“Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.”
Peter Drucker

 “That’s been one of my mantras – focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there,
you can move mountains.”
Steve Jobs

We all want to improve our companies and teams. We all believe if we can improve our team’s work capacity we will improve “bottom Line”. If we acquire more tools to handle all the processes we have developed we will improve our “bottom line”. If we have more meetings that are a minimum 1 hour long filled with everything we need accomplish that day, that week and month, we will improve our “bottom line”. All of the above is true and good only if all of these thoughts and practices are well, practical and more important effective.

They will not be effective if they become the issue themselves and become slightly bulging at the waistline of our time. Below are examples of 3 areas we can be cautious of not becoming cumbersome.

“There is a syndrome in sports called ‘paralysis by analysis.”
Arthur Ashe

Paralysis of thinking;
When an issue arises we all want to make the best decision whether it’s decisions about a program, product or how to properly deal with a prospect or client. The longer you delay the decisions, the less effective the decision will be. Some decisions can be implemented in a week so, instead of making an irrational decision today, ask good questions of your team and maybe do a trial balloon with them. This is also effective with a prospect/client.

Really want to have effective meetings? (Wow, look at all the hands), implement a simple rule, meet with fewer people, and only with the truly key people on your team more often with less time at each meeting. Insist upon meetings ending on time, try limiting the meetings to30 minutes (and time them) over a short period they will end on time easily with more accomplished. Larger groups, 10 or more, then you have them less frequently and a little longer. The more people, the less frequent, the more time per meeting equals more effect meetings.

Too much or too little?
Don’t waste time on processes and the proper words to cover every possible situation. You can’t create a process that won’t need to be changed in a month, don’t try. Create a flexible rule to be adjusted when required. Don’t waste time, writing a proposal for a client/prospect that is cumbersome, confusing and takes days to write. Use the K.I.S.S. as often as possible. It is better for you to have them asking for more details then to have them not read a novel of a proposal they have waited days to receive from you.

As a manager, you want your team working at peak capacity. Have you thought about these five hidden productivity killers?

  1. Unnecessary meetings.

It’s practically cliché to say it at this point, but you probably have too many meetings. How many hours per week do you and your people sit in meetings, is all that time truly better used in those meetings than if people had that time to allocate to other work? It could pay off big to take a rigorous look at where your meetings might run amok and resolve as a team to cut back on meetings (both number of meetings and length of meetings). Even if you just shave one meeting a week off people’s schedules that can be a significant difference that adds up.

2. Tool overload.
Take a minute and do a quick accounting of the number of tools your team uses to communicate and track work. If you’re like a lot of people, you’ve probably got email, a client database, a contact management tool, a project management system, an intranet, and who knows what else. If they’re not integrated with each other and you’re logging in and out of different systems all day and some cases recording information in multiple places, not to mention training your staff how to use all of them, you’re staring at a huge inefficiency. Instead, look into solutions that combine most or all of these in one platform.

“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency”.
Bill Gates

3. Focusing on process, not results.
Don’t get me wrong – process matters. But it’s not an end unto itself; process only matters as far as it serves your ability to get results. If you haven’t revisited your processes in years, or if you’re assuming that the processes that work for one part of your organization should be used across the board, or if all your people will tell you that your processes are hindering them rather than helping them, it’s time to take a new look at this area.

“Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.” 
Peter Drucker
  1. Decision paralysis:

Obviously you don’t want to make decisions that aren’t well-thought-out, but more often than not managers delay decisions too long – whether it’s decisions about a product or program or decisions about personnel. The longer you delay decisions, the less productive your team will be.

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.”
Vince Lombardi

5. Perfectionism:
Look, having a high bar matters, but not every project or task demands perfection and the time that you spend making a not-very-high-priority deliverable flawless is time that you’re not spending on items with more impact. In many cases, getting something done reasonably quickly is more important than making it perfect. When you don’t recognize the difference, you hold your team back.