Over analyzing is something a lot of people do. It seems to happen a lot when something is (deceptively) simple. Our conscious mind kicks in and tells us it can’t be that simple and we have to go back and look at whatever it was again.
Or, at least as often, it’s when we need an excuse to put off doing something!
Analyzing gives us the excuse that we’re not ready yet.
You can run a few checks to find out whether you’re over analyzing:
- If even the simplest tasks seem to take forever, there’s a good chance that you’re reading more into them than you should be.
- If you spend, say, 30 minutes reading all the reviews on Amazon for something like a storage jar or a mattress cover, you’re almost certainly guilty of over-analyzing.
- The same goes for TripAdvisor reviews. There’s a reason they summarize all the scores in one handy figure – so that you don’t have to spend half your life deciding where to eat tonight.
Chances are, if you’re guilty of taking your analysis of things to extremes, you already know that it’s something you do.
Maybe you’ve mentally written off the process and have decided that you can’t change.
But you can – if you put your mind to it.
Start by catching yourself when you’re spending an inordinate amount of time looking into something.
Sure, certain things need time spent on them,
But a $10 purchase on Amazon? Or a $20 meal?
There are only so many hours in a day and if you find yourself spending too many of those doing your research, make a note of the time and translate that into money.
That alone can be an eye opener.
If you’ve just spent the equivalent of $50 of time “saving” yourself a few dollars, once off, was the time spent really worth it?
I’m pretty certain the answer is no.
Of course, the real reason for your over analysis could simply be that you want to put off the decision. For as long as possible.
If that’s the case – and it often is for a lot of people – then you’re actually just using your analysis time as a plausible excuse to procrastinate.
Procrastination is the art of putting off decisions for as long as possible – ideally forever.
So, if your over analysis is really just a smoke screen for procrastinating, again you need to recognize that and deal with it.
The best way is normally to set yourself a time limit, maybe with an alarm on your phone, before you start your analysis. Once that time is up, that’s it. Much the same as on a television quiz show – you need an answer, even if it’s wrong.
Because most of the time it won’t really matter.
The chances of there being a major difference between two highly rated products or places is low. Especially if there are a large number of contributors to both those ratings.
Free up your time and enjoy it! Rather than crouching over a computer screen and prodding things for no real effect.