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  • 16 Oct 2018

What Is Information Paralysis? And How to Overcome It

Information Paralysis

Whenever life takes us to crossroads, we always try to make the right decisions. Nobody ever wants to be wrong or make wrong decisions in life no matter how small the consequences may be.

But in our drive to be always right and the fear of mistakes, we may often become overwhelmed by the number of options available to us or by the sheer amount of information to be processed. This situation of getting stuck is known as information paralysis or analysis paralysis.

What Is Information Paralysis:

Information paralysis or analysis paralysis is a term used to define a situation when one just can’t make a decision about something by getting dumbfounded by the amount of information or options to be processed. There can be many reasons for such information paralysis to occur but the most prominent reasons are:

● Getting overwhelmed by the availability of options.

● Being dumbfounded by the amount of data to be processed by the mind.

● Over-complicating the related issues or overthinking about the issues involved.

● The compulsive urge to always make the right decision that forces to do more and more research.

● The fear of making a wrong choice.

Now, that we have defined analysis paralysis and have known the reasons behind it, let’s get into the process of how to overcome analysis paralysis.

Set a Deadline:

No matter how big or small the decision you have to take, set a deadline for taking it. Often, you will see that most of the decisions will automatically throw a time in front of you before which you have to take your decision. Setting a deadline will automatically make your mind alert and it will force you to take a decision based on the available resources up till then.

Don’t Be a Perfectionist:

Every perfectionist knows how nearly impossible it is to achieve perfection. The search perfection is one of the main instigators of information paralysis. Your desire to be perfect in each and every decision, keeps you forever on the decision making process as the more you will strive for perfection the more and more information will come on your way. So, to avoid analysis paralysis, always set goals to be moderately okay instead of totally perfect.

Know Your Objectives:

Often we make the mistake of trying to take decisions without having a clear idea of what exactly we want. As a result, we inevitably get stuck while taking decisions. On the other hand, if you have a clear perception of your objectives and what you want your decisions to bring your way, then the decision-making process becomes much easier and you easily get out of the analysis paralysis by simply choosing the options that lead to your objectives.

Follow Your Values:

Often when you are faced with analysis paralysis and thinking how to overcome analysis paralysis, just go back to your core values and beliefs. It can be anything from your spiritual beliefs, humanitarian beliefs or corporate ideology. And then judge each of the available options against these values. You will see many of the options are up against the core values you always try to uphold. In this way, you will be able to eliminate many of your options and be able to avoid analysis paralysis.

Get Help:

It can even happen at times that you are so much paralyzed by the sheer amount of pressure and information that you might need a fresh mind to judge and evaluate. So, it is always a great idea to get help from another expert mind who will be able to review everything with a fresh mind and offer unbiased perspectives into your decision-making process.

Break Your Main Decisions into Smaller Milestones:

This is also a great idea on how to avoid analysis paralysis. Instead of getting all the pressure right now you can break your main decisions into smaller actionable decisions so that you keep moving ahead instead of being stuck at the same place. It is always better to keep moving forwards than not moving at all. And then you can re-adjust the decision-making process along with the changes that take place.

Try to Develop Sharp Instinct:

Although it is difficult to connect with your instincts at times of analysis paralysis, it is doable with practice. You must have heard of emotional intelligence, it is just another name for your instincts. Whenever you are faced with such difficult decision making, start by trying to calm your mind and connect with your inner silence. Gradually, you will see that out of the depths of the calmness some guidance will emerge. Most of the time, it will guide you towards the right decision.

So, these are basically the ways to avoid analysis paralysis. Whenever you are faced with such paralyzing condition, follow to these tips to move ahead.

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