People who overanalyze every possible contingency in the process of making a decision can waste considerable time.
Stack calls this phenomenon the “vapor lock of the brain,” and reminds readers to adopt the old “motion beats meditation” philosophy of getting things done—or as Nike so famously put it—“just do it!”
“Motion in any direction shatters the ice of indecision,”
She also offers some comprehensive tips on shaking a case of analysis paralysis—or even simple foot dragging due to uncertainty. Included in her seven point guidelines to clear the brain vapor lock, Stack recommends:
1. Consciously rejecting perfectionism. Everything has some level of risk; even “sure things” can backfire. “Stop wasting time on what ‘might’ happen – it might not happen,” Stack says. “If it does, you can cross that bridge. Either way, you won’t have wasted time overanalyzing the ‘what-ifs.’”
2. Accept the possibility of failure. Sometimes even the best laid plans don’t work out. Instead of wasting time on regrets, Stack recommends choosing a new course of action that leaves the baggage of inferred defeat in the past. If every misstep were as disastrous at it seemed in the moment, no one would get anything done.
3. Stack advises anyone trapped in a cloud of indecision to take the path of least resistance and go for the simplest solution. “If you’ve examined it from all angles and can see no obvious surprises, flaws, or moral pitfalls, then go for it,” Stack says.
Stack’s blog goes on to encourage adherence to core values, shifting focus to the goal and the path most directly leading to it, resisting the urge to define every step before starting, and establishing mileposts and deadlines. The intention is to motivate oneself out of procrastinating, which is nothing more than a time sink.
“Nothing beats writer’s block, for example, like knowing you have only until a specific date to turn something in—no matter how uncertain you feel about it,” Stack says.
“Realize there is no such thing as not making a decision; consequently, heel-dragging will cause someone else to make the decision for you.
“You’re no puppet, so don’t sit there in vapor lock and allow others to pull your strings and determine your fate,” she says. “Shape it yourself with your own timely decisions.
For more information on tackling indecision and mastering new time management and productivity skills, visit TheProductivityPro.com website, Email Laura@TheProductivityPro.com, or call 303-471-7401.
About Laura Stack:
Laura Stack is a time management and productivity expert who has been speaking and writing about human potential and peak performance since 1992. She has implemented employee productivity improvement programs at Wal-Mart, Cisco Systems, UBS, Aramark, and Bank of America. Stack presents keynotes and seminars internationally for leaders, entrepreneurs, salespeople, and professional services firms on improving output, lowering stress, and saving time in the workplace.
The president of The Productivity Pro®, Inc., a time management firm specializing in high-stress environments, Stack is the bestselling author of five books: “What to do When There’s Too Much to do” (2012); “SuperCompetent”