Have you ever experienced analysis paralysis in your freelancing career?
It sucks not being able to come up with ideas for new projects because you’re either working with too much data and don’t know where to start, or you’re overthinking every decision that you need to make.
The anxiety of starting a new project affects both new and seasoned freelancers.
Trust us, as an internet marketing company in Florida that has been working with multiple small businesses and entrepreneurs for the past eight years, we still encounter analysis paralysis every once in a while.
Learning how to overcome your inability to decide is an important skill you need to learn. In this article, we’ll give you some helpful tips on how to overcome analysis paralysis so you can boost your productivity and take on more freelance projects!
Analysis Paralysis is the inability to make a decision. This happens when you’re working with too much data, or you're so afraid of making the wrong choice that you never make the right one.
Medical studies prove that overanalyzing is a way for people to defend against possible failure. They don’t want to make the wrong decision, so when they need to make a choice, they tend to overthink and delay their actions.
Some people also want to get the very best outcome when making a decision. This means they’re always looking for better solutions.
Time is of the essence when you’re a freelancer. When you get things done on time, you can make your clients happy and take on more projects.
Here’s how you can make decisions effectively and overcome analysis paralysis:
The first step to overcoming analysis paralysis is to identify the most important decisions you need to make. So, how do you prioritize which decisions you need to make?
Ask yourself the following:
If a decision isn’t urgent, or it has very little impact on your business, then you can put it aside in favor of more important tasks.
To ensure you’re always prioritizing the right decisions, it can be helpful to create a checklist for your workflow.
To help you decide more efficiently, keep your goal in mind. What is it that you want to achieve from making this decision? This will make it easier for you to choose the right option.
If you’re intimidated by a big decision, it can be useful to break it down into smaller steps. If you’re running someone’s social media, for instance, it can be intimidating to try creating an entire month’s worth of posts all at once.
It’s easier to turn this into a process. You could:
Each of these decisions can be handled one at a time. As you move down the list, your previous decisions can impact your later decisions. By the time you’re ready to create content, you have less decisions to worry about.
It also helps to practice making small decisions in your everyday life. This can be anything from:
The more you get used to making small decisions fast, the more you can improve your decision-making skills. This helps you get more comfortable making bigger decisions.
Your analysis paralysis could be related to a lack of confidence in yourself.
If you’re constantly doubting the decisions you make, you’ll struggle to get started on a new project. Even if you know where to get started, worrying that things will end badly can discourage yourself from starting.
This is why it’s so important to believe in yourself.
If you’ve lost confidence because your previous choices have had less than positive outcomes, remind yourself that those were learning opportunities. Every time you need to make a decision, don’t look at it as another potential for failure. Instead, see it as an opportunity for growth.
Whenever you feel anxious when making a decision, do the following:
We all want what’s best for our clients, but overthinking everything can make it impossible to deliver good results. Unless it’s a matter of life and death, there’s no need to overanalyze. Trust in yourself and in the decisions you’re making for your clients.
Not everyone is comfortable relying on their instincts to make a decision (and we're not telling you to do that). But, by combining your instincts with an analysis of facts, you can make the most informed decisions.
Your gut instinct is something that’s built over time by previous experiences. Some people are uncomfortable relying on it to make decisions, and we’re not necessarily telling you to do that.
Instead, it can be useful to combine your gut instinct with an analysis of the facts. This allows you to draw on your strengths and experiences while also ensuring that you’re addressing the specific situation you’re facing.
Good decision-making can be learned. As your trusted internet marketing company in Florida, we will share with you some steps you can follow to help you practice making good decisions efficiently:
Steps 1: Keep an Eye on Your Objectives
If you're having a hard time tackling a new project simply because you don't know where to get started, the first thing you need to do is identify your goal.
What is the goal of this project you’re working on? Why does it need to be solved? When you know where you're headed and the reason why you have to make a particular decision, it's easier to wrap your mind around it and come up with a course plan on how you’re going to get there.
Step 2: Gather Relevant Data
Data is important because it provides you with insights on what you should and shouldn’t do. It allows you to understand what worked in the past, and what didn't. It also helps you identify trends and generate ideas for a possible solution.
When gathering information, list every possible solution and alternative. Then, narrow down those options based on your desired outcome. Real-time data plays a crucial role in making decisions that generate the best outcome.
At our internet marketing company in Florida, before we present solutions to our clients, we conduct split tests to identify which variation generates the best results.
For example, if we need to make a landing page for a client, we create several versions to test out different elements and see which copy our client’s customers are most responsive to.
Based on the real-time information we gather from this testing, we then apply the best practices we’ve gathered throughout their entire campaign.
Step 3: Weigh the Pros and Cons
Once you have the data and have come up with a couple of solutions or options, it's time to weigh the pros and cons.
Every decision you make will have an impact on your output. So, you need to assess which solution offers the most benefit for your client and which of them you’re most comfortable doing.
Step 4: Take Action
Once you’ve identified your objectives, gathered all relevant data, and written down the pros and cons, all that’s left to do is to make your final decision.
It can be tempting to make excuses to delay the decision. Resist that temptation: the longer you put off a decision, the harder it can be to make.
Step 5: Evaluate Your Decision and the Steps You Took to Achieve the Desired Result
It’s important to evaluate the decision you’ve made and the steps you took to make sure you achieve your client’s desired outcome.
Doing so will help you improve your decision-making skills for incoming projects. You’ll also know what to do when you encounter a similar situation in the future.
Digital Resource is the leading internet marketing company in Florida. We specialize in working with small business owners, entrepreneurs, and freelancers like you. We can help put your products and services in front of the right people so you can attract leads.