Pin It

Possibility paralysis is a term I recently coined (as far as I know) to describe the paralysis that can come from having too many choices. Similar concepts have recently appeared in the psychology literature, stating that people are becoming overloaded by the vastness of their choices. As a small business owner, you probably run alongside possibility paralysis everyday. “Should I follow up with Jim, who I met last week?” (yes) or “should I write a new page for my website?” (yes) or “should I try some pay-per-click marketing?” (yes) and so on. As you have probably experienced, there are SO MANY things you can do each day to move your business ahead that it can, sometimes, be difficult to determine what to do first. I’ve been there! What works for me is making a decision- any decision- and doing the next thing I can think of. So, for example, if I decide I should follow up with Jim, I make that decision, and then call him right away. If I decide that I need to write a new page for my website, I might do some preparatory work for the project- maybe determining the topic for the page and then jotting down some notes- or if I determine that I should try pay-per-click marketing, I might go ahead and sign up for an advertising account. Each of these tasks takes just five minutes or less; which is another key point. You can work on multiple tasks in one hour- just don’t work on them all at once. The fact is that no matter how much we mentally multitask, we, physically, can only be working on one task at a time. If you’re working on one task, but thinking about another, this actually slows down progress on BOTH tasks. So when you are feeling paralyzed by the possibilities, one of the best ways to break through is to choose an action and do it right away. If it’s the right action, you keep on going. If it’s the wrong one, you’ve learned that you can discount that as a possibility, which, ultimately, will narrow your choices anyway.