Paralysis by Analysis


If you have ever struggled to complete a project, failed to follow through on your goals, or felt completely stuck, then read on….

I have but one rule in life… “if it rhymes, then it must be true”.

So imagine my glee when I heard the term “Paralysis by analysis”.

Let’s kick this thing off with a little tale, a yarn, a story, a wee anecdote from when I was a teenager…

Anecdote commencement:

Not many people know this, but as a teenager, I studied to be a pro golfer… that’s right, I literally studied it… I went to a specialized university, where there were golf coaches, golf courses etc on campus.

One day I was having a lesson with one of the coaches, and he gave me 15 different things to think about during my golf swing… “keep your spine angle, arms tucked in, rotate from the hips, release your wrist through the ball….” blah blah.

I understood his advice, but as I stood over that shiny little white ball of dreams, I found something very scary and strange happen… I was paralyzed.

I tried to move my hands to commence my swing, but they were frozen, I literally couldn’t move them an inch.

That was the day I discovered “paralysis by analysis”, and here is the thing…

This probably happens for you in your business regularly.

In a nutshell, it is over analyzing something to the point where there is so much information coming in, you simply cannot compute it all, and your brain hits a shutdown switch.

So how does this relate to your business and your projects?

Well, have you ever had a decision to make, or a task to do, and found yourself going back and forth, second guessing, frozen on how best to do something?

Often, you will get frustrated and impatience and look for a release… this is part of the reason sites like Facebook and Youtube are so popular.

I was recently trying to decide on the name for a webinar… numerous ideas bounced back and forth in my little brain box, and the more I thought about it, the more confusing it got… 10 minutes passed, and I was still staring at the screen… not a single word had been typed.

This is a prime example of how projects and tasks fail to get completed.

So here is what I did… I gave the webinar the following title: “dhfjsdjfdsjfdsklfjsdlfjjds”

Now, the pro copywriters and gifted wordsmiths amongst you will notice a few subtle flaws in the above title… firstly, it is not an actual language, and it also lacks a benefit statement.

So why on earth would I name my webinar this way?

Well, the fact of the matter is that I was bipassing the paralysis manually.

You see, when you hit a mental brick wall, you can either over think things, second guess, and ultimately, hit paralysis…

Or, you can be aware of what is happening, and simply say screw it!

I skipped the title, completed the rest of the tasks, and when I went back to the title 30 minutes later, it was no longer an issue… and I am happy to say I even used a legible language. (Go me!)

Context is Key

Context is also really important here… I could have easily gone down a one-way mental path of trying to come up with the best possible title for my webinar… but to put it into context, just how important is the title? To be honest, there are far more important things in the project, that make a MUCH bigger difference… so it simply wasn’t worth over complicating…

As a wise man once told me “sometimes, good enough is good enough”… it is better to take massive action at a pretty good level, than a zero amount of perfect action.

So next time you find yourself stuck inside your own brain prison, remember the words of wisdom above… then, go to and message me with the following: “Dean, you sexy little minx, your blog post helped me get out of my brain prison, I shall henceforth name my first child Dean, in your honor.”

Have a great day, and remember to get out of your own head every now and then.


  • Andy Iskandar

    I so know what you are talking about. Getting into a jam and eventually distracting myself by doing other unproductive things has been the bane of my entrepreneurial life… and how I got over it is exactly the same way you did. Though in the case of the headline, what I would do is write .

    So go me too!


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  • Phil Stark

    Huh, I never had this problem – but I know people who do…. GO GO GO!

    As a cautionary tale, UNDERanalysis has cost me alot as well……

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  • Miriam Ortiz y Pino

    I just finally read this post, of course it was while I was actually experiencing a “frozen moment.” So, once again you have helped me make progress. Thanks Dean. I will now finish the task I was working on…

    Have a delightful day!

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  • Ritesh

    ya l finally read this post and it is intersing for everyone to read more

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  • Product Warnings

    I have always suffered from “analysis paralysis”. I’m always thinking ten mover ahead like a chess player … and often end up doing nothing. Great post

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  • Corporate Magician

    Thanks Dean, I probably experience this on a daily basis! Sometimes you just have to wepngnpiwengpwngpnpnweg to move on and get the rest done so you can come back to it with a fresh mind.
    Love the quote: “sometimes, good enough is good enough” haha, status update!

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  • Jacob Reeder1

    You’re absolutely right. Some of my strongest life experiences have come around by chance, I just went with it and thought about it later. Sometimes intuition can really be powerful. 

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