“Hang on a second. Let me think about this. I’ll get to it tomorrow. … I’ll just get started on Monday (or Tuesday or Wednesday).”
Do you ever find yourself saying these things? Are you putting off decisions or projects that you know you should get to today—that you should prioritize, focus on, and implement to be more productive and move the needle forward in your life or in business?
If this sounds like you, you might be experiencing a common problem called analysis paralysis.
Here’s a sneak peek at what I’ll be diving into during my session, “Overcome Overthinking: Making Decisions to Get Things Done,” at the UKG HR & Payroll eSymposium in December.
What is analysis paralysis?
Analysis paralysis describes an individual or group that is unable to decide or act due to overanalyzing or overthinking a situation. Although situations vary, this could be caused by overthinking the problem, incorrectly believing a solution is just around the corner, having too much data to sort through, or not having enough data to form an accurate enough assessment of the situation. Worse yet? Having to delay decisions due to inaccurate data because you’re using antiquated systems or software.
The business consequences of overthinking
There are many negative consequences to analysis paralysis in business, and these consequences can have great impacts on the employee experience, business success, and our own experiences as human resources professionals. When faced with the challenge of analysis paralysis, critical time and productivity are lost while trying to reach a consensus on a decision. Oftentimes we fail to act on a new idea, project, or initiative because we are comfortable with existing processes. But consider that staying “comfortable” in business might be preventing your company or your workforce from getting ahead of the ever-changing workplace landscape. Furthermore, it might be costing you undue effort, time, and workplace burdens that you don’t have to carry.
Consider that staying “comfortable” in business might be preventing your company or your workforce from getting ahead of the ever-changing workplace landscape.
Another way analysis paralysis presents itself is not in the form of decision making, but in the failure of having important conversations that are needed to move forward with decisions. A common form of this is delaying conversations with executives and other decision makers. If you are delaying making decisions due to not getting approval, and have no approval because of delaying important conversations, ask yourself what is holding you back from doing so. Is it fear? Company culture? Or something else?
Overanalyzing is a thief of productivity, although it’s not always apparent when you’re in the midst of overanalyzing or even just examining thoroughly. Delaying action while overanalyzing information clearly doesn’t help when it comes to getting things done. It is harder to make decisions when we are overwhelmed and, in a world where we are taking in incredible amounts of data in what seemingly seems like each second, it becomes even more complex.
How to be more productive
As work and working environments continue to evolve, those in the business of people (HR, payroll, recruiters, managers, etc.) have a unique opportunity to improve the lives of workers by making decisions—and seeing them through—to improve the employee experience, ultimately having a positive domino effect on all areas of the business.
I’ll make the first decision easy for you: Join my session, “Overcome Overthinking: Making Decisions to Get Things Done,” at the UKG HR & Payroll eSymposium in December to learn how many informed decisions we make a day, and the astounding number of remotely conscious decisions we make each day. Each of these decisions, while they carry different weight, can have consequences that range from good, bad, or somewhere in between—in both life and work. The question becomes: Are we bold enough to make them?