Want to create a team that operates creatively and at peak efficiency? Tony Schwartz, author of “Be Excellent at Anything,” offers six tips on improving performance through practice.
When managing teams that require intense concentration to perform at peak — think editorial or technical staff — it’s possible to implement Schwartz’s advice as a list of management “must-do’s.”
- Be passionate about what you do. Hire those who love their work.
- Do the hardest work first. Give your team 90 uninterrupted minutes every morning to do something difficult.
- Work intensely for under 90 minutes, then take a break.
- Get expert feedback for your team – to be delivered in simple, precise terms
- Encourage renewal, learning and relaxation. Ideas flow to those who empty their minds.
- Protect your team’s productivity. The morning session should be inviolate.
For comparison, here are Schwartz’s actual tips:
- Pursue what you love. Passion is an incredible motivator. It fuels focus, resilience, and perseverance.
- Do the hardest work first. We all move instinctively toward pleasure and away from pain. Delay gratification and take on the difficult work of practice in the mornings.
- Practice intensely, without interruption for short periods of no longer than 90 minutes and then take a break.
- Seek expert feedback, in intermittent doses. The simpler and more precise the feedback, the more equipped you are to make adjustments.
- Take regular renewal breaks. Relaxing after intense effort not only provides an opportunity to rejuvenate, but also to metabolize and embed learning.
- Ritualize practice. Build specific, inviolable times at which you practice, so that over time you do them without having to squander energy thinking about them.