Back in 1967, Peter Drucker articulated the rules and the necessary thought habits for an effective executive, where effectiveness was defined as a key driver of success in business.

The impact this definition had on business was so immense that even today, efficiency remained as one of the most important virtues a successful leader must possess.

Hence, preserving it through dealing various situations in both business and life is of the utmost importance for starting, growing, and maintaining a profitable and productive business.

Here are some of the most persistent efficiency killers you may or may not have noticed, including the ways to deal with them according to mainstream psychology:

1. Perfectionism

The majority of people, including some successful industry leaders, display their perfectionism as a medal of honor, something they have honed and used throughout their lifetime to boost efficiency. It offers a number of benefits in work, including motivating over-achievers in order to pursue higher standards and realize new business ideas.

Driven to innovate and improve, perfectionists are disciplined individuals who pay attention to detail, which is why they are highly regarded in professions with zero error policy.

However, issues tend to arise when perfectionists start setting impossible-to-meet standards and devaluing work that fails to meet those standards.

Self-oriented perfectionism leads to inefficiency due to obsessiveness, while socially-oriented perfectionists tend to lack sympathy and often struggle to forgive even the simplest of mistakes.

Accepting imperfections and acknowledging effort are crucial in overcoming perfectionism. And regular constructive criticism helps, without the feeling of judgment being projected all the time.

2. Being Overwhelmed with Data

Living in the digital era means that we can easily access vast amounts of data and researching and learning information tends to become a never-ending quest. Conflicting opinions and debates without real conclusions make it hard to determine what and who to believe.

As much as 75% of the information you learn and don’t use gets forgotten, rendering it essentially useless. Information overload affects the analysis, focus, and productivity.

Preventing it requires reducing the number of experts you follow and getting some distance from the subject in question, or using some of the benefits our digital age has to offer, such as quality media intelligence.

Related:  Leadership: A Thriving or Surviving State of Mind?

3. Not Being Effective Enough

There’s a big difference between being efficient and being effective. Effectiveness refers to the successful accomplishment of work over time, while efficiency implies doing it while taking less time and fewer resources, and is used to describe immediate results.

While some tasks need to be accomplished as soon as possible, the overall work must not be affected and the best options are to find a balance between the two. Avoid focusing on tasks instead of employee relationships.

A stress-free collaborative environment is vital for maintaining productivity and being an effective leader.

4. You Learn, But You Never Unlearn and Relearn

Although efficiency revolves around solving known problems with known tools, some problems simply cannot be solved that way.

In fact, some problems will most likely require you to disregard the way you previously analyzed problems and look for new ways to solve it.

You need to have an open mind and try to disregard the notion of thinking in terms of right and wrong. Instead, be eager to learn, and avoid self-censoring your own creativity.

A successful leader needs to walk the fine line between efficiency and effectiveness, while nurturing beneficial habits in both work and everyday life. By doing this, you avoid over analyzing every little thing and becoming buried under a sea of information you cannot possibly learn and use.

Doing the right things at the right time is more than a simple mantra, but rather a deep-rooted habit regularly controlled through conscious oversight.

What Kills Efficiency in Leaders?

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Jolene Rutherford
Jolene Rutheford is a marketing specialist turned blogger, and is currently writing for BizzmarkBlog and Technivorz.
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