Stuck — Stop overthinking and go do it.

Travis Dykes
5 min readFeb 26, 2020
Photo by Aubrey Rose Odom on Unsplash

The easiest mistake to make in your life is overthinking.

With our access to information, you can spend weeks endlessly reading, watching, or consuming.

Overthinking might be the biggest culprit to productivity. Large teams want to brainstorm or have meetings. I don’t even want to know the amount of time spent in meetings. People who overthink will continue to ask for input rather than producing outcomes. This is where thinking turns into overthinking. You’ve probably heard it said, analysis paralysis.

Being an analyst, I always have to look up from my work and do a gut check. Am I going too far into this? What’s the level of effort that I should be putting into this? Expectations, and needs of the task owner?

If you were a betting person, then you’d be right to guess that when I get an idea, or I’m interested in something, I spend a significant amount of time devoted to research.

I want to make sure it’s worth the investment. Maybe you’re like that too. If so, keep reading. For those that tend to over-analyze, start executing.

Enjoyment is in the action, and learning, not the unknown.

My analysis can be completely wrong because I can’t measure feelings and emotions. Unless somehow, you have access to tracking facial expressions that can be associated with emotions, but I digress.

One caveat if you are considering huge decisions, like buying a house, or switching careers, or starting a business. In these cases, consider everything you can, it’s okay to slow down, so you speed up later.

Now that is out of the way.

Make sure you are going in the right direction. You don’t want to end up going in the wrong direction a hundred miles an hour. Ensure, it’s what you want and can handle the responsibility of your decision.

If the decision is relatively small, then go for it. Now.

Seriously, stop reading this.

Open up the app, grab the paintbrush, tablet, pen, canvas, or paper, and start doing.

Seriously, what are you waiting for?

You don’t need anything else.

Get your hands dirty.

If you don’t have what you need, figure out how to get it, and start going.

You can write notes on your phone. I usually start writing via my phone and transition to a desktop for editing and polishing.

If you want to start a podcast, you could start using your phone to record. It might not be the highest quality, but starting, learning, and growing are WAY better than not starting at all because you feel like you need better equipment. You are using it as an excuse, and it is holding you back.

You likely have all the resources, software, hardware you already need to get started.

Stop making excuses.

A Short Story About Overanalyzing

A few months ago, it was nearing my birthday, and I was considering purchasing a road bike. My search began, I started with the brands I knew, Trek, Raleigh, Cannondale, etc.

When I started, I had an idea of what kind of bike I wanted. I didn’t want to spend a fortune; it’s my first higher-end bike. For me, around $500 felt very expensive for a bike. It should be entry-level. I also knew that I wanted drop handlebars. They look cool, and that’s what qualifies as a road bike in my head. So off I went, reading, searching, and analyzing.

I started looking at all new models. I went to a local bike shop, watched too many YouTube videos about all sorts of cycling tips, tricks, maintenance, and care. These activities spurred more questions, but I learned more and more.

I started being able to compare the bike hardware and how those compared to other brands and their builds. I was eager to pull the trigger but still reluctant because I wanted to be sure.

During this whole thing, I reached out to a friend, and he was able to help me understand the hardware sets. Since we rode together when we were kids, he called my bluff.

He helped me realize a few different things.

Consider how you will feel.

I should be happy. I should feel good about it and realize that I’ll have this for a long time. His words:

“You really should be happy with your purchase because you’ll have it for a while.”

I wasn’t even considering my happiness. It was making it a purely numerical decision, wholly detached from emotions.

Consider the years of usage, over the cost.

He helped me think about the experience of riding it, not the cost. I was staring at the expense, not the outcome. He’d say something like:

“Divide 900 bucks times how many years you’ll ride it (10+) and then subtract gas and add smiles and giggles.”

As I evaluated the purchase, I kept going back and forth between drop handlebars and disc brakes.

It appeared to be an either-or situation. By selecting drop handlebars, that meant the equipment for breaks increased the cost, and manufacturers would drop disc brakes as an option to keep the entry price point.

You could opt for a straight handlebar bike with disc brakes for significantly cheaper.

In all my thinking, I got tunnel vision. I got so focused on the purchase, the bike, the specs and forgot to acknowledge that I’d have it for years. I forgot to think that I’d have fun riding. I forgot to consider how I would feel.

Wrapping Up

Everything came together when I decided to purchase a used road bike off Facebook Marketplace that met all my requirements, including price, and hardware.

When faced with a decision, analysis is helpful and useful up to a point. Do not forget to consider your feelings. Stop Overthinking. Do.