As high achievers, we are always on the lookout for ways to be more successful and hacks that will lead to a slightly higher level of productivity. Yet, sometimes we overlook the things that we need to STOP doing if we want to truly perform at our highest. Here are the top three things that you need to stop doing today in order to reach your goals!

 

  1. STOP compromising on your sleep. STOP! No one can perform optimally on too little sleep. In fact, sleep is the only time when the pores of the blood-brain barrier expand to let out all the toxic waste products that have built up inside your head all day long while you were using that big brain of yours! Without adequate time to rest, you’re simply walking around bathing your brain in waste. A multitude of studies have linked sleep to improved performance, learning, and better decision making. Sleep is essential for cognitive processing, which means without it, you’re losing your ability to complete tasks, communicate effectively, and overall get stuff done. If you simply don’t have time to get enough sleep, then you definitely need to sleep. I’m not joking – studies have even found that a 20-minute nap leads to a boost in memory, improved performance, and reduced stress…not to mention more tasks completed throughout the day. So the next time you feel too overwhelmed it might be just time to shut it down for a little bit. As a bonus, by getting good sleep you’re reducing your risk of being sick, because poor sleep habits are associated with lower resistance to illness. We know illness just sets you back even further!
  2. STOP hiding your work from others unless it’s perfect. It never will be, especially if you don’t get feedback early on! Often, high achievers tend to have struggles with perfectionism and not ever really being ready, but as Seth Godin advises, ready implies you know it’s going to work, and you can’t know that. “The purpose isn’t to please the critics; the purpose is to make your work better so stop waiting to nail it and work on progress over perfection.”
  3. STOP saying yes to too many things. Billionaire Warren Buffett will tell you, “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.” As high achievers, we like to try to do it all. Professional women in particular can fall prey to this tendency, as we’re groomed by society to be people pleasers and sold the lie that we can do it all…nope! We have to realize that every time we’re saying yes to someone or something, that drives our attention outside of our main focus. We’re really saying no to ourselves. You’re always saying no to something or someone – stop saying no to you!

 

Until next time, live more, fear less! 

Resources and links to the science:

https://www.webmd.com/balance/features/the-secret-and-surprising-power-of-naps

https://mitsloan.mit.edu/ideas-made-to-matter/research-proves-it-naps-save-you-money

https://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/nasa-napping-just-26-minutes-can-improve-job-performance-by-a-third.html

https://interestingengineering.com/science-says-napping-increases-productivity

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/dec/06/sleeping-on-the-job-how-a-quick-nap-makes-us-more-efficient