– How To Avoid Analysis Paralysis –
A friend of mine recently asked me how to stop doubting himself. When he clarified what he meant, he said, “Because of all the feedback I am getting I am not sure how to move forward. I thought I would share with him how I have overcome Analysis Paralysis. The definition is: “Analysis paralysis or paralysis by analysis is an anti-pattern, the state of over-analyzing (or overthinking) a situation so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome.“
In my 20s I had difficulty making decisions because I wanted to be sure to look at every angle of a problem before exploring solutions because I didn’t want to make a mistake. It was a frustrating place to be sometimes. I often felt pressured into making decisions without all the information I needed to make the best decision possible.
Later in my career I started a Marketing company to help businesses follow a simple equation to increase sales. You can read more about that in an earlier article: Marketing Equation. In order for me to get to that place mentally took learning some basic skills. I will write more about “self-doubt” in a future article. Until then, this article posted in Healthline, describes some of those skills. Namely, “Work on Self Confidence“, “Trust Your Instincts“, and “Practice Acceptance“. Once you have those skills doing the rest is easier.
Know Your WHY
I have discussed this topic of finding your WHY in the context of my ultimate reason for being alive in this article: Nine Habits of Happiness. In this “Analysis Paralysis” article it is limited to a project that requires decisions to move forward.
The first step for me is to develop and state clearly a purpose for WHY I am doing a project. It doesn’t matter the reason, but it is necessary to keep focus on the ultimate goal to completion and stay clear of details that can suck me into being paralyzed from moving forward.
Whether my project is for me, or for someone else (friend, employer, family member), I must isolate the end goal. Then, make sure all smaller goals and decisions are made with the end goal in mind.
Allow Creative Flow
Once you know your WHY and can define clearly the end-result you wish to achieve, the next step is to trust what you know. Trust your skills to find correct answers and outside assistance when necessary. Simply begin the project and don’t stop the natural flow of what you are doing until the inevitable obstacles arise that challenge you to find different paths.
Let’s use writing a script for a TV series pilot as an example. If the premise is something I believe will attract watchers, and I wanted to deliver a specific message – I would then work on my WHY to make it air-tight. That way it will help me stay focused on the effective delivery of the message.
For me, the best way to move forward would be to write the entire story from beginning to end. I would not pay attention to making sure it is grammatically correct. I would also not worry about the script format because I can work on editing AFTER I have completed the story. This becomes the basis for the next set of decisions to reach my ultimate goal. I would not share the story with anyone until I felt the story did its job to Interrupt, Engage, Educate and Offer (the Marketing Equation). I want my message to be delivered clearly without regard to formatting.
The next step would be to share it with a trusted few to suggest edits and get comments. I would then incorporate the suggestions if they kept the story in tact and didn’t interfere with my intended goal.
Lastly, I would either put it into script format myself, or outsource that part to a professional script writer. Once that is done I would seek out an Agent to help me get the script in front of TV producers to find out if it would be purchased, and negotiate my involvement in the series moving forward.
I used a script writing example in this article, but this methodology works for all my projects. Whether I am doing a Network Marketing gig, landscape project, construction project, writing project, video project or any other project, I use the same key skills to stay motivated and on-track. Mostly keeping my end-goal (WHY) clearly in my mind, and trusting my instincts for taking action.
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