Monday, July 18, 2011

Beating Delay with Quiet Action

Nike's "Just Do It" slogan is powerful advice in a great many circumstances. Lengthy analysis can be a clever disguise for procrastination. It can delay action to the point where action is no longer possible.

We are sensitive to this with big projects, having been warned of "paralysis by analysis," and yet, when our guard is down, a similar hesitation may sabotage minor projects.

How do we combat this? By not making a big deal out of what should be a minor decision. By daring to be wrong, we can subdue any worries about what others may think and avoid slipping into the warm bath of analysis; a bath that leads to inaction.

This involves quietly doing the task that we sense we should do. Once that is done, we can move on to another.

Stop thinking so much. Get it done.


Jeff said...

"Paralysis by analysis" has a corollary - "Decision by committee".
Has the same paralytic effect.

No better way to kill a quick decision on a small problem than by "calling a meeting". For that matter, kill it altogether by having a breakfast or lunch meeting.

I once read that all meetings should be held in the hallway, standing up. Decisions will be made much more quickly...

- Jeff

Michael Wade said...


I once worked for a boss who required that everyone stand during staff meetings. We were always out of there in ten minutes.