Wednesday , 14 November 2018
Decision paralysis is when there's a decision that needs to be made, like where to start on making your wreath patterns, but there are so many choices that you get stuck, not knowing which choice to make. So you do nothing. You stop. You become stagnant.

How to Deal with Business Decision Paralysis

image via SmallNotebook.org

Imagine that you make decorative wreaths so people can give their homes a face-lift year round. Your business is doing well & you’re now looking into expanding your reach by creating patterns to sell on your website for those who like DIY projects. You’ve picked out 5 different wreaths that you’re going to start with & you begin researching where to start.

Suddenly you realize that this is going to be a much bigger job than you had anticipated. There are so many things you have to think about. Breaking down the steps, photos, creating a pdf, putting all together, do you provide the materials or not, packaging, marketing, ahhhhh!!! Suddenly you’re stuck. You start feeling overwhelmed, you’re loosing site of the end result you’re looking for, & you don’t know where to begin.

Does this sound like something you’ve experienced before in your business?

This is a classic example of coming up against a problem that results in decision paralysis.

The Brain

There’s this part of your brain {& mine} that’s rational & super helpful. It helps you think, plan, set goals, & make decisions, but it’s also overly analytical & makes simple situations much more difficult than they should be.

It can be your best friend because it really guides you along, helping you to plan out projects & get from point a to point b, but it becomes overwhelmed easily especially when a kink is thrown into the mix.

This part of your brain then kicks into problem-solving mode & focuses on the kink so much that it makes it bigger than it actually is. All of this analyzing & over-thinking leads to decision paralysis.

Decision paralysis is when there’s a decision that needs to be made, like where to start on making your wreath patterns, but there are so many choices that you get stuck, not knowing which choice to make. So you do nothing. You stop. You become stagnant.

Nix the Negative

In order to take the benefits of this part of your brain & make the most of it, you need to counteract the negative side.

Think of a time when you faced a similar situation as the one I described above & work your way through it with the following points.

1. Keep your problem in perspective

When you hit a road block, many times our brains start over-analyzing the situation. We take something that really isn’t a big deal & we make it huge when in all reality this “big” problem more than likely has a small solution.

2. Prevent decision paralysis

The primary thing that’s going to keep you from developing decision paralysis when you’re faced with a problem is to have crystal clear direction for where you want to go. You need to prepare these directions or rules ahead of time so that when the problem arises, you’re prepared.

When your brain is so focused on the problem at hand, it can’t stop & think of how to deal with the problem correctly. You need to tell it exactly what it needs to do. You have to provide crystal clear directions when you’re faced with any problem.

Now obviously you’re not going to know each & every step to direct yourself in, but you can know the most important steps to take.

What helps you focus when you’re feeling overwhelmed? Is it getting all of your ideas out of your head & down on paper? Is it talking things over with a mentor? Maybe it’s taking a break & doing something fun for 10 minutes. Whatever it is, make it a rule. Write down, “When I feel overwhelmed I will immediately do a “brain dump”.”

How do you feel about hiring certain projects out in order to make it easier on yourself? Do you have guidelines for that sort of thing? If that’s a tough decision for you to make think of how you can make it simpler. Maybe you could write down, “Hire out all jobs less than $100.”

What about getting stressed because you don’t have the equipment that would make things easier on you & you want to save money. You could write down, “Use what you have.” as one of your rules.

No matter what problem arises, knowing exactly what to do to make a particular decision easier is your best bet for decreasing overwhelm & decision paralysis. Write down these important steps so you can remember them so when you’re faced with a problem, you can look at your list & know exactly what to do.

What problem are you faced with right now that’s creating decision paralysis for you?

Orange leather flower Earrings

Orange leather flower Earrings by: katrinshine

 

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6 comments

  1. Good food for thought – I find myself in this state most days and have been paralysed for far too long. I end up doing housework and pottering round till my time has run out – or I start in my craft area and tidy this and sort that and put this away…….same result – time gone.
    I’ll read this article again and again till I find my “dump”

    Thanks!

  2. Do I quit the day job to focus more on my shop? It’s hard to take the plunge and I get brain paralysis everytime I think about it.

    What I do know is that I love hand picking and collecting vintage items and it really is what I like to do.

    Thanks for posing this question and for the great tips!

  3. Welcome! So glad you both like it!

  4. I often find my brain working overtime very early in the morning. I wake up at 3 with ideas for projects and business trategies buzzing around my brain. Result: No chance of falling asleep again!

    I then give up, turn on the light and start writing everything down. Once I can’t wring anything else from that over-active brain, I take a shower, write down what said brain has come up with in the meantime, put my alarmclock to 30 min later and go to bed again.

    If I have been thorough enough, I have a chance of falling asleep again!

    Once I’m up and at my jewelry gallery, I go through the loooong list and sort it into the important/not important – urgent/not urgent matrix, http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newHTE_91.htm, which I have put up on a wall in the back room. This way its very clear and visible and I don’t have to worry that I forget something.

    So far so good. THEN I still have to execute, but that’s another story alltogether ;-)

    If I do not do this for a while I suffer a meltdown and go into that horrible state of being awfully busy and getting nothing done. We surely don’t want that!

    Thank you for a brilliant post telling me why I do like I do, that I’m not the only “idiot” out theren and that I am probably doing something right. Phew! Nice one on a monday morning! Have a lovely and productive week!

  5. I believe this is some kinda mind mapping technique, isn’t it? But, I believe this makes us think more than what we would have actually done.

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