We are continually being bombarded by information more today than in any time in history.
Traditional forms of communication remain, from billboards to radio to newspapers, while at the same time we’ve adopted devices that we carry like an extra limb. You know what I mean. The ones many carry to the restrooms with them to bed as well. They constantly deliver pop-up ads, news items, reminders, and texts, as well as a staggering collection of information known as the internet.
All of this information equates to an overwhelming number of options. In the abstract, having a lot of choices may sound like a good thing, but more often than not, it can bog us down.
We may suffer from “analysis paralysis”, so dazed by our options that we never make a decision, and nothing ever happens.
We may be plagued forever by the uneasy suspicion that we made the wrong decision. We might dwell on the options we dismissed wondering what could have been. As a result, we can slow our progress or find ourselves unable to enjoy our progress.
Avoiding option overload will help you make decisions more quickly and feel better about the decisions you make.
Here are a few tips that will help:
• First and foremost, strive for simplicity. Limit the resources you consume and consult for direction. This will reduce your confusion.
• Remember that most of the options available to you will be less than ideal. Very few will actually be good choices for your unique situation. Recognizing this will make it easier for you to let go of “clutter” options.
• When consuming media, remember that news outlets have an agenda: to get attention and rouse emotion. More often than not, the media highlights the negative, leading to fear and doubt. There may very well be a positive side. Don’t let yourself be seduced by a single-sided story.
• Keep all negative influences out of your life as much as possible, including naysayers, even if their ultimate goal is to “protect” you. You have too much work to do. There’s no room in your life for negative input.
• Foster a sense of stability and self-confidence by considering what’s really important to you. Take a stand. Believe in something. Consult your moral compass. You’ll be better able to promptly dismiss options that don’t align with your values.
• Don’t take advice from people or sources that don’t inspire you. These days, as a practitioner you probably come across gurus in our industry who are in the business of teaching their know-how but have never run their own accounting practice. If they owned one, it was many years back. Be wary of such so-called experts.
• Cross off options that don’t expand your possibilities. When narrowing a list of options, ask yourself of each choice: does it limit me? Or does it make me feel empowered?
There’s a lot of chatter, a lot of clutter, a lot of information coming at you. Make the decision to work from a small list of options, no matter what the situation.
Option overload is a roadblock that no practitioner can afford – not if you want to make the most of your practice and your life.