Analysis Paralysis

| July 1, 2019 | 0 Comments

How to stop self-sabotaging your new business

What is analysis paralysis and how you can overcome it

I have suffered from a condition which many of you will share, and one which I used to fear there was no cure for – analysis paralysis, or procrastination.

My wife coined the term ‘analysis paralysis’ because, according to her, I couldn’t seem to start a project or task until I had all the facts and figures laid out in front of me. Until I fully understood what needed doing, I did nothing.

It was a fair criticism. I’ve lost track of the number of things I started with enthusiasm and then abandoned when the next awesome idea came along, and so the cycle started all over again.

Is there a cure?

I know I’m far from alone when it comes to procrastinating, but it can feel debilitating at times and can really impact your mood if you feel you never get anything done.

Over the years I have developed a ‘coping strategy’ which I’d like to share. It may work for you and it may not, but as with so many things in life, it’s really a case of trial and error until you find your own way to combat analysis paralysis.

Getting started

First things first, you need to acknowledge that you’re procrastinating before you can address it as a problem. You can lie to others about being busy, but you can’t lie to yourself and you’ll know when you’re simply putting off taking the leap.

Next up, write down the main goal or outcome you want to see and set out a rough time frame or schedule to work to. After that, write down a list of each component or task which needs doing, because who doesn’t like crossing things off a list? The more you can break the job down into manageable chunks, the easier you’ll find it to keep the momentum going.

The reward centre in your brain gets fired up every item you can strike something off the to-do list, so the more bullet points you have on there the better. A little self-bribery helps too. Promise yourself a reward for completing the task, whether that’s a cup of coffee or that expensive pair of shoes you had your eye on.

On your marks, get set, go!

Now get to work! Minimise distractions and tackle the jobs which need doing in a logical order. Finally, get someone to check up on your progress – my wife has developed a sixth sense for when I might start stalling and holds me to account for it. Tough love, but it works.

Now over to you – if you have your own coping mechanism, I’d love to hear about it!

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Category: Starting Your Own Business

About the Author ()

A former vice president of a major US Bank, Greg Beacher graduated from the University of Luton/Bedfordshire in 1998 as a mature student. Since then he has gained over 20 years experience in Software Development encompassing development, project and programme management, test, environment and release management. Greg is an advocate of Continuous Integration, Agile Development, and DevOps. Greg currently operates his own freelance software development business working with companies of all sizes and also is a consultant visiting lecturer at the university that taught him so many years ago. Greg is part of the Industry Advisory Board helping the University maintain the high quality of under-graduate and post-graduate courses they provide.

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