How To KILL Analysis Paralysis
Analysis Paralysis has killed more time in my career than anything else. If you’ve grown up in the digital information age and are looking to carve a path out of the millions of different options that await you, then you probably feel the same.
A lot of would-be entrepreneurs, freelancers and possible business-emperors are underachievers not because of a lack of willpower or a lack of ideas. Some just don’t want to put the hours in, but most would gladly put in the hours if only they knew what to do.
Let’s talk about this problem. First, we’ll define analysis paralysis (for those of you who don’t know.) Then we’ll fix it with a simple question that you ask yourself. Then we’ll talk about adding the bells and whistles, and finally, I’ll throw you some more links to stuff I’ve written. I’ll do that last bit in full anticipation of you not reading them, because that’d be analysis paralysis, wouldn’t it?
What Is Analysis Paralysis?
Analysis paralysis is an insidious form of procrastination. It’s insidious because it doesn’t feel like procrastination.
Essentially, analysis paralysis is that thing you do when you’ve got too many options; you do nothing.
For the young gun who wants to learn about online business, it’s the act of reading a ton of online forums and never quite finding the method which you think will guarantee you success.
It’s the nights spent worrying about whether you should really risk spending $10 on a domain name and $5 a month on hosting to try and make a website.
It’s the idea that you don’t need to work today because hey, the internet will still be there tomorrow so you can make money then.
When you’re given too many options, you’ll often fall into the trap of not selecting any of them. A day goes by, it’s followed by another, and before you know it the world has flown past you.
All because you couldn’t make a decision about what to do and when.
It’s easy to get stuck in this trap – arguably, there’s been no point in history where the world was more open and success was more possible. There are millions of opportunities and if you think about all the things you could do and should do, then you would easily get overwhelmed.
Luckily, you don’t have to think about those things. Instead, answer the question below.
How To Kill Analysis Paralysis With ONE Simple Question
In the beginning, you only need one question.
How Do I Start?
All the learning materials in the world are absolutely useless without your own action. If you act, then you’ll find that you don’t really need all the learning materials in the world anyway.
In this article about my own mistakes, I said that you should spend more time doing and less time reading. That’s true, and it’s the same of learning, asking questions and generally engaging in analysis paralysis.
You need 90% action, 10% learning and 0% whining.
When Do You Add Bells and Whistles?
Let’s say you want to be a writer. You want to write great books that people read.
So you follow my advice above. You ask, “Where do I start?”
You realise that there’s no point in doing anything else until you’ve written a book. I mean that literally. You need to write a book. It doesn’t matter if it’s great, terrible or somewhere in between.
Pick a story or topic. Write until you’ve got something book length.
- “But what if I run out of ideas?”
- “What if my plot is terrible?”
- “How do I write about X?”
- “How do I know what I’m writing is good?”
Those questions don’t matter. Your book can’t be terrible if it doesn’t exist. Neither can your business, website or the legacy that you’re going to leave behind to be studied in Universities in 500 years.
All those things that occur in your mind at this stage don’t exist. There is no point in thinking about them or considering them.
Even more insidious are questions like these:
- “How do I format my book?”
- “How long does my book need to be?”
- “When do I publish it?”
- “Don’t I need an agent?”
- “How much royalties do books earn?”
These are analysis paralysis questions in disguise – they look like productive things to ask. They’re not at all. Don’t you dare ask them. Not until your book is finished.
Your manuscript needs to sit finished on your desk or computer before you ask any question other than “Have I finished my book yet?”
You can add the bells and whistles after you’ve completed your project.
Other Links and Final Thoughts
Alright, we’ve cured analysis paralysis. You’re going to start and you’re going to finish your project. You’ve got no further need of me.
For those of you that haven’t clicked off the article yet to go and fulfil your dreams, here’s some more help:
- Dispelling all the reasons not to start writing
- How much time do you need to complete a project?
- Want to be a writer? Do a little a day
- New Year’s Resolutions and How To Succeed With Them
- Beginner Copywriter Questions And How To Answer Them
If you really need to keep reading, then the above will help you. Warning though: It’s more of the same. A central theme in my articles is that you need to do stuff – preferably lots of it – and then find out where to improve as you go along.
It’s tough to overcome analysis paralysis, procrastination and fear, but when you do, you’ll feel unstoppable.
Get to it.