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Antidotes to Analysis Paralysis

Posted on: Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Have you wondered…and wondered…and wondered and felt that you were not arriving any closer to a conclusion, decision or solution? You may be experiencing analysis paralysis.

More specifically analysis paralysis involves:

  • Over thinking too many options so no choice is made
  • Seeking the ‘perfect’ solution and unable to act with real available options
  • Perceiving the decision as being very complicated and monumental
  • Fear that if one ‘wrong’ decision is made this could lead to disaster

While it is true that some people are more analytical than others (thinkers versus doers), making decisions and finding solutions should result in decisions and solutions and not remain in endless thinking.


Antidotes that many have found helpful include:

  • Break it Down!
    Fracture a seemingly complicated decision into smaller parts and focus on making one decision about the first small part. The old adage, “how do you eat an elephant? – – > One bite at a time.”
  • Pick the Winner!
    Identify your goal, set out your options, consider which options are most likely to meet your goals and then pick the winning option.
  • Commit to Action!
    Decide that at a certain point you will act! … With inconclusive data, imperfect analysis and some level of uncertainty
  • Adapt!
    If at first unsuccessful, modify goals, expectations and go on to the next option. It’s not those whose paths are perfectly straight that succeed but those who can roll with the curves.
  • Believe!
    Determine that you will find a way in the end and this may be through a series of near misses, great successes, almost failures and super triumphs! Each step will give you some feedback and information that will make the next step…or the next bite easier to manage and swallow!
  • Think While Walking!
    And finally, my favorite, is DON’T think sitting down or lying down! When you are moving/active your mind is in ‘action oriented’ mode and this helps to make decisions and focus on getting things done! So plan a walk when you need to make some decisions or have your meetings standing up.

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