Everyone wants to take advantage of the valuable opportunities that lie ahead; But decisions are not always easy. Sometimes we spend a lot of time exploring different options, evaluating data, and lightening microscopic choices. Eventually, without making a decision, the opportunity is lost. We get dry the way we get, because we get analytical paralysis. The solution is a mindset that prioritizes swift action over endless assessment of the problem. In this article, we will tell you how to get rid of analytical paralysis caused by excessive thinking and analysis.
“Quick decision-making is critical to having a successful and dynamic business,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO. “Although the quality of the decision you make is not insignificant, it is better to make quick decisions, fail on the path of progress, learn from our mistakes and keep moving forward again, instead of standing still.”
Here are three ways to overcome analytical paralysis. These methods will help you to get out of stagnation and make a decisive decision.
Problem: Perfectionism drastically slows you down
For some people who consider themselves very smart, it is a matter of pride that they are always looking for the best and never give up. But when it comes to decision-making, sometimes trying to get the best ends at the cost of missing an opportunity, such as the profit lost during a best partner review or the market share left to competitors to achieve the best product offering.
Sometimes over-examination may lead to better choices; But according to research, too much research and analysis negatively affects the quality of decision making. The remarkable thing is that trying to reach the perfect decision often leads to poorer decisions!
Solution: Accept what is acceptable
Herbert Simon, a scientist and economist, coined the concept of decision-making and called it satisfactory decision-making. In this approach, the focus is on meeting needs and wants instead of improving benefits when making decisions. In other words, the person using this method will not continue the analysis as soon as the option that meets the main and necessary criteria is reached. But the maximizer continues to evaluate and analyze to reach the best option. Of the two, the maximist is more likely to avoid making decisions. When he makes a decision, he usually regrets it more!
How to avoid this situation? We are often afraid to make a decision whose consequences are irreversible, while Jeff Bezos says, “There is no turning back in most decisions!” By emphasizing a culture of shared responsibility and acceptable risk, we allow perfectionists to reject moderate but acceptable options.
Problem: Multiple options
It is nice to have endless options, literally; But in most work situations, too many options create deadlocks, slow down, and increase stress. In The Paradox of Choice, a psychologist named Barry Schwartz explains that too many choices often cause us to be skeptical and dissatisfied with our decisions.
According to research, in the face of multiple options, man either makes a bad decision or avoids making a decision at all! Part of this problem has to do with the law of diminishing returns. Many options will save you more time and effort. In the end, this will make the benefits of your choice unsatisfactory in terms of time and energy.
Because of this, an employee you hire quickly from 4 or 5 applicants may seem more valuable than someone you hired during the 6 months after 30 interviews!
Solution: Clearer goals, fewer options
Avoiding countless options requires discipline and proactivity. In the first step, you must clearly define your goal. You need to know if you are looking to “increase website traffic” or “increase the number of homeowners with children visiting the website?” By clearly defining goals, you will have clear criteria for evaluation that will eliminate inappropriate options more quickly.
Once the criteria have been determined, start the evaluation from the limited options. Even if it seems unreasonable, limit the options and do not go out of your way. Instead of reviewing 13 different accounting software, evaluate only 3.
If the decision is still difficult, divide the team into two groups. One working group assumes the initial constraint and the second group selects from the final list provided. The first group is not under pressure to decide on the final option, and the second group does not struggle with data anxiety and multiple options.
Problem: Multiple decisions
Even if we are good at making satisfactory decisions, over time, the need to make consistent decisions will diminish our resolve. In a study on car buyers, the cumulative effect of this cognitive error was investigated. The study found that buyers who decide on a wider range of car features will eventually turn to the same basic features, while paying more!
Solution: Strategic use of energy
It is not without reason that great thinkers like Einstein and Steve Jobs had a secluded wardrobe. Given the important decisions they made during the day, it made no sense to spend their valuable energy deciding on clothing!
Reduce the burden of decision-making by setting rules about certain decisions, especially automated and everyday decisions. From choosing clothes to arranging the customers you should contact. The more options you decide on in advance, the more mental capacity you will have to make important decisions.
Decision fatigue affects the quality and speed of choice. So it is better to decide on important issues at the beginning of the day or after rest, because the level of mental power is higher. Leave minor decisions to others, or even better, to others. With practice and over time, you will become accustomed to preventing analytical paralysis and speeding up your decision-making.
How many times a day do you make decisions? Are you in the habit of always looking at all aspects to make the best decision? Have you ever noticed that consistent decisions make your mind bored? Have you been looking for a solution to this problem? What solutions have you taken? It is good to share your experiences with us so that others can benefit from it.