Chapter 2How to Break Analysis Paralysis

SO-CALLED “ANALYSIS PARALYSIS” IS ONE OF those serendipitously rhyming terms that cleverly captures the characteristics of a condition from which a great bulk of us suffers—many chronically. Here we find an individual in the throes of an utter inability to arrive at a decision. Like a terrified deer caught in the headlights of an approaching truck, a person experiencing analysis paralysis is overwhelmed and immobile. He can advance neither forward nor back, so bewildered is he by the requirements he feels he must fulfill. Often, he remains in this state of inertia—casting about wildly for a sign that will clear the clouds and present an answer that makes conclusive sense—for much longer than the subject at hand could ever demand, all the while expending energy and time that could be applied to the much more productive pursuit of seeing through one or the other of the possibilities. And his peace of mind goes way south in the meantime.

Analysis paralysis can rear its hesitant head for every kind of decision, from what shoes to put on in the morning to whether to have a kid. And it's a frequent fixture in the business setting, where the affliction can be brought on from an excess of corporate bumps and corporately freighted, multilayered decision-making protocols. Too often in these scenarios, efficient determination about something is wholly unlikely because of endless, unnecessary discussion and evaluation. Studies are conducted, reports ...

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