The person afflicted became so obsessed with analyzing every possible scenario and variable that they became unable to make any decision at all.
Unfortunately, this terrible sickness can affect anyone, even people who hate numbers and normally shun long involved studies.
Those suffering from Analysis Paralysis are like a deer caught in a car’s headlights. Unable to take action, they get struck down.
Find out if you have it and how to cure it today.
Do You Have Analysis Paralysis?
If you’ve answered yes (or a long drawn out noooo because it isn’t exactly like your situation) then you are suffering from this disease.
You have Analysis Paralysis.
What drives this behavior? Often, you are so focused on not making the wrong decision that you fail to act at all. Perhaps you are concerned that you are overlooking one really important fact that could change everything. Or you simply are not sure of exactly how others will react.
Like the deer blinded by headlights on the highway, the outcome for this behavior is not promising.
The hard, cold truth is that life is uncertain. Although it pains this numbers geek to say it, even the most well-crafted, well-thought-out model is still a guess – a really educated guess, a guess built on a complex, multipage spreadsheet that does everything (except windows). But it is still a guess.
Treating Analysis Paralysis
Does this mean you get to just throw out a number and run with it? No.
Here’s the other danger of Analysis Paralysis: you can’t just stop evaluating decisions. Imagine if you did. For instance, if the deer in our earlier example immediately jumped out of the way, and right into oncoming traffic. Not good.
Yet, choosing not to act at all could get you splattered too.
Here are some questions to consider before you act. They will help you understand the impact, but not let you get tripped up with the minutia.
Often business decisions are like playing horseshoes or lobbing hand grenades, close is good enough. If a small horde of invading barbarians is rushing your position, do you:
Choosing (a) means getting captured and maybe even killed. Choosing (b) should stop at least some, if not all the invaders, increasing your chances of survival.
The next time you are struggling with a decision, I suggest you open your eyes to check for barbarians.
Please share a time that you have suffered from Analysis Paralysis. How did you overcome it? Or if you didn’t, what was the result? Let us know in the comments below!