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  • Writer's pictureAlley Dezenhouse Kelner

Analysis Paralysis

Commonly associated with ADHD, but (not so lovingly) experienced by others as well, analysis paralysis is on the mind (and also in the mind, if you know, you know). Analysis paralysis is one of those things that once you read about it, you think to yourself: "wait, that's a real thing? I have definitely experienced that!".

So let's unpack it!

Analysis paralysis is the inability to get started —intense overwhelm; “don’t know where or how to start so I guess I just...won’t”. Analysis paralysis is the feeling of overwhelm associated with needing to complete a task, solve a problem, or navigate a challenge and being overcome by its magnitude, and having difficulty with the executive functioning pieces like: planning, strategizing and executing. When you're unable to make a move, stuck in the analysis (the "how do I possibly figure this out" phase) you end up stagnant; not making moves. Analysis paralysis can hit when you're faced with a big task (writing a huge report, filing taxes) or when you have an arguably simple and low stakes task (deciding what's for dinner, or where to buy your groceries); analysis paralysis does not discriminate and can strike at the most inopportune times.

Can you relate?

Next time your kiddo isn’t taking meaningful steps forward in a particular task ask yourself this: Are they stuck at the “getting started” phase? Identifying the barrier is key in figuring out how to move past it. Sometimes, when analysis paralysis set in--we need a little kick start. We need some help plotting our first move; once we have made the first step, the rest seems much easier to navigate.

Now, go do that thing you need to do--all you need to do, is plot your first step.

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