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What does it means to be a ten—to be rated as a top performer by your boss. We predicted top performers would be rated as more valuable than average performers, and wanted to measure how much more valuable.
We discovered top performers aren’t just a little bit more valuable. Managers say tens are three times more valuable than an average employee.
But here is the finding that surprised us. We asked about stress, and learned: 83 percent of their leaders said tens’ work habits reduce their stress.
How is this possible?
We assessed productivity practices’ impacts on performance and stress. We wondered whether quality of work and quality of life are friends or enemies?
Results: Participants with high productivity scores had performance levels 68 percent higher and yet half the stress of participants with low scores.
Below are five productivity practices of top performing employees—practices you can implement today:
- Collect everything that owns your attention. Capture all commitments, tasks, ideas, and projects rather than keeping them in your head. Use just a few “capture tools” such as lists, apps, email, etc.
- Decide what your stuff means to you. Clarify if the items you’ve captured have an action or not. If they do, be very clear about what the VERY next action is and who should take it.
- Use the two-minute rule. If an action can be completed in two minutes or less, do it immediately. Don’t defer. The time you’ll waste letting these simple actions occupy your attention and to-do list is not worth it.
- Do more of the right things by reflecting in the right moments. Rather than diving into your messy inbox first thing, take two minutes to review your calendar and your action lists. This reflection ensures you make the best decisions about how to use your time.
- Review weekly. Keep a sacred, non-negotiable meeting with yourself every week to re-sync, get current, and align your daily work and projects with your higher-level priorities.
After this program, you will be able to:
- Collect everything that owns your attention.
- Decide what your stuff means to you.
- Use the two-minute rule.
- Do more of the right things by reflecting in the right moments.
- Review weekly.
David Maxfield is the vice president of research at VitalSmarts, an innovative training company that delivers the results organizations and agencies care about most. He is also the co-author of three New York Times bestsellers:
1. Influencer: the Power to Change Anything,
2. Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success, and
3. Crucial Accountability: Tools for Resolving Violated Expectations, Broken Commitments, and Bad Behavior
David did his doctoral work in psychology at Stanford University, and has taught at both Stanford University and Brigham Young University. He has published research in Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, Journal of the American Medical Association, and many other publications.