At times we all use To Do Lists right?
Well some time ago I saw Tim Ferriss put up a 'NOT To Do List' and I thought I would do the same, but obviously mine is aimed at race drivers.
There are certain things that drivers should avoid, I am always up for helping drivers do the right thing but we cannot ignore the things you should avoid doing if you are serious about your racing.
Self sabotage is a wonderful dream breaker and self harming process, here is a list of 7 of my top sabotaging behaviour traits that I see drivers falling for all the time.
Remember that we are in millimeter sport, where the small things count, do not let these daily actions mount up and stand in your way.
THE NOT TO DO LIST
1. Do Not get hypnotised by social media
This isn't just an attack on social media, this is an attack on all things that you allow to distract you on a regular basis, but I will use social media as a good example here.
Last year the Telegraph reported that the average person has 5 social media accounts and spends 1 hour 40 mins on them per day.
It wouldn't surprise me if race drivers spend even more time than that per day because they often have a lot of downtime on race weekends, they have time to kill when travelling and they are constantly updating their status with how much they are looking forward to the next session or telling us something else that we are all interested to hear about ;-)
It's of no surprise that if you spend too much time on things that distract you, instead of things that help you progress, then you are going to under perform and you are more likely to fall short of your goals.
We all fall for distraction more than we should, it is an area where all of us need a kick up the arse.
The hours in your day are precious, how you use them determines the results you get. Always keep this in mind.
Avoid checking your social media as soon as you open your eyes in the morning and disable some of the notifications on your locked screen because that long list of notifications are there to keep you coming back, do not fall for this.
QualityTime is a great App to help Android users monitor their social media usage.
2. Do Not feel the need to play mental games with your teammates
Too many drivers have the goal of getting into their teammates head, to Mind F**k them in order to beat them.
I get drivers asking me to help them do this but I dislike this tactic, it shows weakness in your own mentality if you have to resort to doing this.
I can tell you now that the best way to dominate your teammate's and competitor's minds is to simply beat them on track. To ruthlessly work on your craft and be emotionless when they attempt to taunt you.
If you operate like a robot, something that keeps coming no matter what abuse you throw it's way and keeps working on it's given target no matter what challenges arise then you will get more out of yourself and will automatically intimidate those who try to take you on or get in your way.
Focus on you, do not let your ego talk you into bringing others down. It's a waste of mental energy that usually backfires and causes bad taste.
Acting in an insecure way is a weakness, again, focus on you and the job in hand.
3. Do Not start your day without setting it up
To have a productive day you must kick things off in a productive way way, from the moment you open your eyes.
If you start your working day with a wondering mind then you will find it hard to tame and focus it.
For example by waking up slowly, then scrolling through your phone, then checking the weather and basically having no purpose or structure in mind, you are showing your brain the way things are going to be that day. This usually effects the state you will be in for the first portion of the day.
It's like the start of a race, if you have a poor start/first lap and lose many positions then you have just made things a lot harder for yourself, your days at home are exactly the same.
You must kick things off by opening your eyes and allowing yourself to fall into the success mindset needed to win on that particular day. Some do this with meditation, others by immediately writing down their main goals whilst others jump up and get into a cool shower whilst planning their day ahead.
You need to create a system that works for you.
If you need help/inspiration in this area then check out my previous post by clicking here
4. Do Not post too many party pics
If you want to portray a professional image for race teams, sponsors and manufactures to take you seriously then do yourself a favour and delete the pics of you on Facebook, Instagram, etc that show you getting drunk or similar.
OK we all celebrate and have fun in life but when 10 of your last 100 photos revolve around you drinking or partying then you wont gain the respect that you want.
Your reputation is all you have in this sport, protect it, nurture it and make sure you walk the talk as such.
Your rep is your brand. It effects the deals you get and the opportunities that come your way.
If you don't care about looking professional then discard this point.
5. Do Not forget about your website
It is easy for you to forget to update, promote and use your website as a tool for advancing your racing career.
It is also easy to think that social media has replaced the need for your website, if this was the case then all companies would do away with their website and only operate through the socials, that's not the case.
You are just like a company, you have a brand identity, a result based history, you have something to sell, you have information that others find interesting and you need to form an official platform where people can officially contact you.
All of these things need to be offered through your website.
Keep it updated and make it marketable. Remember how much James Hinchcliffe used his website to help his career, his success can be repeated.
6. Do Not let a single week pass without moving forwards on the financial side
A rule that you should live by, finance is the blood line of your racing, someone somewhere has to be pumping money in for you to race so make sure you keep this aspect of your racing very active.
This is more important than going down the gym or simulator driving.
Whether you are paying to race, have free drivers or are being paid to race, the business arm of racing is your main priority so have a rule that you will create a racing financial win every single week (or every day if you want to over achieve).
Tasks like setting up sponsor meetings, creating a new proposal, strengthening your relationship with a company, strengthening your relationship with your team, contacting X amount of investors, going to a business seminar, etc.
Never drop the ball in this area.
7. Do Not forget to motivate those who are helping you
It is very common for drivers to forget about the well-being and relationship with their team, their investors, their managers, their coaches, their trainers and yes....their parents.
At some point all of these people lose sleep because of you, they are offering their help and guidance in order for you to live your dream.
OK they are fulfilling certain goals of their own but really they are offering you their loyalty and are doing all they can to help you succeed and be happy.
Personally speaking it's horrible when I have spent the weekend with a driver giving my all when at the end of the weekend they barely say goodbye let alone "Thank you". It doesn't do much for my motivation, yes everyone needs to know they are valued to some point.
People power is an asset that you must possess, make it your mission to win as many people over as you can and to constantly motivate those around you.
They are you personal success team, they have the power to help you get what you want so treat them that way and they will work even harder.
So these are my top 7 pitfalls that I see drivers falling for all the time.
What are some of your no-no's?
Cover photo from Mufidah Kassalias