The power of peak performance lies within. It is all about knowing who you are, what you want to accomplish and a plan for how to accomplish it. Peak performance's simple definition is "doing ones best at achieving one's goals or objectives."

Peak performance is often linked to physical activity and sports such as football, baseball, tennis, golf, basketball, swimming, etc. However, when you apply specific peak performance enhancing tools to your workplace performance goals, you will not only improve your personal efficiency, effectiveness and productivity but you will positively affect everyone around you and help improve their performance as well.

When a person or a workforce is engaged and focused on the job at hand, performance automatically improves. Peak performance is all about being engaged in the activity of the moment and remaining fully focused on that activity during your time of engagement. The instant you allow yourself to be distracted, you lose your focus and your performance is dramatically reduced.

The Four P's of Peak Performance

There are a number of ways to improve performance, just ask a champion athlete or a famous musician or performer. Each will have their own method and will follow their own game plan. Their venue may be different but their goal is always the same – achieving peak performance. What follows is a basic outline for attaining peak performance at work, at home and at play.

No. 1 - Preset your mind. When you leave for work or start your day, remove irrelevant thinking so you can focus only on those things relevant to accomplishing your objectives for the day. According to Charlie Greer of the National Science Foundation, the average person thinks about twelve thousand thoughts per day and deeper thinkers can have upwards of fifty thousand thoughts daily.

It is so easy to be distracted by the constant loop of information or minutia that enters one's mind throughout a busy stress-filled day. The higher the stress and the more chaotic the surroundings the more difficult it is to stay focused so it is very important to take control of your thinking and preset your mind first thing in the morning by clearing your thinking as you start each day.

No. 2 - Prepare your Space. Once you've cleared your thinking and preset your mind for a peak performance day, do you find your workspace conducive to the flow of your focus and in alignment with your thinking? Or is your workspace and the top of your desk chaotic and filled with energy drainers and focus distractors?

Your workplace surroundings and desk play a huge role in your ability to function at peak performance. If it is disorganized and cluttered, your focus will be constantly distracted and diverted by the chaos and clutter, reducing your productivity and efficiency and handicapping your performance. Dealing with the chaos and the clutter also drains your physical and mental energy, further impairing your performance.

Prepare your space for maximum productivity and performance by organizing it, filing and putting away what isn't critical on your desk or getting rid of what is no longer relevant. Make sure 80% or your desk is always visible for maximum productivity and peak performance.

No. 3 - Predetermine your performance needs. When your mind and workplace has been preset and prepared, determine specifically what needs to be done within the next eight hours to one week and focus your energy on only those things. By predetermining your specific performance needs one day to one week ahead of time you will become very efficient with no lost time wondering if you have forgotten something important.

Use lists or some type of electronic reminder system to help you stay on track and meet deadlines in advance - the more visual the reminder, the higher the rate of success. Always do the most important thing on your list first, not the little ones you can do the fastest. This isn't about speed but rather improving your performance using the minimum amount of time and energy to accomplish the maximum amount of performance.

Work in time frames that your mind can grasp. Usually one week to one month provides the most efficient amount of focus concentration. More than that is overwhelming and smaller segments are ineffective to the bigger picture or maximizing your performance.

No. 4 - Plan for focus time. If you do not plan for focus time your co-workers, associates, peers, social media, telephone and family will consume your focus time leaving nothing for productivity and performance. Peak performance does not happen by accident. You need to plan for it just as you plan for a dental appointment or a command performance.

Not only does the chaos in your workplace handicap your performance, so do many well-meaning co-workers and un-intentional interruptions caused by today's high-tech low-touch world of electronics. Make focused time your number one priority if you want to improve your productivity and reach peak performance no matter what you are trying to accomplish.

Peak performance requires one significant component – focused engagement. When you preset your mind, prepare your workspace to support your desired outcome, predetermine your needs for accomplishment and actually plan for uninterrupted focus time, you will be fully engaged and focused – the result – peak performance.

© Pat Heydlauff, all rights reserved 2011

Author's Bio: 

Pat Heydlauff speaks from experience. She creates environments that engage and focus your workforce. She is the author of the forthcoming book, Engage, Unleash the Power of Focus and Feng Shui, So Easy a Child Can Do It and can be reached at 561-799-3443 or