Overthinking sucks and Analysis Paralysis is annoying so here are some tips that might help.
I’m sure a lot of us deal with overthinking and I am definitely one of them. It’s frustrating and research has even found that overthinking/ Analysis Paralysis totally kills your creativity and increases anxiety. I often deal with this when I am at the start of my project and I get overwhelmed with the unlimited options that I have. I’m not an expert in this subject but I thought I would list out some things to try if you are also dealing with overthinking on your projects.
- Review the brief. I know it sounds like a lame tip but sometimes it's worth looking over the brief,moodboards, and style tiles once more. This helps me refocus and reign in my ideas. I’m also reminded of our goal and who we are designing for.
- Make as many small quick decisions as you can. This is an exercise that will help get the ball rolling. Sometimes you just need to go for it and not allow yourself a lot of time to think. It can be tough and uncomfortable but at least you are starting.
- Sometimes you need to take a break. When you are dealing with analysis paralysis it can be very mentally and emotionally draining. One of my go-to things to do is to take a short walk and listen to some of my favorite music. I get frustrated when I feel like I can’t make progress on my project. Music is one of my favorite outlets and I really take that time to calm down and get myself in a better mood. Music is also an inspiration and may give you that spark you need to get excited and start back up on your design. Sometimes it’s the small things like a change of scenery to relax our minds.
- Limit the amount of resources you are looking at. I am the type of person to have 35 tabs open and that leads to having endless inspiration ideas. I did some research on this and I read that a tip to try is to determine the number of resources you will use before you get started. This can also be translated into limiting yourself to that amount of tabs you will have open at one time. This is a way to consume information without getting lost in endless analysis.
- Set a timer and a deadline. “Parkinson’s Law states that work expands to fill the amount of time you’ve allotted it. If you give yourself an hour to do a task, it will take an hour. If you give yourself 15 minutes to complete the same task, it will take 15 minutes. The same holds true for making decisions. Setting a time constraint can force you to make a decision more efficiently.” This can be difficult but sometimes I have to force myself to get work done. I will set a timer for myself and a reward at the end with a walk or a cup of coffee or maybe I’ll go over to my friend’s desk and have a quick chat. It takes determination and self discipline but this helps me out at times.
- Just get another opinion. Getting another eye and perspective on your work can be really valuable. It’s a great way to get out of your own head and see the work a little more objectively.
It’s always difficult working through analysis paralysis and overthinking but I hope some of these tips help or are a reminder of what you can do. :)