. Focus on future outcomes, not actions.

- Future outcomes (providing they’re framed and focused in the right way) are often exciting, compelling and inspiring.

- The actions to achieve future outcomes are often (not always) dull.

- So by learning how to focus on the future outcome whilst taking the action it can drastically improve action taking and momentum.

5. Happiness

- Not just a fluffy nice to have. Happier people perform better.

- When we feel good, we have more mental space and greater mental clarity, which means greater capacity to focus on the task at hand.

6. Mental wellbeing

- Our headspace should be viewed as one of, if not the, most crucial things to take good care of, for a multitude of reasons, not just performance and productivity.

- If our mental state is in a poor place, it makes it very difficult to function normally and to navigate life.

- By taking consistent steps to properly look after and nurture the special internal space that is our mental wellbeing, our life experience improves greatly and will positively impact just about every aspect of our lives.

7. Physical wellbeing

- Being in a good physical state is key if we are to have high energy and vitality levels.

- This is driven by many things such as mental wellbeing (via the mind body connection), nutrition, exercise and rest.

8. Motivation

- Humans are driven by two core pressures. 1) To attain pleasure; 2) To avoid pain.

- Knowing truly why we want something and how to use these levers are very powerful forces.

9. Discipline

- Choosing future gratification over instant gratification is not easy for most people.

- Being able to say “no” to both others, and probably even more importantly, ourselves, is crucial if we are to make the best use of our time.

- Taking a process driven approach to becoming more disciplined can be incredibly impactful, as can knowing our triggers and weak points, and devising appropriate mitigation strategies to overcome them.

10. Prioritise

- Modern day life is extremely busy for many people.

- But ‘busyness’ should not be mistaken for ‘effectiveness’ or ‘productiveness’.

- There will likely always be loads of things on your to do list, but knowing what the highest value, biggest impact projects, tasks and actions are at all times, means that with the time you have to spend on such things, you will be achieving the most meaningful accumulative outcomes possible.

Knowing all this stuff is all well and good. Wouldn’t it be great if just knowing that exercise made us healthier, actually made us healthier?!

But we do not get the benefits from something by merely KNOWING. We must TAKE ACTION, we must DO. That is the hardest part…but it is also where all of the value is too.

Written by: Dan Gayle – Peak Vantage CEO.

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