Analysis paralysis is kind of like being stuck in quicksand. You’re thinking so much about making the perfect decision that you end up sinking deeper into indecision. It’s that overwhelming feeling when you have so many options or so much information that you freeze up, unable to move forward. 

When you work in sales, you might face this feeling often as you deal with multiple products, strategies and client preferences. Not knowing which choice to make can stall the decision-making process, leading to missed opportunities and lost deals.

Sarah Laoyan, a work management expert and contributor to the Asana blog, says analysis paralysis can have lingering effects on your performance at work, regardless of your role. When you overthink, you waste valuable energy, making it harder to focus. Overthinking also decreases your creativity.

What can you do to move past analysis paralysis and make better decisions? We share Laoyan’s four-step path in this issue of PromoPro Daily.

  1. Give yourself a decision deadline. If you don’t have a deadline, you can go back and forth for days, weeks or months without ever deciding anything. The best course of action, according to Laoyan, is to set yourself a specific time frame for when the decision needs to be made.
  2. Pare down your options. Do this early in the decision-making process to simplify things. This can also help prevent overwhelm. Laoyan suggests determining what you want your outcome to be and then getting rid of any options that don’t fit the qualifications of that outcome.
  3. Practice deciding things quickly. Start with small choices, like what to eat for breakfast or what snacks to pack in your kids’ lunches. These minor choices help you become more decisive when making bigger decisions, Laoyan says.
  4. Create a framework for your process. According to Laoyan, following a step-by-step guide can take away some of the cognitive heavy work that’s required to make a big decision. Following a structured approach can help you build confidence in your decision-making by reducing overwhelm and indecision and promoting timely action.

It requires a mindset shift to overcome analysis paralysis. Remember that not every decision needs to be flawless. It’s better to take some action – even if it’s not necessarily the perfect action – rather than stay stuck.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Sarah Laoyan is a work management expert who contributes to the Asana blog. Asana is a collaborative work management software.