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10 Ways To Improve Performance

Are you looking for ways to improve your performance?  In this context, I am talking about your performance at work, at home, and with your health.  If you indeed are trying to improve your energy, productivity, and overall effectiveness, I have provided 10 sure-fire ways to maximize your overall performance.

* Focus, focus, focus—Sometimes it feels like we have a thousand “Things To Do” on the list and we rarely get any of them done.  Sometimes you get so side-tracked with emails, phone calls, customer needs, etc. that by the time the end of the day rolls around, you realize you hardly got anything done.  My encouragement to you is to CHOOSE 1 MUST DO for the day and commit to getting it done.  Do it early in the day before you get side-tracked and commit to following it through until complete.

* Know your strengths—Focus on your strengths and know what you are good at.  If you are not sure, perform a “S.W.O.T.” (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis and jot down all your strengths.  Concentrate on what you are good at, market your strengths, and continue to build upon your strengths.

* Improve your weaknesses— One of my mentors, pitching guru, Tom House says “you are as strong as your weakest link, and as efficient as your worst movement.”  So it is with business and life.  What are your weaknesses?  What can you do to improve your  “game” and take it to the next level.  Maybe it is character issues that need to be improved.  Maybe it is an improved commitment to something important to you (health, family, business, spiritual health, etc.).  Decide on what you can improve upon and than commit to improving that area of your life.

* Surround yourself with “great” people—One of my coaches, Ali Brown, talks about surrounding yourself with a mindset of people that you want to be like.  If you want to be wealthy, hang out with wealthy people.  If you want to be spiritually strong, spend time with spiritually strong people.  If you want to be a great athlete, train with great athletes and great coaches.  Whether you are part of a “Mastermind” Group to help accelerate your success or just surround yourself with motivated, success-driven people on an on-going basis, it is critical that you surround yourself with a “mindset” that is positive for your life.  It will create an energy that is contagious and leads to great results.

* Prioritize your “Blue-Sky” time—One of my closest mentors and friends, Wayne Cotton, has an entire system on time management to help improve productivity and organization.  “Blue Sky” time is going to give you designated time away from your business to work “on” your business and not “in” your business.   This is critical for you to give you direction and focus and strategy.  I recommend getting 3 quality “Blue Sky” days per quarter but the more you get, the better.  It will help drive “Green machine” (making money!) and help free up your time!  Most of us don’t get enough strategic time and end up always just reacting to whatever the day brings.  This is inefficient and will not lead to maximum results.

* Get your “Mellow Yellow” time—God knows we all need more rest.  Why do you feel so guilty when you actually get down time?  It is actually recommended that you take at least one day off per week and that you partake in enjoyable activities and hobbies.  How about scheduling some OFF time in your calendar or marking yourself out for 30 minutes in the day for doing something enjoyable (exercising, eating, taking a walk, etc.).  Mellow Yellow time allows your mind to relax and recover and will re-energize and rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul.

* Improve Organization—It is that time of year for a good ole-fashioned spring cleaning.  You can call it a Purge Party, spring cleaning, or whatever you want.  But there is nothing better than the feeling of getting your life organized and cleaned out.  Clean out your closets of all the junk you have been accumulating; clean out your files at work and at the home office; a clear mind produces clarity and allows you to think clearly.  If you are not great at organizing, hire an expert that will come into your home or office and help you organize.  It will be well worth the investment and your productivity will soar.  I have personally committed myself to clean my home office one hour every month.  For some reason, my home office accumulates a lot of paper, piles, and junk.  I have committed to making sure that I take this “red-tape” time to get increased organization in this area of my life.  You can’t think big if you are surrounded in clutter.  Commit to increasing your organization and there will be a direct correlation to your improved performance.

* Have a Direction—There is nothing like having a purpose.  Everyone needs a plan.  It is said that you must “plan your work and than work your plan.”  What is your plan?  What is your purpose in life?  What are you going to accomplish in 25 years?  How about 5 years?  Search for your purpose and direction and keep surrounding yourself with people that will help you realize your full potential.

* Improve your own Health—There is nothing more important than your health.  What is the best thing you have done for your health recently?  Have you been eating the way you should?  Are you supplementing your nutrition with Omega 3’s and fish oils, liquid vitamins, flaxseed, and greens?  Have you been exercising consistently?  Are you doing everything you can to reduce your stress levels?  Have you received a massage lately or taken a yoga class?   There is nothing more vital than your health and fitness.  Commit to your success and you will experience more gratification in every area of your life.

* Hard-work & Enthusiasm—John Wooden talks about “hard work” and “enthusiasm” as cornerstones for success in his book, “Wooden:  A Lifetime of Achievements On & Off the Court”.   There are no “secrets” to success.  Hard-work is one of the most important aspects of achieving your goals.  Couple that with enthusiasm and it creates an energy that becomes contagious.  People like positive energy and are attracted to positive energy.  Are you creating positive energy?  Are you working hard?  Listen to the legendary Coach Wooden and combine the cornerstones of success:  hard-work & enthusiasm.

* Persistence—Most of us are facing some adversity in our life right now.  Whether it be financial burden, debt, relationships failing, family stress, business ventures gone bad, employee or employer tension, worry about a failing market, or ill-health that is bringing you down, many of us have at least one thing in our life that we need to focus on overcoming.  It is called toughness…mental toughness.  We were never promised life was going to be easy and a piece of cake.  Persistence is a key quality for success.  Have a direction, set your goals and strategy and go for it.  When adversity strikes, overcome it and conquer.  Commit to your health in times of stress…commit to dealing with the issue at hand…and commit to working to get resolve in whatever issue is plaguing you…Just don’t let it rule your life.

All of these points are about trying to improve the balance in your life: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  If we stress ourselves more physically through exercise and spiritually through prayer, meditation, or quiet time AND we reduce our stresses both mentally and emotionally, your energy and productivity will soar.  Your ability to connect with your family, colleagues, teammates, and others will improve drastically.  Your happiness will increase and you will feel better with where you are at today.  Live in the moment and do the best you can today with whatever it is you are dealing with.  Be positive, be compassionate, and always do your best.

Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS, is a personal trainer and massage therapist who motivates, educates and inspires people worldwide.  He is the owner of Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA, where his wonderful team of 35 focuses on personal training, massage therapy, Pilates, yoga, sports performance training and nutrition to help transform the bodies, minds and spirits of a broad clientele.  Todd trains dozens of NFL and MLB athletes and provides motivational talks and programs to companies and conferences worldwide. He is a featured presenter on the Perform Better educational circuit and he is the Head of the Under Armour Performance Training Council.  Men’s Health recently named his gym, Fitness Quest 10, one of the Top 10 Gyms in the US.  Todd has appeared on 60 Minutes, ESPN, NFL Network and has been featured in Sports Illustrated, USA Today, Business Week, Prevention, ESPN the Magazine, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Men’s Journal, Stack Magazine, Self, Shape, Fitness, the NY Times and Washington Post.  Todd has authored 30 DVDs on strength and conditioning, functional fitness, massage/bodywork and business/personal growth.  Todd conducts 3-Day Mentorships several times per year (next one May 20-23, 2010) and ongoing Mastermind Groups for trainers seeking business and personal growth.  Sign up for his FREE award-winning Ezine newsletter, TD TIMES, at or

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