TN50#148_Here’s A Free 5% Performance Improvement Hack_15 January 2024

Hi Team,

Do you like the term, hack?  As in, self-improvement hack or 5% performance improvement hack?  I personally do not like the term hack; but I’m cheeky a lot of times so if I were to use the term it probably wouldn’t mean what most people intend for it to mean.  With that, please read on for a FREE 5% Performance Improvement HACK!

Happy Monday and welcome to The Next 50 #148. I like to think of personal performance in 3 components: physical, mental and emotional.  My frameworks focus on 4 Buckets: Eat, Sleep, Move and Think.  This blog is my sandbox for sharing information that you might find useful for your personal performance.

Still here?  Excellent.  Here’s the hack.


Before we dive in to the meat of today’s article here’s a little background.

As my mission to improve the personal performance of individuals and teams continues, I find a lot of people I talk to, especially leaders who run teams or whole businesses, want real numbers that measure cause and effect of good, better and best performance compared to mediocre, poor and bad performance.

This is a great question, so I’ve been combing through the science for useful numbers around what mediocre, poor and bad performance costs.

The following information focuses on what sleep issues cost companies in lost productivity, let’s start with a graphic from the study: The Cost of Poor Sleep: Workplace Productivity Loss and Associated Costs by: Mark R. Rosekind, PhD, Kevin B. Gregory, BS, Melissa M. Mallis, PhD, Summer L. Brandt, MA, Brian Seal, PhD,and Debra Lerner, PhD:

Mean productivity loss (Fig. 2) was significantly higher for the insomnia group (6.1%) than for the at-risk (4.6%) and good-sleep (2.5%) groups (all P  0.05). The ISS group had an intermediate level of productivity loss (5.5%)

The entire study can be found here; and for reference, ISS stands for Insufficient Sleep Syndrome.

Earlier I said I was focusing on what mediocre, poor and bad performance costs, this research includes the “good-sleep” group.  Now I’m not sure how many of you would consider yourself in the “good-sleep” group but for this study 44.8% of the participants were identified in this group and you can see even this group had a 2.5% performance decrement due to poor sleep.

Here’s another way to look at this.

The average wages lost per employee (all 4 sleep quality groups) was $1,967.00 each across all companies studied.  All of the study participants were in the United States and the average salary in the US in the final year of the study was $31,410.00; or productivity lost on average, in dollars, was 6.3%.

For you business owners, what would a 6.3% improvement in: attention, decision making, memory and motivation be worth?  Let’s do some simple math. If you pay out, or pay yourself, $500,000 annually in salary a 6.3% performance improvement is worth $31,400 a year, $1,000,000 going out equals $62,800.00, $5,000,000 going out equals $314,000.

Here’s another really interesting consideration. This studies’ last participant interview was conducted in March of 2007; roughly 3 months before the first I-phone was released, before the crash of 2008, before social media and COVID19. How many people are still in the good-sleep group?

So what to do about it? You forgot already?

Get good sleep!

I’ve written about this a bunch:, but it isn’t rocket science and you’ve heard it 100 times so actually do the work. OK fine, here’s a refresher article I wrote about 3 years ago on the basics of Better SLEEP; and if you think that all the basic stuff doesn’t work for you we should talk, so shoot me an email and we’ll set up a call:

Who do you know that could use this information?  I bet you can think of a couple of folks before you click the next email!

As always share the post with your team and anyone who might find it useful and let me know what you think!

Have a good one, Alex

PS. The numbers on getting: Better EAT, Better MOVE and Better THINK are even more powerful than these number I found on Better SLEEP! How amazing would it be to improve in all 4 domains at the same time? I can help you and your team do this:

PPS. Thank you for reading my blog, I’d really love to know more about what “performance” topics would be most relevant for you in 2024; please shoot me a quick email and let me know your thoughts:

PPPS.  If your new to First Principles Performance Coaching, here’s a one stop shop for all my stuff.