7 tips to overcome analysis paralysis
Even before you saw the more detailed list of how analysis paralysis occurs, you likely thought of at least of few times in your life when you've experienced the phenomenon. It happens to the best of us. Even those who are generally decisive can run into a problem that has them scratching their head and putting off the solution. So, how do you deal with analysis paralysis when it occurs and avoid letting it have a negative effect on your business? Let's look at seven tips that can help.
1. Clarify your goal
It's commonly stated that you can't get where you're going if you don't know your destination. Sometimes, we have a vague idea of what we are trying to achieve and try to reach a decision based on that. Instead, you should clarify your goal and narrow it down to something that is more easily quantified and analyzed.
2. Treat your decision-making process like a to-do list
To-do lists are great for productivity. They help motivate us to take the steps on the list so we can cross everything off and get that warm feeling when you've accomplished your goals. By treating the decisions you make like a to-do list, you'll find yourself bringing in a little extra motivation to help you power through the struggles and make a decision.
3. Break down important decisions into small actionable steps
Imagine you're taking a trip to a very specific destination, but instead of looking at a map, you just get on the road and start driving. You're likely to get overwhelmed very quickly as you try to stay laser focused on road signs that may be miles away from the ones you need to be paying attention to. Decisions are the same way. Mapping them out into discrete steps ahead of time makes them easier to manage.
4. Get input from your team
You don't have to make every decision alone. A trusted team of advisors can go a long way in helping you cut through the indecision and bring clarity to the situation. Often, someone on your staff will have knowledge that you don't, or be able to bring a unique insight to the problem. Don't be afraid to ask those people for help.
5. Don't override your gut reaction
Many times, analysis paralysis sets in because you've made a decision and then talked yourself out of it. Trusting your gut doesn't necessarily mean that you just go with whatever's on the top of your head without looking at the data, but it does mean you should be wary about second guessing yourself after you've looked at the problem thoughtfully and arrived at a solution.
6. Leverage technology to preserve mental energy
We live in the age of big data, where machines are crunching numbers at a far faster rate than we can, and finding patterns that would take many humans hundreds of years to find. For instance, start involving automatic time mapping software in your workflow to track time spent on projects, eliminating the possibility of human error. Making use of these number-crunching algorithms, automation systems, and data visualization tools will cut down on the amount of fluff you have to sort through, so you can get to the meat of the problem.
7. Accept that there is no best decision, only learning opportunities
Thomas Edison famously said, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." This is an important philosophy to adopt, because being too afraid of failure shields you from the learning opportunities that arise from making less than ideal situations. While nobody wants to fail, and you should certainly try not to, you shouldn't fear failure because it's how we grow.