Three Ways to Tell if You're Suffering From 'Analysis Paralysis'

14/08/2012 15:35 BST | Updated 12/10/2012 10:12 BST

I love this phrase. Unfortunately I don't think I hear it enough. Maybe I don't hear it enough because people don't actually have it, but I don't think that's true.

I was on a call this week with Marianne Cantwell over at Free Range Humans and she was talking about how, in today's world, we all suffer from a massive case of information overload.

There's so much information at out fingertips that it actually works to our disadvantage. I have to tell you, my boyfriend gets so frustrated with me at the supermarket because I spend so long trying to work out what the 'healthiest' snack is (this is even more stupid because I pretty sure fruit would be a completely acceptable answer, but I'm weighing up the different types of chocolate bars and crisps!). People never worried about this stuff 20 years ago.

However now, with the internet, people have so much stuff to read they only take in half of it and it all conflicts - what this results in is complete and utter confusion.

If you're anything like me, you're a bit indecisive by nature, which, when coupled with all the information you're bombarded with, leaves you damn near incapable of making any decision at all.

So, you do more research, mull it over, have another thing and before long you're even more confused that when you started.

How do you know when you're falling in to this big dark pit of confusion - here are my three ways to tell if you're suffering from 'analysis paralysis':


1. You had an idea of what the answer was in the beginning, but now you're not so sure.

2. You've spent way longer researching the answer to a decision that isn't proportionately worth it e.g. my spending ten minutes in the crisp aisle for a bag of crisps I'll devour in five minutes and work off on my daily cycle to work.

3. Despite all your research and pros and cons lists, you still have no idea what to do and are contemplating going over everything again.

I'm sure most of you will have had times when you've felt like this, but most probably, you've not done anything constructive to get yourself out if it.

You might not have known what to do in the past, but seeing the problem is half the battle as they say!

The best way I've found to avoid this annoyingly common situation is to learn to trust yourself and cut out the crap.

If you search for minimalistic living on Google there are tonnes of websites on how to simplify your life (ironically) but the reason these sites came in to being is valid - Leo Babutawas one of the first people to 'mainstream' living simple, with the goal of increasing his productivity. He built a very successful online blog and business whilst working full time with six kids - so the man obviously knows what he's talking about!

Reducing the amount of time you spend online or 'researching' can be a Godsend.

If you really do need to do some research on a subject you know little about, restrict the number of sites you visit, people you ask or books you read to the ones that seem the most informed. Get a viewpoint from both sides of the picture then leave it at that.

By far the most important tool in resisting analysis paralysis and actually making a decision is your own confidence in yourself.

Learning to trust yourself to make judgement calls is possibly one of the most important things you can do in your life, without it you live in constant fear and dependent on other people to choose how you live your life (I know this from personal experience).

I can't tell you how to have more faith in yourself - that would be the same as me telling you what to do, however, if you're struggling with getting over the initial block of self-confidence, take a look at my e-course or consider working with me 121.

The most important thing is to take that leap of faith. Without it, nothing further can come.

Spoiler - you probably will fail at some point. You will get it wrong. This doesn't mean you picked wrong; on the contrary, it means you picked right for the lesson you had to learn. Figure out the lesson, learn it and pick again.

Life holds a world of possibilities, don't waste it sat on the sidelines trying to decide which team to play for.

Taken from my blog.