Analysis Paralysis

Have you ever sat down with the intention of starting a new project and realized you had no idea how to start?

What happened next? Did you begin the project, or did you put it off for later? I would be willing to bet that you chose the latter.

When the quest for the perfect answer results in delayed work, you are suffering from analysis paralysis. In other words, you are worried about going in the wrong direction, so instead, you do nothing. Your fear of making the wrong decision keeps you from moving forward.

Confucius once said, “Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.” And the French literary historian Voltaire wrote, “the perfect is the enemy of the good.”

I bet both men were struggling with analysis paralysis when they uttered these phrases. They are both getting at the same point, that often it is better to act now rather than waiting for the perfect plan.

This is something that Jocko Willink and Leif Babin touch on in Extreme Ownership: How US Navy Seals Lead and Win. Given their military experience and the life and death decisions that they were making, they explain, “a plan is better than no plan.”

This statement holds true for all of us. The feeling of not knowing what to do is a frightening feeling. It can be paralyzing. But we can’t let that feeling win, we must move forward.

Even as I write this, I realize I did not have a complete plan when I started. I just knew the message I wanted to share. Despite that, I wrote down my thoughts with the hope that the plan would solidify as I was in action. While I admit this piece is far from perfect, it is accomplishing my goal: its completion, so I can share my thoughts with you.

Don’t let analysis paralysis stop you from moving forward. Even a small step is a step in the right direction.

Until next time…we are Advoco, make every minute count.

About Colin: Colin Whitney is a Solutions Architect with Advoco and looks forward to helping others achieve their EAM goals. He is a graduate of both the University of Iowa and the University of Georgia. When he is not working he enjoys getting outside and watching college football. Questions? Send Colin an email!