Stop overthinking problems to death! Don’t get me wrong, overthinking is a pretty common habit. It’s easy to do, but it’s not highly productive. There’s no doubt that making decisions can be complicated, oftentimes emotional. When you start to overthink something, try to remember how great it felt to reap the benefits of a concrete decision. Progress and growth feel good, don’t they?
Overthinking Can Kill Innovation
How many times have you stopped yourself from growth by overanalyzing an issue—an issue that might not even happen? And how many times have you worried and worried over a problem, overthinking it—only to find yourself later thinking, ‘Wow! That was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be.’
At CampusLogic we move quickly and try not to get stuck. We do our due diligence, gather opinions and ideas, and set a plan. Knowing that overthinking can kill the creativity and spirit of innovation that brought us to our decision, we hold faith in our choice and put the idea into the world.
How To Stop Overthinking
I’ve worked with some really great decision makers—and they’re some of the most successful people I know. Working closely with our CampusLogic customers, I find that the customers who have been most successful transitioning to new ways of doing things tend to avoid overthinking.
Here are three traits I’ve noticed in people who don’t overthink problems to death:
1. They Move Quickly
Moving quickly is powerful. Rather than overthinking everything that might go wrong, commit to fixing whatever issues may arise instead. You’ll be able to drive change and make a bigger impact. Stalling everything while you wait for the perfect solution, perfect moment—perfect something—will only slow down your innovation. You can accomplish more by moving quickly and not being afraid to fix an issue that might (and usually won’t) arise. If there’s really no good reason to wait, start today—not next Monday, or next month, or next quarter.
2. They Only Involve Stakeholders
Just like “too many cooks spoil the broth,” too many people involved in solving a problem creates more opinions, suggestions, doubts, and concerns. Unless a stakeholder will directly be impacted by the upcoming change, consider leaving them out of the conversation. Do you often hear people in your company complaining of having too many meetings to attend? Be the ‘meeting overload’ hero: Only invite people to meetings who really need to know about, and can help with, the change.
3. They Remember “Why”
The light at the end of the tunnel is the pain point you are trying to resolve. That pain point’s disappearance is why you’re going through this exercise in change. The hope is always that the pain of change will be worth the outcome. While you are trying to decide on a solution, or a decision, that “why” can often get fuzzy. Staying focused on the “why” will help you stay on track and motivated to continue.
I believe Bruce Lee when he says, “If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” Overthinking a problem to death is a creativity and innovation killer. Problems happen, change is necessary. How quickly we move is a choice, and in my experience, people and companies who learn to move quickly and thoughtfully have the most success.