Do you spend more time planning than doing? Do you stay off task because you’re too busy reading how-to articles? Do you find yourself constantly changing your mind about which direction to take your company? There’s a word for this type of inaction. It’s called analysis paralysis – and it will be the death of your business.
Some people who suffer from analysis paralysis think of themselves as perfectionists. Sadly, perfectionism is like the worst micro-managing boss in the world. It makes you go over your work time and again, worrying if it’s good enough or if you’re making the right decision. Of course you should do your best, but when you spent too much time planning and revising rather than acting, your productivity will decline. And businesses with low productivity don’t stay alive. Here are three simple rules for avoiding analysis paralysis.
Don’t Expect Perfection
The secret to perfection lies in maximizing your assets and minimizing your flaws. Nobody’s actually perfect, and nobody expects you to be, either. Do what you’re good at, and do it well. If you’re an outgoing type, start discussions on your blog or Facebook page. If you’re more technical, create a video or add a new marketing widget to your web site. When faced with tasks that you don’t excel at, either take the time to learn how to do them well, or outsource them to someone who can do them better – freeing up your time to focus on your strong points.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
If you’ve viewed a web page in the past twenty years, you know that typos and misspellings are just a part of the Internet. Unless you’re an English major, a few mistakes probably won’t make you click away from a web site. The same is true for your online business. People come to your site to find valuable content that makes their lives easier. If you’ve made a few grammatical mistakes, so what? Just do your best and don’t sweat the rest.
This applies to other parts of your business as well. If you make a mistake that won’t cause any harm, don’t draw attention to it. Just fix it if you can and vow to do better next time. If it’s a serious mistake, own up to it and offer a genuine apology to anyone who was affected. Then figure out a way to prevent yourself from making the mistake again.
Do Get Things Done
Analysis paralysis does just what the name says: it paralyzes you. The hours you spend tweaking and nitpicking your work are hours you could be using to move your business forward. While you’re busy second-guessing your business plan, your competitors are busy stealing your market share. To keep your business alive, you’ve got to put your brand out there. It doesn’t matter if it’s perfect. What matters is that it’s seen.
Don’t let opportunities pass you by while you’re paralyzed by indecision. Break away from analysis paralysis by freeing yourself from distractions, focusing on your productivity, and giving yourself permission to stop stressing over small details.