Stop over-researching and go act on it
As I am writing these words I am thinking that I should research 5 more different topics before actually being worthy of writing. I am thinking that before putting words together I need to have all the expertise I can get even if I want to write something from personal experience. Don’t get me wrong, some research is necessary for most of the articles, here I am talking about being in analysis paralysis.
How many times did you want to start a personal project, a business or just to learn a new skill but you’ve got stuck on all the details, what others did, the how-to videos without action, the books, and the documentaries. I’m guilty of not acting on so many ideas because I thought I am not prepared. I usually get overwhelmed with the information and then give up.
Flash news. You will never be fully prepared just from knowing the theory. I’ve managed to deal with this analysis paralysis just by trial and error. It’s ok to admit that some ideas will not become reality even after deep research. Say goodbye and move to the next one, maybe what you’ve learned before will help you. Here are my 3 ways to deal with analysis paralysis:
- Go deep. I am already aware that I will get into the analysis paralysis mode when I want to create something new, so I’ll allow myself 1 to 2 hours of deep research. If I know I have a limited time I will not get derailed by checking something less relevant to my topic. Setting a timer helps.
- Make a plan. How am I going to act once the research is done, even if I feel like I don’t know anything? This looks different for everyone and depends on what you are planning to try doing. For me, it works well to start writing everything I know about the area I want to get into, from random words to explanations, anything counts. This will show you that you know more than you think (sometimes less, but that’s a good wake-up call as well). After this, I will take the smallest possible action, such as writing a paragraph, drawing 3 lines, preparing my running shoes, organizing a shelf, booking one Spanish lesson, and so on. You get the idea. This will help me get the thing going. Often you will do more because you want to see what will happen if you spend a little more time practicing, curiosity and motivation are waking up within you. As part of your initial plan after writing 2 or 3 small actions to achieve you should write a bigger goal as well that could be accomplished in 3 to 6 months and to calculate how often should you practice or produce something in order to achieve your goal (try to be realistic and honest about your capacities and time, don’t set unachievable goals).
- Build consistency. In order for your plan to work you need to keep that schedule running. Just writing down how you will do it is not enough. That is why starting with small actions and being honest is crucial. In order for you to show up, you don’t need to feel overwhelmed by all the things you should do and know, in this way you will just go back to analysis paralysis. Better to show up every day (or as many times per week as you set to)for a few minutes than to show up for a full day only once.
Rember that you need to act no matter how scared or unconfident you feel. By acting you learn so much more than just reading about it. If you fail at your first try, and most of us will, try to see it as a learning point, understand what went wrong, rest for a bit, and get back to it.