Curing Analysis Paralysis


This is how I’ve felt in trying to write this week’s post as I reminisced how Jep, a close friend of mine from high school, and I used to overanalyze the Harry Potter books and the movies we watched together. We’d spend hours dissecting scenes or lines for pure pleasure. It never really had a purpose other than an enjoyable conversation.

I laugh at how luxurious those times were. These days, between family life and work, time is a precious commodity. So, immobility, including “being stuck,” is a nuisance.

Where I often see things stalling is in wanting to know every angle, every possibility, and every available data point. Sure, “In God we trust, all else must bring data,” but when is analysis enough?

Analysis paralysis is a perfectionist’s haven and heaven. It pauses a decision or action due to the perceived lack of information. Unfortunately, I see it way too often. It is not an effective way to get things done.

Becky Kane writes an extensive and excellent article on overcoming the barrier of overthinking. My approach is more straightforward: fail forward. You will never know what the data proves until you act on it. I particularly like Amazon’s leadership principle on Bias for Action:

Speed matters in business. Many decisions and actions are reversible and do not need extensive study.

With that, I’m keeping this post short as I follow my advice and move forward from my “stuckness.”

One Reply to “Curing Analysis Paralysis”

  1. I have a hard time imagining you paralyzed for very long. But if you say so, I have to take your word. I wonder if some analysis paralysis isn’t a system’s need to catch up from being overtaxed? Probably not. TBH, I hate analysis paralysis. That’s why I’m often impulsive to the point of putting myself in danger. (But what’s life w/o a bit of danger?)

Help me find my way.

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