At times, it gets is all too easy to get caught up in the daily grind and approach work mechanically, causing professionals to underperform in their careers. Staying motivated enough to persistently work toward your goals and ensuring that you are on top of your game every day is not as hard as it sounds – it is just a matter of planning and focus. Here are five strategies to be at the top of your game throughout the year:

tackle the most unpleasant or hardest task(s) first

Break your day’s work into smaller tasks and first tackle what you think is the least pleasant or hardest task. Although this might seem too daunting to even consider, it works. After you have completed the first unpleasant task on list, tackle the next one and so on. How this helps is that by the end of the day, you have the easiest or the most likeable tasks before you. This leaves you in a better frame of mind to enjoy the evening and come to work the next day with more satisfaction.

minimize distractions around you

If you are targeting high performance every day, distractions are your worst enemy. The importance of focus at work is overstated but underestimated.

Think of the distractions that can come your way: the need to catch up with social media chatter, or to follow the news, or cafeteria breaks that relieve you momentarily but push you into panic mode by the end of the day. Do not attend to personal email and resist the urge to complete that online transaction you started. Throw out the distractions and focus on your key responsibilities. That’s a foundational element for staying at the top of your game every single day.

instill a culture of personal care and responsibility

Work-life balance is key to high performance. You cannot stay on top of your game all-round the year, if you exhaust yourself mentally and physically. Instill in yourself a culture of personal care and responsibility in terms of physical, emotional, and mental well-being. It is important to eat and drink well, exercise regularly, sleep sufficiently, and find time to relax.

make goal setting part of your life

How do you motivate yourself to surpass your previous achievements day after day? High achievers always set goals and work toward them with single-minded dedication. The key is to set work goals without waiting for your supervisor or the management to set them for you. However, ensure that your goals are realistic.

avoid ‘analysis paralysis’ by taking fewer decisions

Strategic decisions are part and parcel of business life. Since business performance depends upon making the best decisions, you must ensure efficiency in decision making. Take it upon yourself to make too many decisions a day, and you run the risk of thought paralysis and ineffective decisions. Top entrepreneurs and managers restrict the number of decisions they take in a day to the minimum, and focus on the efficiency of decision making to deliver high performance all-round the year.

the key to high performance: anticipating crisis and managing change without losing focus

By following the five strategies listed above, you can consistently deliver high performance, instead of losing steam and focus mid-way. Remaining on top of your game throughout the year is a matter of having the discipline, focus, and the means to deliver excellence every day. High performance achievers are not only motivated, but they also manage change well and anticipate crisis, without losing focus.