how to overcome analysis paralysis

How to Overcome Analysis Paralysis | 11 Unique Ways to Get Moving Again

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For too many years analysis paralysis was the ruler of my life. Each and every day it sat on my shoulder offering me all the reasons why I should leave my proverbial boat tied to the shore.

It squashed every new idea, project, goal or thought. It encouraged me “t0 play it safe.” Finally, one day I had enough. That is what today’s post is all about.

Take out a piece of paper and answer “yes” or “no” to the following questions:

I am not a doctor, but if you answered ‘yes’ to the majority of the questions above then I have a diagnosis for you.
You have the Analysis Paralysis Syndrome.
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The reason that I can be so confident in my diagnosis is because I have been there.

How to Overcome Analysis Paralysis

1. Decide that the simplest solution is almost always the best solution.

This principle took me awhile to learn. We often make things more complicated than they need to be. Occam’s Law states “The simplest solution is almost always the best solution.” I wrote more about this principle here.

2. Place a high value on the speed of implementation.

Re-wire your brain for action. When you learn something new that aligns with your goals, just go for it. We often drag out the implementation of an idea longer than necessary. Not to throw another universal law at you, but I believe it to be true. Parkinson’s Law states “work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” Oftentimes we make a project longer than what it needs to be.

3. Decide to become a rainmaker.

I love the term “rainmaker.” A rainmaker is “an influential character that has the ability to attract followers, build trust, and earn authority in a specific niche.” If you have a passion for your niche, let it shine. Do not just cover topics that you think are easier to rank for in the search engines. Cover all aspects of your niche and really go for it! For more info on becoming a rainmaker, read 11 Ways to Become a Rainmaker.

4. Don’t dream big and act small.

The next three points I covered in detail in the post: What Are You Working on Big? I still think they are worth a mention here. It is easy to dream big, but hard to “act in a big way.” When we act small, we serve no one. As Seth Godin so eloquently said, “If your not making a difference, it’s probably because you are afraid.”

5. Decide to Fail at Something.

The pain of failure is a big enemy. It keeps us in analysis paralysis. The biggest question I often get is “what if I blog for an entire year and nothing happens? I don’t want to waste my time.” Trust me, I understand where they are coming from. What we bloggers often forget is that we are creating an asset. The worse case scenario is to go sell your site at Flippa.com. Pretty good downside if you ask me.

6. See perfection as your #1 enemy.

Many bloggers want everything to be perfect. They do not want to face criticism. They want every duck in a row before they take a step and they often want a guarantee of success before they start. It just doesn’t work that way. As I have said before: “Taking massive action without a guarantee of results is where champions live.” Decide today to make perfection your #1 enemy.

7. Appreciate any step that moves you forward.

The next 3 points come from the post: Finding Fulfillment in the Gap. We are all or nothing people. Overcoming analysis paralysis might be as simple as shooting for “quick wins.” Some quick wins might be: getting your first Facebook “like” or obtaining your first blog comment.

8. Embrace new discoveries along the way.

Never lose the “art of play” when it comes to your work. Feel free to experiment and look for new discoveries along the way. Sometimes experience is worth more than education.

9. Have a real love for the journey.

Develop the “brick by brick” philosophy. Success doesn’t happen overnight. Someone will always be further ahead than you. Instead of seeing the daunting mountaintop fix your eyes on the next foothold.

10. Only focus on starting.

Remove the obstacles from your thinking and just focus on starting. Set a timer for 30 minutes and just go after that task, project, or goal with reckless abandonment for 30 minutes. You might be surprised how far you get in 30 minutes time. Just focus on starting. Overcoming procrastination can be as simple as just starting.

11. Focus your efforts in 90-day increments.

I covered this in the Simple Blog Business Plan and in a post about a Simple Whiteboard Goals System that I use. I said earlier that a blog is best built “brick by brick.” So, the next question is: “What are your bricks?” I see bricks as 90-day projects.
Take out a calendar and divide it into 4 sections. For me it is: January-March, April-June, July-September, and October-December. My whiteboard hangs on the wall above my computer. I currently have 19 items that I want to get done in the next 90 days. When I sit down to work, I know exactly what it is that I need to work on.
Question: What tips or advice do you have to overcome analysis paralysis?
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11 thoughts on “How to Overcome Analysis Paralysis | 11 Unique Ways to Get Moving Again”

  1. Boy does this speak to me. I come from a background where you research, analysis and discuss something until you are blue in the face (the corporate world side of me). Some times when doing this the reason for what you intended or gets lost in the process and often is then put on the self for a later time … Sigh! All this was to avoid a mistake and as you pointed out, total analysis paralyses.

    Now that I am on my own and really working for myself, I find that old learned habits die hard. I am learning to push the publish button sooner, to try things out to see what happens and lastly to trust my own instincts.

    Thanks for this. It is a good reminder not to get in our own way.

  2. I really enjoyed your article, points 6 and 9 especially. I struggle with wanting all my ducks in a row and everything to be perfect before I start something. Point 9 helps me to keep in mind that things take time.

  3. BloggingYourPassion

    The best bloggers are learners at heart. Stay thirsty my friend. (Sorry for the bad pun from a TV commercial) 🙂 – Jonathan

  4. My favorite suggestion is #1. Decide that the simplest solution is almost always the best solution. Ju st recently I have been trying to put together a newsletter. I have definitely thought myself into analysis paralysis. What should I include? Should I link to my recent posts? My most popular posts? Should I include affiliate links?

    The simple solution, start with a mail list that can subscribe to posts. Then I can let the newsletter naturally develop itself as I am able to build a community at my blog.

    I really enjoyed this post.

  5. On occasion, I feel the best course of action is to “Just do it.”…which is a good saying that needs to be copyrighted…

    Analysis Paralysis crippled my personal and professional life for 26 years. It all changed the day I decided to only wear black t-shirts. Odd as that may sounds, that little tweak to my life showed me that every decision doesn’t need to be gut-wrenchingly difficult.

    Imagine two people. Both are going to the same destination. While one doesn’t care exactly how they get there, they other sits back and analyzes the best course of action. With that figured out they begin to drive and when they get there, the person who didn’t care how they got there greets them.

    Don’t let Analysis Paralysis prevent you from doing things. Be like the person who just decided to go without consideration of the destination. More often than not, it will steer you in the right direction.

    As I have progressed through life, the just do it attitude has served me well.

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