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  • Writer's pictureLaura Roeven

Peak Performance: The Truth about the 10,000 hour rule and What it really takes to perform your best

A peer review of Arlene Bauer’s Workshop.


Arlene Bauer presented a masterful program for coaches that dove into Anders Ericsson’s work of peak performance. My takeaway is that there are everyday tips that can improve our daily performance in small manageable ways. Teaching is learning so I double dog dare you to teach these tips to one other person in your life to begin your peak performance journey today!

Tip 1: Be Clear About Your Intentions

What do you want to learn or accomplish? It is helpful to write down what you are aiming to achieve to reach it. Be specific and measure results to gain awareness of improvement. In sports, this can be time or distance that you log. In relationships, it can be the number of thoughtful interactions in a day or questions posed to care for a relationship. It might seem formulaic, but if your partner is asking for more interest in them, the best way to begin is upping your inquiries into their lives. “What did you most enjoy today?” “Do you have specific hopes for this weekend?” “What is an outcome that you hope for?”

Tip 2: Focus Attention

To focus on a goal, you need focus. Prepare your brain, body, and environment for the work you want to accomplish. Attention is best kept with active recovery sessions of 7-20 minutes per 90 minutes of work. Active recovery is partaking in any activity that produces a positive feeling. Walking outside, meditation, music, a funny podcast, dance, powernaps, or yoga are all examples of an active recovery date.

To keep attention, limit distractions. The phone is a big culprit of distraction. Attention decreases by 25% if the phone is even visible to you. Set up your environment to succeed at what you want to accomplish. For me, I need to close the blinds on my door in order to work distraction free. I am most distracted by other people and visually closing myself off helps me to stay on track. What is most distracting to you? What is one way to increase your focus this week?

Parking lot the distractions while you work. It is normal to think of other things while trying to accomplish a task. Give yourself a running list to “parking lot” the thoughts that you don’t want to forget. Simply the act of writing them down can clear your mind of mental tabs open and running in the background.

Tip 3: Feedback and Reflection

Working with feedback enables improvement. One way is to ask for feedback from colleagues or family. What do they see that you might not? I like framing feedback with 3 great things you see and one thing to improve upon. We need encouragement and mentorship. If feedback is not possible, give feedback to yourself by reflecting on your work. Ponder what needs improving and slowly increase the challenge of implementing the change. Did you know that Benjamin Franklin wanted to improve his writing skills? To do that, he rewrote famous published material into his own words. In doing that, he discovered he had a limited vocabulary by reflecting on his work. He then actively began learning new words to increase the fluency of his word choice in his writing. What is something you want to measure in your own life to track improvement? What is a way to increase success over time?

Put it together

Your performance will improve gradually over time if you use these three tips. This improvement can open new areas of growth. New can often feel uncomfortable. That can put the brakes on growth. A human tendency is to stop when we experience discomfort. Yet the zone of growth is exactly where we want to be! How can you move to the edges of your comfort zone to progress toward your desired achievement? Do you need an accountability partner to work through the edges past the comfort zone? Or is it time to hire a coach to achieve what you are wanting in a faster and supportive way? Any way you choose to put it together is right. Don’t try…Do... Today!



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