Do too many choices cause you to choose nothing?

“Indecision and delays are the parents of failure" - George Canning

Productivity in its simplest form is about making progress. While there are numerous variables that can restrict output, there’s also plenty of strategies that can be applied to drive efficiencies and outcomes. A common impediment to achievement is when we’re unable to decide. Do too many choices cause you to choose nothing?

It’s great to have options but a waste if you do nothing with them. Recently I’ve seen a common thread where workers have known they need to make a decision, would like to take action but don't. In some cases, they feel as if they’re too busy, lack sufficient resources or confidence. However, there are other situations where too many choices are paralysing their ability to decide. Canadian researchers refer to this as the Fear of a Better Option (FOBO). It’s kind of like procrastination on steroids.

Maybe this impacts you at an individual level or across your team. As a litmus test ask: What are you and your team avoiding committing to?

Four approaches to consider if you’re:

  • Too busy or don’t have enough resources - maximise productivity (even streamlining your personal workflow can dramatically improve efficiency). Also, refer to The workers who just don't do it
  • Lacking confidence - get help from someone who you trust or a mentor
  • Procrastinating – read and implement recommendations from Putting things off to another time in the workplace
  • Constrained by the Fear of a Better Option - decide and take action

Sometimes workers get so stressed they come to a grinding halt due to the mere thought of failure. Typically, this doesn’t happen to high achievers who eliminate excuses, face their fears, make decisions and act upon them.

What’s stopping you?