You’re too smart for your own good — which leads to analysis paralysis. And the good news is — you’re creative. And the bad news is — you’re creative. But how can being creative be a bad thing? Because you can think of way too many options. So the challenge is to focus and choose. Here’s how.

analysis paralysis

Analysis paralysis and you.

There are some men who live their lives without asking many questions. They just go about their business.

But that’s not you.

How to choose?

Because for some reason, you are blessed — and cursed — with a very active imagination. Which means that you can think of good reasons to choose options A, B, and C. Not to mention D, E, and F.

So how are you supposed to choose?

Start here.

The first step in choosing is easy and fun — if you’re willing to play. And here it is —

Write out as many options as you can think of.

And you might object. You might say that takes too much time and effort.

Is this you?

And if that’s you — You can stop reading now, and go back to your indecision. Which might seem harsh.

But hey — There’s a lot of comfort in indecision. In fact, when you’re stuck in indecision, you’re safe. Not very happy — But safe.

Or is this you?

But if you actually want to get focused and get moving —

Write out as many options as you can think of — with some space between the options. And then grab ten of anything. Ten smooth stones, ten pennies, ten allergy pills — And distribute those ten markers on your options.

Start with 10.

Because if you’re still with me — Then what you now have is perhaps 20 options with ten markers placed on them.

Look again at your sheet. Pretty sure those ten markers are on the most important options? If not — give yourself 5 minutes to move the markers around. O.K.

Now — Let’s say you started with 20 options and put your 10 markers (one each) on 10 of those options.

Reduce it to 3.

Cross off all but those 10 options. But keep the markers. And then, with those same 10 markers, apply them to these 10 options.

Because you can see what you’ve done, right? You’re reduced 20 options to 10 options. But now, you can only emerge with 3 of the 10. Which means that you could put all 10 markers on one of the options —

Or 7 of the markers on one of the options and two on the second option and one on the third — Or any combination where 10 of your markers end up on only 3 of the options.

You get the picture.

What did that cost you?

10 – 15 minutes. 30 minutes max.

And what have you gained?

Freedom from analysis paralysis. Because you actively engaged in choosing. And now you have a clear picture of which options are the most compelling — Saving you hours, maybe days of indecision.

Time to choose.

Because you see where we’re going with this, right? You are now down to 3 options with 10 markers. Because if you haven’t chosen by now — One more round, and you’ll have one clear winner.

Go with that one and get moving.

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