Seven practices for improving work performance
You can perform exceptionally well and still have plenty of time to do things you love other than work, like being with your family and friends; being great at work means performing in your job, infusing your work with passion and a strong sense of purpose, and living well, too, according to Morten Hansen in his book Great at Work: How Top Performers Work Less and Achieve More. The book offers conclusions on what it means to “work smart”, drawn from a study of 5,000 managers and employees.
Out of the seven “work smart” practices identified in the study, the one which had the highest correlation with high work performance was “do less then obsess”. There is plenty of conventional wisdom about the importance of focusing on a few important things, but that in itself is not sufficient; it is necessary, having selected a few important things to prioritise, that you obsess over your chosen area of focus to excel.
The book goes on to describe the other six key practices associated with high performance at work. The topic is an important one, and the study appears to have been conducted in a carefully controlled and well-validated manner. I found the author’s advice to be fairly persuasive, although many of the recommended practices seem to be a re-mix of advice given by others and common sense, rather than completely new ideas.