Variety is the spice of life! But we’ve all experienced the paralysis you can have when faced with a list of fifty flavors of ice cream.

As a recovering Analytic, I’ve learned that it’s often dangerous to spend too much time evaluating things. I could probably create a magnificent spreadsheet for the above three smoothies, with options and scenarios and weighted criteria.

That would feed my curiosity, but I’d never make a decision!

And in business, it’s important to move through decisions into taking action. Action is where value is created.

Here’s how I deal with it myself:

  • Recognize when I’m getting stuck in analysis
  • Clarify the decision to be made
  • Focus on a short (short!) list of key decision criteria
  • Restrict looking at options – quickly eliminate possibilities that are unlikely to be good alternatives
  • Try to make a tentative decision as quickly as possible, then test to see if my gut is happy with it (If so, I might be done!)
  • If I have to go further, then do a bit more thorough evaluation – it depends on how much impact the decision has and how much time I want to spend on it

If I’m standing there in front of the fifty ice cream flavors, I find it useful to clarify:

  • Do I want to make a decision in the next fifteen seconds, or take more time?
  • How much is cost a consideration?
  • Is today more about trying something new, or staying with the familiar?

Some days I just want to get to my ice cream!