Have you ever found yourself agonizing over a decision, considering the pros and cons of every option until your head was swirling with too much info?
If so, congratulations! You’re experiencing something more common than the common cold – analysis paralysis. And like a cold, it has symptoms: . Brain aches with all the options available . Head is stuffed with too many researched data points . Passages get plugged so simple things become over-complicated . Fear of making a wrong decision makes you feverish
Indecisiveness drains your time and your energy and most of us don’t have those to spare! We can try to fool ourselves by calling it “judicious consideration”, but if it doesn’t serve you, it’s analysis paralysis.
But fear not! There is a cure. Here are 7 remedies that don’t involve OTC drugs:
1. Decisions are not created equal Not everything is mega-brain-cell worthy. Put time and energy into who you choose as a life partner, not what pumpkin to buy. Learn to distinguish the difference by asking yourself “Will this matter in a year?” and “What’s the worst that can happen?”
2. Identify your Top Priorities When my kids were younger, spending time with them was a top objective of mine. Since I worked outside the home, any decision that would take up night and weekend time was made through that filter. I asked myself “Is this worth being away from my kids?” Knowing my top objective helped me make countless decisions effortlessly.
3. Let the 80/20 Rule Prevail Rarely does the perfect option fall into your lap at the perfect moment. If you can make a decent decision on an issue of minor importance quickly, go for it! Tying in to the first tip above, small decisions aren’t worth the effort to go for the 100% solution, when you can live with the 80% solution.
4. Declutter your Brain Go ahead and outright eliminate the options that don’t meet your needs or don’t serve your top objectives (see #2). It frees up space for more consideration of workable options.
5. Pick and Stick I was listening to a productivity podcast on Time Thieves and one of the thieves is regret. Realize that there might not be ONE perfect solution, so just pick. Flip a coin, if you have to. Then don’t look back. Just commit yourself to making the best of the choice you made. That’s a much better expenditure of your energy.
6. Delegate the Decision This isn’t avoidance, this is a smart tactic. Choose someone you trust, empower them to make decisions in that arena for you and let go. I did this with my daughter and meal preparation. I trust her to make healthy choices, and empower her to plan, shop for and cook excellent dinners for the family. I may not personally like all the dishes she prepares, but I’m ALWAYS grateful that the decision is made by someone else.
7. Get ONE Opinion I’m not talking about gathering opinions as more research points, I’m talking about finding someone who knows what they are talking about in an area, and gathering their opinion. I always get my husband’s opinion on tech gadgets. That’s his hobby, so he’s knowledgeable and I trust him not to steer me wrong. I still make the decision, but his opinion counts for a lot.
So, what are you over-churning in your mind? Which remedy above can you use today to cure your analysis paralysis? Please leave your comments below.
Leaving you with this from the lighter side: “In my house, I’m the boss. My wife is just the decision maker” Woody Allen