7 DO-NOT Rules of High Performers
A short while ago, I shared the 5 must-follow rules of high-performers. While it’s easy to think of these as the only steps needed to harness the “champion mindset,” there are likely still obstacles you face—obstacles of your own making.
Here’s the hard truth: High performers, while naturally in tune with rules for success, also need a list of “Do-Not” rules so that they stay on track.
As Warren Buffet says, “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say NO to almost everything.”
There are three main areas where these rules apply: your success-making Morning Routine, your Health, and your Relationships.
DO-NOT Rules of Your Morning Routine
DO NOT hit the snooze button. It’s tempting, and sure, there are days when you feel like an extra 15 minutes of sleep is more worthwhile than 15 minutes of groggy semi-alertness. But this is about more than a SINGLE morning. This is about TRAINING yourself to be more alert EVERY morning, and committing to consistent productivity.
DO NOT check social media or e-mail first thing in the morning. Why? Because it takes you instantly off-track. If you’re committed to practicing a well-oiled morning routine, then you have to have clear focus every time you wake up. Your rituals—exercise, meditation, breakfast, time with family—need to be the same every morning, and they need your FULL attention. If you start your day by cluttering your mind with endless emails and social media feeds (filled with to-dos and distractions), your focus is already lost. You won’t be present for anything in your morning, and you’ll spend most of your day trying to find it. End result: Zero productivity.
DO NOT multitask. Scientists have demonstrated that the mind is awful at multitasking. In fact, we aren’t really able to handle any two things at once—we just switch back and forth rapidly between tasks. That means our full energy and attention aren’t devoted to any one thing. If you want to succeed at a task—in the morning or during the day—focus fully on one thing at a time.
DO-NOT Rules of Your Health
DO NOT eat high-sugar foods, especially for breakfast or lunch. The reason is simple: You body metabolizes processed sugar quickly, meaning you get a quick hit of energy, then slump in an hour. Your breakfast should be filled with high-fiber, high-protein foods that supply your mind and body with the energy they need to be productive throughout the day. If you eat well, a healthy breakfast may even carry you through the afternoon (though you should always make time for a nutritious lunch).
DO NOT drink too much caffeine, especially late in the day. Early morning cups of Joe are great, but can also leave you peaking before your most mentally-taxing activities. And, much like sugar, too much caffeine will cause you to crash in the middle of the work day. How are you supposed to focus if you’re suffering from a double-hit sugar and caffeine crash?
DO NOT consume excessive amounts of alcohol at night that leave you tired and groggy the next day. Here’s the thing about alcohol: It’s great in the moment, but enjoyed to excess and it depletes the body of vital vitamins and nutrients—while also weakening the immune system. That means you wake up the next morning feeling fuzzy, and leave yourself open to potential illness that can derail your entire week. A glass or two of wine is fine—and some studies show it’s even beneficial—but don’t drink too much.
DO NOT watch television or check email late at night (or within 1 hour of bedtime). Studies have shown screen time shortly before you go to bed affects the body’s circadian rhythm, or the sleep-wake cycle. Actively engaging with screens ruins productive sleep because the light of the screen suggests to the brain that it’s still daylight—throwing the sleep-wake cycle off kilter.
The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say NO to almost everything. —Warren Buffett
DO NOT Rules of Your Relationships
DO NOT gossip or argue with people at work. Drama is very enticing—especially when it takes the form of scandalous stories and behind-the-back gossip. But a high-performer thinks positively about the people he or she chooses to work with, encouraging them to grow and become better people. This not only fosters a happier, more productive work environment, but encourages positive behavior that comes back to you in the form of active support and constructive criticism.
DO NOT surround yourself with apathetic under-performers. I have often talked about how important it is to spend time with people who lift you up. The opposite is also true—don’t sustain relationships with individuals who choose to live an under-performing, aimless life.
If you follow these DO NOT rules, you’ll keep yourself OUT of trouble and perform at a higher level every single day.
So are you with me?
Are you committed to quitting the snooze button, starting your day right, fostering healthy relationships, and following the high-energy principles that I’ve laid out for you?
Let’s do this.