‘Pit Stops’ for Peak Performance

You have to stay on track to accomplish your goals.

Sounds simple, right?  Reality check: it’s not. You’re moving through more tasks, quicker, while managing more distractions than ever before. As a result, staying focused on your goals and the keys to achieving them is increasingly difficult.

In Formula 1 Racing, the goal has always stayed the same: win the race.  What has changed drastically in a relatively short amount of time is what it takes to win the race.  Just watch this short video comparing a Formula 1 pit stop in 1950 compared to today.

Did you notice a few differences?  The number of crew members, the increased capability of the tools and of course, the amount of time it took to get the car back in the race.  Today, race cars spend more time in the fast lane because of record times in pit row.

The same is true of our professional ‘pit stops’ in today’s business environment. We have less down time for maintenance than ever before.  Often, vacation time doesn’t even allow us to totally recharge as we’re checking in on things by smartphone or tablet.  It’s natural to want to avoid falling behind but recharging to stay fresh and focused is critical to performing at your best.

If you’re so busy that you’re unable to enjoy the race and the fruits of your work, you’re bound to be less productive, and potentially, burn out.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a grand vacation or mid-week mindset shift.  You have to be intentional about finding ways to recharge.  

Here’s 3 Ways to Get a Quick Recharge Without Falling Behind:

1. Exercise. Whether it’s a weight training circuit,  a 15 minute walk or training for a marathon, physical activity will go a long way towards helping you feel better and be more productive.  In addition to the health benefits, the feeling of accomplishment will increase your productivity and stamina.  Make an appointment on your calendar so you don’t get too busy/avoid doing it.

2. Read. As Dave Ramsey says, “Readers are leaders.” Select one professional development book and commit to a date that you’ll finish it.  Then, get reading! First thing in the morning, during lunch break or at night just before bed (my favorite)…set a time that will work for you to read each day. Right now, I’m re-reading Good to Great. It’s been a few years since I first read this book.  But at a training I recently attended, I was given a copy.   I was reminded of the many lessons this book provides and the need to revisit this business classic.

3. Go to lunch with a client or colleague who has specific characteristics or is generating results you’d like to emulate. You need to eat, but this is more than a way to mix-up your lunchtime routine. At least once a monthmake it a point to schedule lunch with someone you can learn from and be inspired by. Come to the table prepared to find ways to help them as well. You might just end up with a long-term support and accountability partner.