I have a Fitbit. It’s one of the original Charge versions and I’ve had it for almost two and a half years now. It’s a part of my person and goes everywhere with me. There are only three things I do without it, and it really bugs me….because I can’t track anything without it on. They are showering (but I mean really, not many steps happening in there!), swimming and doing strict ring muscle ups (gymnastics). I am the essence of their branding, being ‘Fitbit motivates you to reach your health and fitness goals by tracking your activity, exercise, sleep, weight and more.’
My point with all of this is the more often I have it on, the more steps I do each day. I check the app every hour to make sure I’ve done the minimum 250 steps per hour (because at the end of the day you get a little celebration displayed on screen if you nail it – I’m all about celebrating the small wins). And when I focus on my step goal for the day, I achieve it. The days I don’t move enough are the days I feel mentally drained and lethargic.
So what does this have to do with high performance in the workplace?
As business people, we know from our experience with things like budgets that if we allow them to take on a mind of their own without monitoring them, it can be bad news all round. We track expenses and income to ensure things stay on track and we meet our targets.
It’s the same for any goal – if you prioritise and monitor it, you will achieve it. I often hear people say they just don’t have time to fit certain things in. They’re too busy, have too much on at work, don’t have time to socialise/exercise/eat properly etc. And whether we like it or not, these are excuses for the fact we haven’t prioritised and set a clear plan for achieving anything more than ‘busy-ness’.
I track my daily movement. Movement gives me more energy and clarity to focus throughout the day. I set a plan each day for what I want to achieve according to the amount of energy I have. The less I move, the less energetic I feel and the less likely I am to stay focused.
Staying focused on your purpose is key
Setting a purpose and bringing each and every action back to it allows us to focus only on tasks that will help achieve our goals for that day, week, month, year etc. How do you start your days/weeks? Do you outline and track the things that need to be done? Or do you just work your way through your day and hope for the best?
High performing, success mindset individuals don’t just turn up and hope for the best. Think of an Olympic swimmer – do they just jump in the pool, kick really hard and wait to see what happens, hoping they will be awarded a gold medal for kicking really hard? No. They are very choreographed, they break each task down to achieve the ultimate goal – they know they don’t get rewarded for any wasted effort. They get rewarded for getting to the end of the pool first.
Without a clear purpose and steps to get to your ultimate goal, we end up kicking really hard and wasting effort on tasks that don’t serve us. Tracking progress allows us to check in on how far we have come and whether we are still on the right course for success. Often, goals can change and that’s ok. Without setting a purpose and checking in on it regularly, we are flying blind to the outcomes.