In general, being an analytic person is a good thing. An accurate analysis is often the first step towards finding solutions in the workplace and almost everywhere else in life. However, even good things can be counterproductive when we let them run wild. Keep reading to learn more about analysis paralysis, including some easy strategies to avoid it.
What Is Analysis Paralysis?
As the name suggests, analysis paralysis occurs when a person or a group of people focuses so much on analyzing every aspect of a situation that they end up being unable to take action.
If you tend to overanalyze things, chances are good that you are prone to analysis paralysis. A good antidote is to remember the famous quote by Jeff Bezos: “Most decisions should probably be made with somewhere around 70% of the information you wish you had. If you wait for 90%, in most cases, you’re probably being slow. Plus, either way, you need to be good at quickly recognizing and correcting bad decisions. If you’re good at course correcting, being wrong may be less costly than you think, whereas being slow is going to be expensive for sure.”
In the next sections, we’ll take a look at other strategies you can implement to beat this common phenomenon.
Accept that You Won’t Always Know Everything
Uncertainty is one of the main causes of analysis paralysis. You may feel that you need to gather all the information available before taking action. Unfortunately this may turn into an almost endless loop where you put off taking a decision until you can’t avoid it anymore.
To prevent this form of paralysis, accept that you won’t always know everything. Researchers studying how people in high-risk professions make decisions have discovered that leaders in those fields have a special way of dealing with what they don’t know. They take action under great pressure aware of the fact that variables can change, so some on-the-fly adjustments may be necessary.
Try to adopt this mindset yourself. Knowing that you can always tweak things as you go may make it easier for you to make progress.
Another common source of analysis paralysis is perfectionism. This has been known for centuries. Do you remember the old saying? “Perfect is the enemy of good.” If you agonize over every detail of every project, you will find yourself stuck and unable to meet deadlines, potentially missing revenue opportunities.
Psychologically speaking, at the root of perfectionism is a form of all-or-nothing thinking. When you see things only as completely good or entirely bad, you may find it difficult to reach a compromise with yourself that allows you to let some unimportant details slide.
To beat perfectionism, learn to appreciate the value of “good enough.” Good enough may not be flawless, but it’s achievable and doesn’t place an unnecessary burden on your mental health. In short, good enough is not perfect but get things done, and in the world of business that’s what really matters.
More Tips and Ideas
At the ONE Inland Empire Chamber of Commerce, we are always looking for ideas that help foster the growth of your business. Here are some previous posts to help you do just that:
- How to use social media to advance your career
- Cybersecurity basics for small businesses
- 3 Simple ways to protect yourself against identity theft
- Common grammar mistakes to avoid in your business emails
Interested in learning more about the ONE Inland Empire Chamber of Commerce? Contact us today by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), telephone (951-280-3902), or social media. We look forward to hearing from you!