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My 3 Non-Negotiables for Peak Performance in Work and Life

[fa icon="calendar"] 05-Feb-2024 20:24:50 / by Iliyana Stareva

productivity and peak performanceMany people ask me how I remain this productive in a job that's full of last-minute urgencies and constant changes?

My answer is simple, I have three non-negotiables to keep a high performance at work and in my private life and they have nothing to do with work itself. All three are about something very foundational - my body and ensuring it functions at its peak. 

I've spent years nurturing three key habits to ensure I can perform at high and quick speeds: exercise, nourishing food and sleep. These three have been and still are the best decisions I make every day. 

My 3 Non-Negotiables for Peak Performance In Work and Life

1️⃣ Exercise 💪

Those who know me, know that I am a morning person. It's been 10 years since I've adopted a habit of waking up early and exercising before the day begins. I train 5 days a week, 30 minutes a day, at home, mainly strength and some cardio after I turned 30 when you start losing muscle mass (it was the other way around before).

My morning routine before the whole house wakes up is simple: water, short meditation, journaling while having my first coffee, and exercise.

I exercised through pregnancy, while raising a small baby, when I travel, when I go on holidays etc. I adjust depending on my circumstances but if I don't get my training done for the day, I'm not in a good mood.

The biggest benefit of exercising has not only been having a strong, healthy body but also having a strong mind ready to take on anything.

2️⃣ Nourishing food 🥗

I've long learned to create a balanced plate with proteins, healthy carbs and veggies.

I happen to love cooking so I do this for myself and for my family. And with a busy job, I've made it easy for myself to manage it all - I have 3 air fryers and 1 multi-cooker that cook for me while I do other things.

But I don't limit myself either. I follow the 80/20 rule - 80% healthy, 20% fun. So if I want some chocolate or cake, I will have it instead of suppressing the desire and then overeating on it later.

3️⃣ Sleep 😴

I wake up at 5.30 am so I go to bed at 10 pm. I give my body the rest it needs.

If you have a Fitbit or any other tracking device, it tracks your sleep against the key sleeping stages - deep, REM, light, and awake. Your body needs deep sleep to fully rest so I've learned that the later I go to bed, the less I truly rest.

If I am to be at my peak, then I go to bed early, especially so that I can get up early and do my exercise to start my day right.

Sleep, like anything else, is a habit that you have to cultivate.

That's it! What are your non-negotiables for peak performance?


Topics: Personal Development, Growth

Iliyana Stareva

Written by Iliyana Stareva

Iliyana Stareva is the author of Inbound PR - the book that is transforming the PR industry. She's also a keynote speaker and a consultant in inbound and digital for fast-growing companies and agencies. Currently, Iliyana is Chief of Staff to the EMEA President at ServiceNow. Before that, she held global and EMEA-wide positions at Cisco and HubSpot. She is also certified by the PMI as a Project Management Professional (PMP)®. In her free time, you can find Iliyana writing for her blog, dancing salsa or travelling the world.

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