The Perils Of Analysis Paralysis
Studying, preparing and planning are good qualities that any leader should always be practicing and improving on.
Unfortunately, that is were many people get stuck frozen in their leadership and personal lives.
As part of the overall plan of any goal or project, those preparation steps are essential. But by themselves, spinning one’s wheels in endless analyzing, refining and waiting for the right time or data to determine action will lead to lost opportunity.
This behavior is simply called “Analysis Paralysis”.
Here’s a simple example of AP in action – a person in line at the drive thru who looks at the large menu and can’t make up their mind what to order, at the consternation of the patrons behind them.
Based on this simplistic example, analysis paralysis can result in following negative consequences that could translate into similar ramifications in our professional or personal lives:
- It fosters anxiety in the person who can’t make a decision and those around them
- Logjams are created that hold up processes and progress
- Many times the data won’t change with continued analyzing
- Gaming the system might result after prolonged indecision
- Decisive competitors and potentially employees might pass you by
Understanding AP and it’s causes can help one overcome the stranglehold of this pattern of behavior. The reasons that someone might suffer from AP:
- Fear of making the wrong decision
- Too much information to process
- No sense of delegation to help in decision making
- Tough competition
- Waiting for just the right time to move forward
- Expecting circumstances or data to change
- Being overwhelmed in this and other projects
Recognizing analysis paralysis in yourself and its causes is the first step to start gaining momentum.
If you suffer from AP, start by asking others for help. Input from others can allay any fears, give perspective on the meta of circumstances around you, help analyze data from other viewpoints, and assure you that you are not alone in your decision making.
Spending extra time in planning and analysis is only one part of success. Nothing was ever accomplished merely by studying and reading. All progress has to be intiitated after the information is understood.
Determine the steps you need to move forward and ask others to help you overcome analysis paralysis. You’ll soon find a balanced approach to achieving more in your career and life.