Jordan, Musk, Dre and Zuckerberg. These people are in a cohort of what we would classify as high-performance operators. People regarded as high achievers and those synonymous with legacies that cross multiple generations. “What did they do to get to where they are?” Thomas Edison once said: Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Although even Edison may have been a tad speculative with his statistics, his point was, that it takes deliberate and intentional effort to scale the heights of success. In this piece, we’ll discuss a number of high-performance habits you probably need to cultivate and make a part of your routine.

1. Master your transitions.

Everyone plans to start each day with a positive mindset. To have a resolve to make the day count. Milestones in your to-do list that you want to accomplish. For many, somewhere in the course of the day, they unknowingly lose focus and drift to other non-essential tasks. This is especially true when you have to move from one task to another, or from meeting to meeting. It becomes challenging to start on the next task. That, in many cases, has nothing to do with your lack of motivation but an inability to master your transitions. To do so in such a manner that provides all your strength and concentration on every task, you have to handle for the day. Instead of struggling to directly move from one activity to the other, take calculated and planned psychological breaks. Close your eyes for 10 minutes. Allow your mind to wander from your current task. Concentrate on your breathing and follow it for the next couple of minutes. In their book "The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World" Dr Gazzaley, a neuroscientist, and Dr Rosen, a psychologist, explain that good breaks can reduce mental fatigue, boost cognitive function, and keep us on-task for longer periods Take time to reoxygenate and fuel your mind.

2. Increase Productivity

When you try to become a jack of all trades, you typically end up mastering none. John Defeo stated that his goal is “to become very good at as many things as I can”. Listing the only downside being that it might not make him rich. To be a high performer, resolve to only work on those things that matter the most. Work on hierarchies. If a company focused on only one product and gave their very best to it? Remember how Steve Jobs saved Apple back in 1997. In the previous year, company sales had dropped by 30%. The new CEO first reviewed the extensive product line of the firm. He realized that so many of their products were absolutely unnecessary. Guess what? He reduced Apple products by a whopping 70%. This meant that the company could now concentrate on only 4 products. His actions were justified a year later when the firm raked in more than 300 million dollars in profit. How many things do you focus on? Is there a possibility to cut them back by 70%? Food for thought.

3. Take that first step

“The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream.” Les Brown
To be successful in life, you need to overcome 3 major mental obstacles that make the first step impossible.

The thought that you have to wait until the situation is perfect

Not to disappoint you, but the situation will never be perfect. Get some insight from Mark Zuckerberg’s founding of Facebook. It wasn’t in a fully furnished office, nor a posh home - but just after he dropped out of college after brushing shoulders with the Harvard authorities. And now billions of people marvel at the giant it has become.

The thought that all people have to agree with you

No matter how noble your idea, you will always face some kind of opposition. Not only from the public but family and friends alike. What matters in such cases is your conviction. Is your dream valid? Then go for it.

The thought that you first need to be very skilful

You don’t learn by waiting. You learn by doing. So take the first step, and improve your skills as you go along. And that brings us to our next point.

4. Never stop learning

Most people who find books boring have most likely been over-exposed to visual hyper-stimulating media, to an extent their attention spans have nearly died. Whether or not the environment has shaped you that way, know this one thing: readers are leaders. You need to get out of your way and pursue self-improvement. Not to imply that you can only achieve this through books. Consider:
  • Taking up a new course
  • Getting a mentor or a coach for whatever you’re pursuing.
  • Listening to podcasts centred on success and self-improvement
Reading the plethora of incredible content on the HMN24 site. You would think that the current great achievers have all the knowledge and that suffices. No, not at all. Cristiano Ronaldo, despite being regarded as one of the best players in the world, uttered these famous words, “I have played football all my life, and I keep learning new things.” Follow suit. Increase your knowledge on a daily basis and practice. Practice, lots.

5. Find out what you are, stay true to it

Whenever motivational speakers visit schools, the first question they often ask is, “What do you want to become?” At that age, most of the answers are focused on a definite career path:
  • Doctor
  • Engineer
  • Pilot, etc.
But as life progresses, people realize that they are entangled in a lot of stuff that distracts their attention, and that brings us back to point 2. What matters most?
  • What is the most needful thing to be done?
  • Is it necessary for me to handle this?
  • Can I delegate this to someone else?
Always ask such questions. Not just rhetorically. Answer each one of them appropriately. The outcome is that your vision becomes clearer and clearer. You get to know:
  • Exactly who you are
  • Exactly what you need to do
And then all you have to do is stay true to that.

6. Manage Time and use it wisely

It is R. L. Adams, founder of who once said “It’s not about how much time you have. It’s about how effectively you manage your time.” All human beings are strictly allotted 24 hours per day. Most of you will be many things in life. Parents, partners, bosses, coaches, you name it. How do you balance all of this? Account for all your time. Literally, assign different tasks varying times. Not just in your mind. Put it down on paper.
  • Use sticky notes
  • Create schedules
  • Prioritize the tasks at hand
  • Use a to-do list.
What you want to avoid is being a busy fool - always running up and down but achieving so little by the end of the day.

7. Help others

Successful people are generally also selfless people. Always looking for avenues and moments to help others. Go out of your way to help someone else without caring about what’s in it for you. Be mindful of other people’s needs - not just your own. Deliberately spare your time to cater to their needs. Share your knowledge with others, share your resources, and give your honest feedback when asked to. Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we give, not what we get.” By helping others, you also create lasting bonds and networks of people willing to pay you back. We see this in Adam Khoo, one of the richest forex traders in the world today. A doubter once asked him on social media, “If you are getting all that money, why are you into teaching beginners for free on YouTube? Isn’t this a way to swindle them of their hard-earned cash? The answer surprised many: “It is just in my heart to help others become what I am.”

What then?

On a conclusive note, there is a reason why successful people remain successful year after year. It never happens by chance. These people have mastered a set of habits that set them above the competition and solidifies them in that exclusive high performer's cohort. They live with purpose. They don’t accept the average. They put in their all to whatever things they set their minds to. Become part of the club. Focus on the things that matter and success, whatever your definition of that is, will be yours.