Do you ever wonder why you struggle to do what you know is good for you? Perhaps there are certain habits and patterns that you want to change, but you just don’t seem to be able to shift them.
Sometimes, this may cause you to get in a state of overwhelm and procrastination about things that you need to get done, and your attention sways to something else that seems far more appealing but is far less important.
Perhaps you want to do a particular activity that will attract more clients, but somehow you find that you’re putting it off. Or maybe you want to meditate regularly, but you don’t seem to be able to bring yourself to do it.
There could be a variety of reasons as to why you may be putting these things off.
Recently, a new client of mine sent me her prep work before our first session, and in the email, she shared that her result from The Four Tendencies quiz had already explained a lot about her state of overwhelm and procrastination.
Just this particular insight spurred my client into action that very same day, and she started working on a critical project that she hadn’t brought herself to focus on until that moment. I love how my clients get results even before we start working together just from the insights of the prep work.
So, it turned out that this client is a Questioner.
What does it mean to be a Questioner?
In brief, this means that the person tends to question all expectations and they meet an expectation (only) if they believe it’s justified. I must admit I know this tendency intimately well because I fall into it myself.
A questioner needs information to be able to make a well-informed and justified decision to follow through.
Their strengths lie in creating systems that are efficient and effective. They may be willing to play devil’s advocate or buck the system if warranted. Plus, they’re strong-willed.
What are the pitfalls?
One of the most significant weaknesses of a Questioner is that they can suffer from ‘analysis paralysis’ because they collect so much information and end up not being able to see the wood for the trees. The information they receive from different sources may be conflicting or confusing, and this can lead to further inaction.
The key to note here is that a Questioner wouldn’t want to waste their time, energy and/or money on something only to find out that it doesn’t lead to results and it was a waste of time and effort. So, they need to feel like they know that when they put effort into doing something, it’s done in the right way that will yield the desired outcome.
So, what can you do to get around ‘analysis paralysis’ and see tangible progress?
1. Become aware of your tendency
Awareness is the first step to change. Simply understanding what makes you tick and how you operate can spur you to take action, make progress and get things done.
2. Gain a deeper understanding of your priorities
What are the top three priorities in your life right now? How could what you’re trying to do conflict with your priorities?
Or perhaps you’re not clear on what your priorities are, and this may be preventing you from doing something about the change you want to make. (If you’d like to learn how to identify your priorities check this article and download the Wheel of Priorities).
3. Know your values
When I was an employee I had little idea what values were, let alone what an essential role they play when it comes to work and relationships. However, over the past three years, I’ve come to see time and time again how important they are.
For example, if your values are along the lines of freedom, flexibility, independence and fun, you’ll likely be put off by routine, control and a rigid schedule seeing them as unappealing and boring.
What can you do about that? You can look at the labels you attach and if you can call it something else that seems more appealing. For example, some people don’t like the sound of ‘homework’ or ‘prep work’, but are happy if it contains the word ‘play’.
You can also look at different ways to integrate more of your values into work and home. For instance, if you were to add some structure to your day, it can actually allow you to have more fun and freedom.
Another twist may be that from your childhood or past experiences you may associate certain things in a negative way, and as a result, they now bring feelings of fear, dread, boredom, etc. that subsequently lead to avoidance.
In this case, it’s about looking at how you can reframe the situation in a more useful way. Sometimes, it can be just by choosing to use a different word that doesn’t spark off those negative emotions and associations.
5. Adapt to your needs
Questioners love bending the rules when they don’t see a point in them. So, what can you adapt so that it’s tailored to what makes you tick but also serves the purpose and can allow you to achieve the result you’re looking for.
6. Talk it out
Talking it out with a trusted friend, coach, a mentor or a group of friends or colleagues can lead to clarity amidst the confusion and bring solutions to the forefront.
7. Reduce the amount of information
Reducing the amount of information you collect may seem like horror to a Questioner who needs to quench his or her thirst for a range and depth of knowledge, resources and references.
However, limiting your sources for one particular topic to one or two at most, if the second complements the first, will make a huge difference in your progress and significantly limit ‘analysis paralysis’.
8. Create a simple and focused plan of action
Once, you’ve decided on your source(s) of information and reference; it’s time to create an action plan with simple, manageable steps focusing on one thing at a time.
Now over to you:
What are your challenges when it comes to information overload?
How do you deal with ‘analysis paralysis’? I’d love to know your tips and strategies.
- Wheel of Priorities
- Step 1 of Six Weeks To Leading A Healthier And More Fulfilling Life
- Do you struggle to do the things the things that you say you want to do?
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