8 Ways to boost your performance

Don’t have enough time in the day? Have the feeling of not accomplishing what you set out to do that day? Feeling overwhelmed by what is still yet to do?  Here are some tips that will help you make the most of your day.  If you would like to adopt any of these performance boosting secrets I wouldn’t recommend taking on too many of them at once.  It is important to slowly adapt to change, consider taking 1 or 2 of the items and telling yourself you will stick with it 100% for 30 days.  A short term commitment is a lot easier then long term; mentally you can see yourself sticking it out for 30 days, and even use a calendar to mark the days off.  Once you are done with your 30 days reflect back on the success of the new habit.  At that point quit, extend it for another 30, 60 or 90 days, or let it be a permanent habit.

Set Daily Goals

This can be the first thing you do when you get up, or to the office or the last thing you do before going to bed.   Take a look at your day’s calendar, write down your meetings, anything you need to prepare for those meetings, and any things you can still fit in that are due in the next couple of days.  You probably know the big picture, and what is coming up so write down a reasonable list of items to achieve for the day.

Order of Importance

Put two numbers next to each task, a priority and the amount of time you estimate that it should take to do that task.  Make sure it is still a reasonable set of goals for the day, if you can’t fit them all in then you will need to remove some items from your list.  Depending on what time of the day you are most effective may determine when you take on a particular task.  I prefer to do my shortest amount of timed tasks in the early morning to get them off my list, then move to my most important and usually my most dreaded tasks after that.  Towards the end of the day I can address the rest of my list and any urgent items if they happen to pop up.

Delete, Do, Delegate or Task

When addressing your tasks you might be able to just delete some of them.  If you can just throw it out.  Most emails that get tossed around do not have action items or relevant action items.  If a co-worker or boss is sending blanket emails out see if there are any specific action items, if not spend your time on what really affects you.  Immediately do the task if it will only take a few minutes, if a task will take under 3 minutes you might as well just do it and knock it off your list and move on.  Can someone else take the item? Assuming that you have plenty to do, feel free to throw some work at another co-worker if they can do an adequate job.  If no one else can do an adequate job you can have someone give it a shot and help them out when needed or file that item as one of your ‘tasks’ to do and schedule a time to address it.

Consider the worst first

Try doing your most dreaded tasks first; once those are out of the way the rest of your day will be smooth sailing.  If you keep putting it off you will concern yourself over it and might procrastinate long enough where it lingers on your list for too long, possibly spilling into the next day.  Get it done and off your list.

Break a task up

Often it is not reasonable to finish one task in a day.  If the task is large, try to break it down into a few milestones, but make sure you finish that milestone in that day.

Document it

Do you perform a particular task very often? Most likely there are things you do at your job that need to occur every day or week.  Document the steps you do to perform these tasks, look for ways to optimize your steps or improve them over time.  If you have the process working extremely well then you might be able to take on more responsibility and toss this task to another co-worker.

The Early Bird

Waking up early is the latest edition to my daily routine, and I have been adopting it using the 30 day trial method.  During different phases of my life I have getting up and showing up at work at different times.  However, I am convinced that the old adage ‘the early bird gets the worm’ is truly worth more than a worm.  

If you wake up at 5 or 5:30 – the world is asleep.  You will have 4 hours to get some exercise, read, write and get those difficult items off your todo list before some people have even started their day.  You can be proactive and address items your clients might be waiting for by the time they get into the office.  You can finish your day earlier which will give you more sunlight to see your friends, family and enjoy the world.  You might have to go to bed a bit earlier, between 10-11 o’clock but I know my days have been more enjoyable thus far.  I probably had this article typed and finished by the time you hit snooze on your alarm clock this morning. ;)


At the end of the day looking at your to-do list with checkmarks on each item is extremely gratifying, after your 30 days make sure to evaluate your current state.  Are you getting more done, are you feeling less overwhelmed, are you smiling more, is everything now easier than it once was?  Be sure to take time to reflect on how that new habit is affecting you, in good ways and in bad. 

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