Jackie Ferrari sits up against the wall in her room. The book she studied, “Introducing Communication Research,” focused her attention. Photo courtesy of Jackie Ferrari
While most students hope for more hours to accomplish their tasks, sophomore Jackie Ferrari took a different approach to managing her time.
Ferrari shares high performance habits she’s learned that she believes can be helpful for students to apply in their school and personal lives. High performance is when you “succeed above and beyond standard norms, consistently over the long term,” author Brendon Burchard wrote.
“I have a set bedtime and wake-up time every single night,” Ferrari said. “I try to keep this as consistent as possible and get at least eight hours of sleep per night.”
Ferrari said her secret is accountability. She has a friend who is an accountability partner whom she meets with weekly to discuss accomplishments and shortcomings they both made improvements for the future and consequences when they don’t do what they were supposed to.
“Accountability alone has helped me complete homework assignments twice as fast, study more efficiently, stay consistent with my habits and do stuff that I know I need to do when I don’t really wanna do it,” Ferrari said. “I also use a site blocker when I’m in class, or when I’m doing my homework or working on music so I don’t get distracted.”
Ferrari said she first learned how to improve her performance from her mentor, Richard Yu, who is an online business and high-performance coach. She joined Yu’s High-Performance Training Program in June 2020, which she said has changed her life in the best way.
“I would not be in the place that I am and have the discipline that I have developed had it not been for [Yu] and his mentorship,” Ferrari said. “The program has not only helped me become more high performance, but also given me a community of other driven people who I have had calls with every month since I joined.”
One of the biggest lessons Ferrari said she learned from Yu is that productivity is not worth sacrificing your health, well-being and relationships.
“While I may not be able to hang out with my friends every single time they do something spontaneously because this lifestyle requires discipline, I can spend time with them in the late afternoon and evenings or on my rest day, when I have more free time,” Ferrari said. “The best part is that I don’t feel guilty that my work isn’t done. This makes my time spent with friends more fulfilling.”
Ferrari said Yu also taught her that productivity is more about the quality of what you do with the hours you have, than the quantity.
“You can work for 10 hours straight and get very little done if you’re distracted and working around other people,” Ferrari said. “But if you’re working three hours with a 10 minute break, and you’re laser-focused during that time, you’ll get a lot more done than most people.”
Despite the habits Ferrari has learned, she admits to falling short at times.
“There are days when I don’t feel like doing things, so I empathize with people who feel like that a lot of the time,” Ferrari said. “But it becomes easier to do stuff you don’t want to do when doing the hard things anyway becomes a habit.”
Ferrari encourages students to find someone to hold them accountable when they don’t feel like doing something they need to get done. She said if it isn’t done on time, there should be a consequence to establish such as paying money, doing 50 push ups, or running five miles.
Ferrari recalls struggling with her performance habits back in high school.
“I would cram for tests and I hardly got enough sleep most nights,” Ferrari said. “I lived off of five or six hours of sleep a night and used that as an excuse that I was being more productive and that it was worth sacrificing my sleep.”
Ferrari said these tactics weren’t helpful for her. She became constantly tired and could hardly focus during class.
“I decided I was tired of living like this and I was so grateful when I found out about Richard’s program,” Ferrari said.
Ferrari said she wants students to know that what she’s doing is possible for anyone. She believes anyone can become a high performer as long as they put their mind to it.
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