A few days ago I did a presentation on the traits of high performance people, and I believe this is synonymous with achieving financial excellence. This spills over into all aspects of our own lives and if we can utilise some of the habits of highly effective people it will naturally improve our position.
A few questions we can ask ourselves starting today…
- How can we improve our daily habits to improve our performance and get results?
- What are the habits and traits of high performance people?
- How do we develop high performance habits?
So from my research and my own trial and error I am going to touch on a few habits in this blog post. Firstly, I would like to quote a book by Stephen Covey; “The 7 habits of highly effective people” which is a must read for anyone looking to execute change and become more effective immediately.
Here is a link to get yourself a copy of this book https://amzn.to/38VehJq
Health & Fitness
As I write this blog post it is day 3 of no caffeine for me, (I do not think I have missed my morning coffee in 20 years) and I woke up this morning after having arguably the deepest most refreshing sleep I have had in years. So I will start with the importance of daily exercise, good food and nutrition to maintain our energy levels and mood, reducing our exposure to stimulants such as coffee and sugar which provides us a roller coaster of highs and lows, and of course good quality sleep. We must take adequate time out from the stressors of life to recover and get stronger. I am considering doing a special post on my weight loss and health journey over the last few years and how this has been a driving force on my journey soon (watch this space)!
Circle of Influence
The people we associate with and spend our time speaking to daily will certainly affect the direction we move in life. Now, I am not saying you go and fire all the people in your life and get rid of your friends. I am saying we need can become more intentionally about our conversations, associations and time we sink with certain people. The old saying goes; “You are the average of the 5 people close to you” or my favourite “Show me your friends and I will show you your future”. We can only control the controllables and try to steer a negative conversation into a positive one and more importantly hang around with winners. My research has shown that winners generally hang around with winners also.
Ok, so you want to achieve financial freedom or perhaps retire early? That is an incredible decision to make and only a tiny percentage of people actually go on to achieve FIRE and stay it! So from identifying what high performers do it is obvious to me that they reverse engineer the end goal. For example, if you want to FIRE in 7 years, you need to start with the end result. Then break that down into smaller goals and mile stones such as yearly goals. In turn break those down into quarterly and monthly. Finally, each week and day should be made up of smaller micro goals, that can be celebrated. A great technique I came across is using an inventory daily and a To Do List. Personally I use google calendar to note my goals for the day and the tasks needed to hit them. Saying I want to hit FIRE in 7 years is almost impossible to comprehend; having 3 micro tasks to complete by the time you go to bed that have a high chance of being achieved, creates a win mentality and a small incremental movement towards the overall goal. This in turn creates motivation for the following day so we are not just drifting around.
High performance people manage their time well. We are have the same 24 hours in a day, so how are some people able to get so much down and appear to have bags of time, whilst some of us never seems to have enough time and even if there was 34 hours in a day it would not be enough? Planning and organising your day and what you need to do in a list of priority helps. There is usually enough time each day to eat, exercise for 30 minutes, sleep, play, spend time with family and friends, work a day job or own business and a side-hussle, before enjoying some time on a passion project and hobby. Take a pen and paper and track how you spend each hour of your day for a couple days. Almost certainly there is a few time sinks, that will become obvious. Are you watching a second and third episode of Netflix, did you snooze the alarm 3 times in bed this morning 🙂
As you know by now, I am a massive fan of mindset and self development. It is well known that constantly learning and improving ourselves, sharpening our tools and expanding our minds allows us to perform better. If you want different results to yesterday, you must do something different today. Investing in our own learning and growth is one of the best investments we can make today.
The bottom line is that it can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days for a person to form a new habit and an average of 66 days for a new behaviour to become automatic. Sometimes it simply feels like we are going through the motions. We have to start playing the LONG game and not the short game. Playing the short game and looking for a quick buck, 6 minutes abs, or that one deal that will pay us dividends for life just don’t generally exist. There is a concept of the 1% rule which looks at the idea there is always 1% more we can do in any moment that can improve any aspect of our lives. Small incremental improvements have a compounding effect over time.
It is very easy to start over thinking and over analysing. A common trait of highly effective individuals is the ability to make a decision and ‘just do it’. We will not get it right 100% of the time, but it is simply better to do something that nothing at all. There is something known as ‘analysis paralysis’ which can creep up on us. We may be waiting and wondering for the best time to invest in the stock market vs putting a deposit down on a house, or starting a new business. We may never do any of these things because we end up over analysing and thus paralysed. Susan Jeffers sums it up well quote “Feel the fear an do it anyway!”
The 80/20 rule
This concept is based on the ‘Parteo Principal’ which states that for many phenomena 80% of the result comes from 20% of the effort. So why not get really, really good and concentrate on the 20% that yields the best result. Personally I try to live by the mantra “Work smart not hard, but work hard when you need to”.
Handle Rejection & Failure
These are a part of life and we need to get really comfortable hearing the word No and being rejected. Failure can be viewed as feedback and an example is JK Rowling, the author. She send the Harry Potter manuscript to 12 different publishers before it ended up with Bloomsbury. People may not believe in us and we may doubt ourselves at time when we are faced with rejection and negativity. Keep your eyes of the prize and focussed on the end goal. JK Rowling kept going and today she is a number one best selling author, who stayed optimistic and believed in herself when no one else did.
The ability to be an effective communicator is a great skill. It is well known that many high net worth, high performance people simply do not have an educational qualification for university or college and some do. So how is it possible to rise from rags to riches or even start with nothing? We are all plugged in and the world works on communication between people and systems. If you want to shake up your communication skills and get a hobby at the same time check our your local Toastmasters group and join your local FI meetup group and do a presentation on your journey to date.
These are just a few traits and habits of highly effective people that can help us on our own FIRE journey and life in general.
If you have any questions about this post feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org