The best way to increase your personal peak performance is to focus time and energy on your unique abilities during your golden hours.
What Are Your Unique Abilities?
What makes you, well you? Why does your workplace pay you the big bucks? What specific activities make you (or could make you) a superstar at work? Have you even really given it much thought?
For example, if:
- you’re a professional pitcher for a major league baseball team, then you get paid for throwing strikes and keeping batters from making hits and scoring runs in order for your team to win games.
- you’re a car salesman, then you get paid for selling and leasing a lot of cars in order for the car lot to turn a profit.
- you’re a CEO of a major company, then you get paid for leading the employees to make your company a lot of money.
- you’re a nurse at a hospital, then you are paid to help patients get well quickly and enjoy their stay as much as possible.
- you’re a teacher at an elementary school, then you are paid to help students learn the concepts they need to know over the course of 10 months in order to move from one grade level to the next.
Whatever unique gifting you possess that makes you indispensable at work, then you need to focus on developing those specific gifts to higher levels of peak performance.
So, in our examples above:
- the pitcher needs to practice high performance pitching (and related activities) regularly and consistently.
- the car salesman needs to study and practice the best and most current sales techniques.
- the CEO needs to be reading, studying, writing, and reflecting on his leadership skills in order to grow in his abilities and lead his company to the next level.
- the nurse needs to develop her bedside manner and stay current in the medical field.
- the teacher needs to develop his teaching, motivation, and disciplinary techniques in order to move his students to the next level.
Whatever unique abilities you possess in your career, you need to focus on growing these abilities during your “golden hours.” This is how peak performers beat out all the competition and become the best in their field.
What Are Your Golden Hours?
The concept of “golden hours” are your peak productivity hours each day. For the vast majority of people, these best hours will most likely be in the early morning. But, there are many people who just can’t handle the early morning routine. They’re more night owl than early bird. I know several people who will never be morning people and who actually do their best work at midnight!
In my own five daily rituals, I attempt to accomplish my top three between the hours of 4:30-7:00am. These top three rituals (journaling, Bible study, and writing) require the most quiet time and concentration. Since I have a young family, it doesn’t happen every day for me, but I try to get this time in as best I can. In the remaining hours of my morning at work, I focus on the priority activities for which my church pays me to accomplish. These early and even mid-morning hours are when I am my most productive and creative.
Again, you know you. You know if you function best first thing in the morning or late at night. And, if you’re not sure, simply experiment. Try out one week in the early morning hours, and then the next week, do the midnight thing. Figure out which week you were more productive and go with those golden hours. Leverage that time to accomplish your priority activities with excellence.
Questions: Do you know when your “golden hours” are during each day? Have you ever experimented to determine when you are most productive? Do you know what specific skills you possess that makes you invaluable to your employer? Do you have some type of scheduling plan in which you’re doing your most important work at the very best time?