Paralysis by analysis; why overachievers fail

I was talking to my friend the other day when she mentioned that she felt paralysis by analysis and it was keeping her from starting her own business. I must admit that I also suffer from this and I feel like it’s keeping me from achieving things I’m capable of. The definition of paralysis by analysis from reference.com is

Analysis paralysis is a phrase that describes:

when the opportunity cost of decision analysis exceeds the benefits.
informal or nondeterministic situations when the sheer quantity of analysis overwhelms the decision making process, preventing a decision.

From my own experience, I feel like I can’t even pick a domain name because I can’t decide if I like the name of my

blog enough. Seriously? I don’t want to spend $13 in case I change my mind about a blog I started months ago…
We spend so much time analyzing every decision that no decision is made and, most often, no decision is the worst one to choose.

I thought it might help some others to give some tips about getting over this inability to decide.
– Take a break and do an unrelated fun activity like watching a tv episode or troll around on 9Gag (a troll is a person who replies/posts things just to infuriate others and provoke an angry response)
– Step away from the project and get an outsider’s opinion, someone who isn’t invested in you somehow. Sometimes you are too close to the project and can’t see something that is blatantly obvious to someone else.
– Sometimes liquid courage does the trick. I might want to state now that I am not qualified to actually give advice so please don’t sue me if you take it. Anyways, one way to get past your anxieties to to drink up. I don’t think I would have ever gotten Scuba certified if I hadn’t been drunk when I agreed to it.
– You can try making a list of pluses and minuses of making a decision but I feel like this might just perpetuate the indecision.
– I don’t know; I’m having trouble making decisions about which tips to include on this because I might end up sounding like a boob. (Ha! I love saying things like boob).

Alright, I hoped this helped but I having a feeling it didn’t so I’m going to get a glass on wine and rethink my decision to post this.

Sources:
Paralysis of Analysis definition

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2 thoughts on “Paralysis by analysis; why overachievers fail

  1. I’ve also heard it called “The Hamlet Syndrome.” Hamlet was paralyzed with indecision about what to do about his father’s death, partly because he couldn’t be certain of the truth of the situation. His father’s ghost, after all, was the one that claimed he was murdered. Hamlet couldn’t be sure he was even sane.

    Anyway, it works for me. Think I’ll have some ice cream. Or a beer. Or both. Oh, I don’t know…

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