Make Peace with Decision Making: 4 Ways to Stop Overanalyzing Everything
Do you feel like you holding yourself back from what you really want? Do you suffer from analysis paralysis? Do you miss opportunities because you take so long to think things through?
You aren’t alone with overanalyzing things in your life. Overanalyzing can range from overthinking every little problem until each one becomes a much larger perceived problem (and now too scary to do) to breaking down what would be a positive thing so far that it is now a negative thing (and too scary to do).
It can be really hard to enjoy the happiness of the moment because if feels like everything attempt has to be scripted to the nth degree. This situation called paralysis by analysis. In other words, something gets analyzed (overanalyzed) to the point that it doesn’t get done.
What should be clarified here is there is a difference between thinking things through and over analysis. It is prudent in many cases to think things through to make sure all the bases are covered. The difference is people who think things through first end up doing them, whereas people that over analyze end up not following through.
To help overcome this problem, let’s look at four ways of overcoming it…
1) Look at things from a wider perspective
Before counting something out as not doing it, ask yourself how (or if) it will matter in 5 years from now or even in a few weeks. If it is something that is short-lived, avoid overthinking it and just do it! There is a lot to be said for taking imperfect action and moving forward. It took me a long time to decide that I was going to launch into the health and fitness industry as my full time profession, it was a scary decision. I'm very glad I took the leap.
2) Limit the time to make decisions
For people having a tendency to overanalyze something, having an unlimited amount of time to come to a decision may result not making a decision at all (paralysis by analysis). For small decisions, limit the decision time to 30 seconds or less; for larger decisions, allow 30 minutes to a few hours depending on the scope and importance of the issue needing deciding. Setting a time limit makes you come to a decision one way or the other.
3) Reduce stress
Here are some things that helps reduce stress:
Start your day on a positive note. It usually sets the tone for the rest of the day.
If you haven’t already, break down larger tasks into smaller chunks (what is the smallest step you can take right now?).
Take regular breaks. It helps clear the mind and once back at your work, things look different and usually more positive. Stretch, dance, get outside, talk to a friendly person, or meditate.
Avoid information overload. Consider having scheduled times that you deal with emails. Then set yourself up to work with as little interruption as possible. Don't let everything become a huge fire that you have to put out. You'll likely need to inform those who work with you of your new strategy.
Lay out the schedule for the next day before leaving work for the day. That way you can start organized the next day and avoid spinning your wheels.
4) Realize you can’t control everything
You just can’t. So, it is better to devote your time to dealing with the things you can control and not waste time on the things you can’t. If you don’t, in the end you just get frustrated because of all the time you wasted that did not improve that situation. Becoming adaptable takes practice, so does the awareness that if a situation keeps presenting itself as a dumpster fire, perhaps it's time for you to consider an alternative environment.
In this article, we looked at 4 ways you can start using today to stop (or at least lessen) the amount of time spent overanalyzing everything. By implementing just these 4 things, you will get more done and spend less time spinning your wheels.
Here is a downloadable infographic to keep you focused on what matters for your life.
Have fun with less stress and more enjoyment in your life!