Oh the times I’ve been stuck in analysis paralysis!! You know, where you need to get something done or make a decision but you get stuck in this spiral of looking at all the options, researching, making notes, researching some more (‘cos there was over 450,000 results on google and you haven’t read all of them yet!), thinking, putting it to one side, picking it up again, trying to plan for every single possible outcome, then thinking about it some more…..and all the time the clock is ticking
Of course, under all that in-actionable action is the fear of making the wrong decision, of being humiliated, embarrassed or wasting time or money. So how can you get out of it.
Let’s talk satnavs. Most of us have one either in the car or on our smartphones and they are great! Put in your destination and off you go. Follow the steps that the lovely lady gives you and you will get to your destination (Ok maybe not the way you thought and sometimes via a really narrow, muddy track, but you will get there!)
But have you noticed that sometimes the satnav is a few seconds behind where you actually are? Most often this happens on roundabouts. You merrily sail onto the roundabout, waiting for instruction and here it comes telling you to take the exit you just went past. So around you go again and the same thing happens – bugger! And around you go again hoping that this time you’ll be able to make the exit in time.
But you know what? It doesn’t really matter which exit you take. Going round and round will make you lose your sense of direction, get dizzy and possibly crash. It’s far safer to just pick a damn exit and see if it’s the right one! If not that lovely lady will soon tell you!!
The same goes for analysis paralysis. To get out of it, you just need to make one small decision that gets you off the roundabout, and then you can pull over and work out where you are and whether you need to turn around or not.
The one small decision I make to get off the roundabout is to do one little task. One of those little tasks we all have that we just don’t get around to doing. It may be pairing the socks, or sewing on a button, or sorting out the freezer, or deleting some emails, or clearing out that one kitchen drawer. The task doesn’t have to have anything to do with what’s causing you analysis paralysis; it’s just a means of getting you from inaction to action.
Once you do this one task you’ll start to feel better and maybe you want to do another one, and pretty soon you find that you’re ready to do the one thing or make the one decision you’ve been in paralysis around…and if you choose the wrong exit, just turn around and choose another one.