Paralysis by Analysis or Analysis Paralysis can be defined as
over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation, so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome. A decision can be treated as over-complicated, with too many detailed options, so that a choice is never made, rather than try something and change if a major problem arises. A person might be seeking the optimal or “perfect” solution upfront, and fear making any decision which could lead to erroneous results, when on the way to a better solution.
I think I have a natural tendency to be paralyzed by analysis. I think this blog highlights that problem, look how much analysis/thought went into some recent posts (some of it may have been necessary):
- Creating Multiple Streams of Income with Dividend Investing
- Is Cell Phone Insurance Worth it?
- Search for a Rental Car and Not Get one!
How Do I Overcome Paralysis by Analysis?
Believe it or not, thinking it out and writing it out (usually in the form of blog posts) is therapeutic for me to get stuff done. I don’t have any training nor have I read any books on this particular topic, I just know how I handle the situation.
Determine Your Issue
I usually start by really trying to determine my issue. The issue needs to be clearly defined, otherwise you’ll be flopping around without a clue how to even analyze it.
Do the Results Matter?
I next determine that even if I were to do all the analyzing in the world would it matter? Personal Finance is sometimes not about numbers, so next, I try to determine whether am I going to ignore the numbers.
If I am going to ignore what the numbers tell me, then I try to stop the paralysis and make some moves. If however, I want the numbers I determine how can I analyze the problem.
How Are You Going to Analyze It?
I know that when I figure out whether that analysis won’t change my mind, half my problems fade away and I can make a decision. But let’s say you don’t have an issue that needs to be analyzed how do you do it?
If I have a numbers issue – I go to see the best site ever to see if someone has already created a calculator for the problem. If not, I grab a plain old excel spreadsheet!
If it is not a number issue, I try to put a simple pros and con list together (maybe I’ll do it in my head lol), and then…
YOU HAVE THE QUESTION, YOU HAVE THE ANSWER – MAKE SOME MOVES! DO IT
Ever get paralyzed by analysis?