6 Ways Clarity Improves Performance

Written by Liz Pretorius

Supporting managers, business owners, and leaders on their unique career journeys so they can succeed at work AND life.

May 15, 2023

The Drive to Perform

Improving performance is often focused on time management and productivity tools. From the Pomodoro technique to the Getting Things Done (GTD) method to the Eisenhower Matrix, they all have their merits and are very useful, but none of them focus on the validity of the actions in the first place.

Taking a step back and stopping to reflect and critically evaluate the overall goal allows you to be sure that you’re heading in the right direction, not just in the most apparent direction. In this culture of busyness, it’s hard to stop, contemplate and give yourself the space and time to interrogate your actions because you have to keep ‘doing’ to be productive.

This is a fallacy.

Taking the time to allow yourself to be clear on what you want to achieve and then only tackling the how allows you to truly be productive. To really increase your chances of success you’ll have to take it even further and give yourself the space to learn how to get out of your own way as well. When you have a clear path and you’re actively removing obstacles, achieving your goals becomes so much easier.

Clarity underpins true performance and allows you to make a significant impact.

Here are 6 ways clarity helps you improve your performance:

1. Improved Focus

When you know exactly what you’re working towards and what you need to do it’s easier to avoid distractions and stay on track, because you’re not getting sidetracked by other tasks and irrelevant information. 

It also allows you to achieve flow states more easily because clarity is a key component of being able to get in those productivity zones.

2. Improved Prioritization

Being clear allows you to classify and prioritize tasks more effectively because you know what will bring you closer to your goal. This helps you make those crucial decisions when everything seems important.

And even on a broader scale, when you’re clear about what is most important to you and what you value, you’re able to make those hard decisions and compromises more easily when you’re faced with competing seemingly equally important priorities.

3. Improved Delegation

Delegation can be daunting because there’s uncertainty about whether the other person will be able to meet your expectations and often we default to ‘it’s easier if I just do it myself’. This is a performance trap. 

When you’re clear about what needs to be done it becomes easier to communicate that clearly along with your expectations. Reducing the miscommunication risk and building in feedback processes allows you to leverage your time better, build trust and empower others.

4. Improved Boundary Setting

Knowing what to say ‘no’ to is challenging, but it becomes significantly easier when you know what you’re working towards. Being clear about what your challenges are, where you’re overextended, and where you’re saying ‘yes’ when deep down you know you should be saying ‘no’ allows you to reevaluate your boundaries. 

Giving yourself permission to set better boundaries is a key driver of performance, but you can’t change what you don’t acknowledge, so taking the time to get clear on what’s serving you and what isn’t is a great step in your journey.

5. Improved Balance

We often get sucked into the ‘busyness’ and see self-care as a luxury or something you’ll squeeze in when you have a gap. A gap that often doesn’t exist or gets filled with other tasks. When you’re clear about your path and what you need to achieve it, it becomes easier to make time for yourself. Because you know what you need to bring to the journey and it’s not an empty tank.

Making time to focus on renewing your energy on a physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual level becomes a key part of achieving success instead of an afterthought.

6. Improved Confidence

Then finally, confidence. Confidence is a result of action. The more you do something, the better you get at it, the more confident you become in your ability to do it. That’s the same with going after your goals. Setting a goal and taking on change is an intimidating process, but when you’re clear about what you need to do and you know how to utilize your support system to get through challenges, you build confidence every step of the way.

But a key part of building that confidence is in reflecting. When we rush from task to task it’s easy to diminish the success we achieve, but taking time to reflect on the successes, learn from the challenges, and acknowledge how far we’ve come allows us to build reference points that grow our confidence.

Clarity is a Journey

Gaining it is a lot easier said than done and it’s not a once-off exercise. However it is possible to achieve if you stay clear of the busyness trap and give yourself the time and space to explore it. This becomes even easier when you have someone walking that path with you to challenge you, motivate you, identify blind spots, give you the opportunity to brainstorm freely and hold you accountable to your own progress.

So what are you doing to give yourself the time and space to regain clarity?

You May Also Like…