Paralysis of Peak Performance 

 September 13, 2021

The term “Peak Performance” is just about everywhere now. People across the world endlessly trying to be their most productive selves in the name of peak performance. 

Being a peak performer is different for everyone because different people have different goals and expectations. However, many of the same processes are used. 

Here are a few: 

  • Optimize sleep
  • Optimize time – eliminate distractions and unnecessary tasks
  • Optimize relationships 
  • Optimize health and focus

How everyone gets to these items listed above may look drastically different, but, for the most part, this is where peak performance comes from. 

Here’s the problem with peak performance for those who are like me… analytical. Somewhere in all of the data, routines, habits, and disciplines, peak performance turns into an obsession. 

We can easily become addicted to the feeling of crossing off a task item, checking off a habit, or completing a routine while completely forgetting about why we were doing it in the first place. 

I’ve experienced this personally over the summer. Rather than using my fasting app, “zero”, for intermittent fasting purposes, I had become obsessed with the streak of over 350 days that I’d accumulated. 

Now, instead of trying to perform my best through controlling when I eat… I was just simply trying to tack on another day, week, and month to that impressive streak I’d built.

On top of that, I was allowing the results presented by my Oura ring to totally rule how my day went. If I woke up and saw that I only got 10% REM sleep (suggested is between 20-25%) I would assume that my brain was not fully recovered and I wouldn’t be able to focus!

This is where paralysis comes in. 

Rather than using tools to improve our lives through routine and intentionality, we begin allowing the tools to rule. 

Instead of focusing on having zero calorie intake 3+ hours before bed, now we’re simply checking off a box to make sure we don’t lose the streak… and oh, by the way, if the streak is lost… you can forget the habit. Ever tried Duolingo before?

Over the past week I’ve decided to take a step back and evaluate what I really want. I’ve taken off the Oura ring and deleted some of the habit tracking apps that I’ve employed over the last number of years. 

I’m using this time as a “cleanse” of sorts to re-organize my priorities and get back to the roots of why I do what I do. 

I hope this can be an encouragement to you as you continually pursue excellence and peak performance in your endeavors.