5 Performance Saboteurs You Can Solve Quickly
You go further when you drop the saboteur you carry on your back.
1. The saboteur of getting up late:
A frantic morning is the beginning of a distracted day.
“I wake up early so I can do nothing,” Leslie Harris.
“Business leaders need to take time to forget about time, and that helps them to be creative when they arrive at work,” Geir Berthelsen.
- Eliminate distraction in the morning. No email or Internet for at least 15 minutes.
- Adopt a liberating morning routine.
When your hair is on fire in the morning, you’re toast by end of day.
2. The saboteur of big dreams:
The distant future is a burden no leader can carry for long.
Brief visits to the distant future provide direction and meaning for daily decisions and actions. But living in the distant future makes you unuseful and frustrated today.
- Determine how today’s opportunities and challenges are equipping you to reach your dream.
- Write down long-term goals AND short-term actions. What do you need to do today to reach your long-term dream?
3. The saboteur of neglecting what’s working:
Your inner critic loves misery and rejects enjoyment.
Frustration is temporary fuel. Enjoyment is long-term energy.
Ignoring bad stuff doesn’t help; neither does camping under a dung pile.
Ask yourself and others, “What’s working?”
4. The saboteur of delay:
“Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned.” Peter Marshall
- Do it. Get in the habit of finishing stuff. Perfectionism isn’t helpful.
- Schedule it. (At least write it on a list.) If something needs to be done, it’s worth scheduling.
- Eliminate it. If you have to-dos that are months old, cross them off your list.
5. The saboteur of thinking too much:
Thinking apart from action makes you stupid and discouraged.
- Insight often comes WHILE working to solve a problem.
- Find solutions AS you go.
Which of the above saboteurs do you frequently see in leaders/organizations?
What saboteurs would you add to the above list?
Thanks for this, Dan. We should always focus on our strengths but be aware of the things that can get in our way. The saboteur language reminded me of a book called Positive Intelligence by Shirzad Chamine, which I found useful in giving names to my particular less-than-helpful inner voices (hyper-vigilance and perfectionism)
Thanks Kevin. Glad you brought up Positive Intelligence. I chatted with Shirzad back in 2012: https://leadershipfreak.blog/2012/06/06/the-most-powerful-thing-about-you/
Here’s a link to, Positive Intelligence on Amazon
BTW his book is still doing well.
Great post Dan, short, concise, actionable. My favorite is #5… start with something, even if the overall project seems overwhelming. Many times I have had the way forward become clear only after I start moving along the path.
Thanks Glen. I’m with you. I’ve puzzled and puzzled, but only when I started doing something did the fog begin to clear. Actually, puzzling without action seems to create fog.
I’m on board! “Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned.” Peter Marshall “starting with something” grows into much more once we plot the course of action. Anything is better than nothing for sure! Happy Friday
Thanks Tim. Happy Friday. Anything is better than nothing. 🙂
Great post Dan. I have really built a habit stack in the morning and its really helped me not get distracted by technology or my own thoughts.
Thanks for being a regular here. The practice of rituals has come to mean more to me since COVID. Now I’m a fan.