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 Getting one!
How Do I Overcome Paralysis by Analysis?
Believe it or not the thinking it out and writing it out (usually in the form of blog posts) is therapeutic to 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 with 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.
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 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?
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 lets 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 create 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?