Many entrepreneurs before you and many entrepreneurs after you have experienced analysis paralysis and will experience it because of too many choices available. No doubt, some had conquered it, but there are some who have not yet.

Too Many Choices

Here are two examples of analysis paralysis –

Right after you have graduated from high school, what were your plans? Had you already been accepted to a reputed college? Maybe you planned on attending a local junior college first. Or maybe you wanted to gain work experience. Some people have done all that, but then they just freeze. With so much of opportunities laying open to them, they feel that they only have one decision to make and it must be right…otherwise. Some end of incessantly examining the options but never make a decision and this can be a prime time for analysis paralysis.

There was a time when supermarkets have only three to four different kinds of bread on offer. An Apple could only be Macintosh, Granny Smith, or Red Delicious and coffee was limited to a can of Yuban, Folgers or Maxwell House. Now, bread takes up an entire section; there is a huge number of apple varieties and coffee comes in cans, bags and pods. There are also multitudes of brands available, each with numerous varieties. All this has resulted in longer decision-making time coupled with long and serious consideration before you buy the final product. The supermarket has become a real training ground for analysis paralysis itself.

So what is Analysis Paralysis?

It is when you become so involved in examining or evaluating information that you fail to make a decision or take action.

While you have a lot of other options to consider when you are struck with something, like say, as a high school graduate if you feel overwhelmed, you can afford to take a few months off to work things out. But as a business person, the endless consideration of factors and data can prevent you from starting and even cost you opportunities and income.

Extinct by Instinct

It is also not a good idea to just make a decision for the sake of doing it. This way, you will end up extinct by instinct.

Extinct by instinct is a situation where you were adversely affected by a decision which you made too quickly, based on “feeling” rather than sufficient information. Even to the point that, you lost everything. This seems to be inspired by analysis paralysis.
On the left side of a horizontal line, write “extinct by instinct” and on the right side, write “analysis paralysis”. This is a scale with two extremes –

Extinct by instinct ——–|——–|——–|——–|——–|——–analysis paralysis

In the middle of the scale, there is the “sweet spot”. This is the spot where you have collected and reviewed sufficient amount of information to be able to make a right decision.

So, how do you get there?

Exponential Curve of Excellence

Bob Bly is a renowned copywriter with clients such as AT&T, Chase Manhattan, General Electric, IBM, and Microsoft and he talks about the “exponential curve of excellence” and how one can apply it to efficiently and effectively produce your best work.

The first thing to remember and understand is that there is no such thing as “perfect”. With hard work and dedication, you can achieve a high degree of excellence or accuracy, but you can never attain perfection.

With research and writing, Bly further demonstrates the curve and said that you get the best of your effort at the beginning. For example, the first hour or two of online research will provide you with the most valuable information. Any further research will not result in an equal amount of useful information.

When you reach this point, the curve starts to flatten out, and your return on investment begins to decline.

The exponential curve of excellence is applicable for other jobs as well … even the job of making decisions.

The information search that you perform for any action will be found relatively early. And “relatively” because all forms of data do not move at the same pace. The internet, with over 4billion online pages, is providing all the information you need to find in a very short time.

However, it could take even longer time for you to make a sound decision if the information that you are searching is not available online.

Final Thought

But, taking a decision that did not work out is way better than not taking any decision at all.

Now you know when to make the right decision or take any action. It is early on in your information search and review. Any further time spent in searching information, will not result in critical or valuable information – only procrastination and analysis paralysis.

Sahaj Kothari
Founder of BusinessBoost.xyz
Award winning author | Serial entrepreneur | Business coach