Today, I want to share a super simple technique inspired by the book Elite Minds that you can use to operate at your best day in and day out.
As mentioned, this one is from the book Elite Minds. It's literally hot off the press. I just recently read this and I want to take you through very, very quickly, how you can operate at a higher level, operate at your best each and every day, or at least become a lot closer to what that high level looks like. There's a section where the author says, "Perfect is not the goal. What is? It's simply do your best. Each and every day, make it your intention to do the very best you can with what you have that day. If you did the best you could that day, give yourself a 'W' for 'win.' If you didn't do your best, give yourself an 'L' for 'loss.'" Actually, just thinking about that, if you want to change that and instead say an "L" for "learn," so either you're going to win or learn rather than win or lose. The goal here is six or less L’s in a month and never two in a row.
Now, you could see I've created three months, very, very simply here for the current quarter. I didn't start this right at the beginning of October, I actually started it on October 17th, and thus far at the end of each day, I've given myself either a W, did I do my best that I could that day, or an L, was there something that prevented me, or did I not show up as my best? What was it that I could have learned as a result? As you can see here, I have mostly W’s. I had an L here on the 20th and L here on the 22nd. From memory on the 20th, the workday had gone fairly well, as good as it could have, but at the end of the day, I ended up not being my best and got in a bit of a heated discussion with my wife. It wasn't really necessary, it didn't really accomplish anything, and it definitely wasn't me showing up at my best, and so at the end of the day there, I lost my W for the day, and so I ended up with an L.
Then on the 22nd, from memory, the workday was going fairly well, and suddenly I got distracted and found myself on my LinkedIn feed for over a half-hour going randomly through stuff, which obviously is not me at my best, so that's an example of another L there. The W’s are days in which I got my exercise done for the day, I felt like I ate as the best version of me should be eating, I was managing distractions throughout the day and working relatively productively, and then in the evenings, I was present and available as a husband and father with my family.
Now, this was mind-blowing for me because there's so many different things that we always try to measure ourselves against and there's lots of different ways in which we can be improving. A million different ways, but then each day is constantly changing, right? The requirements of a day might change. What I love about this system is that no matter how big my to-do list is, no matter what the day looks like, or how unusual that day is compared to the normal day, all I can ever do is my best. By measuring this and keeping it super public and visible, it is having a huge effect on my psyche throughout the day. I'm thinking throughout the day, "'What do I need to keep doing for that W?" Or if I start to get slightly distracted, I rein it in much more quickly because I know I don't want to have to give myself an L for the day.
The distinction that I made with the "L" being a "learn" rather than a "loss" is quite important because it really points you to, "Well, what is it that I'm learning on those days, such that if I didn't repeat that same thing, or didn't do it to the same degree, I might not end up with an L for the day, but might end up with a W instead?" An absolute game-changer for me. The goal of six or less L’s per month roughly comes to an 80% hit rate, so basically, you're trying to show up as your best for about 80% of the days. I think that's a wonderful hit rate.
Then I also love never having two L’s in a row. As you see here, these were separated by a win between, and if you have an L for a day, the day wasn't your best, then it's an opportunity for you to just really focus on the next day being a rebound day, right? No more than six L’s in a month and never two in a row. Just focus on doing your best, because that's all that you can do. No matter how big your list is, no matter how unusual the day is, all you can do day-to-day is your best. I'm super confident that if we just focus on doing our best day in and day out, we'll reach a much higher level of achievement and satisfaction in both our business and lives.
I hope you've enjoyed that, and if you head over to my website at ericpartaker.com, you can also subscribe to my weekly Peak Performance Insights newsletter.