302 – How to Overcome Analysis Paralysis

by | Aug 11, 2023 | Podcast

Do you tend to accumulate a lot of information without ever acting on it? Content junkies do this all the time, sometimes without even realizing it. While studying without applying might be okay in grade school, in adult life, it simply doesn’t work. So, how do you get out of the rut of learning, thinking, and not acting?

In this episode of The New Music Industry Podcast, David shares how you can overcome analysis paralysis.

Podcast Highlights:

  • 00:17 – Something you’ve been struggling with
  • 00:28 – What is analysis paralysis?
  • 01:18 – Why does analysis paralysis happen?
  • 02:25 – Solutions to analysis paralysis
  • 02:37 – Publishing under a pseudonym
  • 04:02 – Setting deadlines for your tasks and projects
  • 06:06 – Accountability
  • 08:28 – Preparing for a difficult future


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I recently asked some of you, “What are you struggling with when it comes to getting things done?”

And it sounds like what some of you are struggling with is analysis paralysis. So, let’s talk about analysis paralysis.

What is Analysis Paralysis?

Nowadays, because there’s so much information available on Google, books, and courses, on YouTube, and anywhere else you might potentially go.

It becomes so easy to consume, and amass, and accumulate the information without actually doing anything with it.

Now there are a few different variations on analysis paralysis, but that’s usually the main one.

“We’ve got a bunch of options. We don’t know which to pick and we don’t know what to do with them. And when we do finally choose them, we’re not really sure how to execute them.”

So, it becomes this cycle of analyzing and trying to figure out what to do, but because you’re trying to get it right, you get stuck in paralysis.

Why Does Analysis Paralysis Happen?

Basically, for the reason I just mentioned, you’re trying to get it right. In other words, you’re trying to be perfect. You’re trying to get it perfect, one way or another.

So, getting stuck in perfectionism. This is a common trap for creatives. Analysis paralysis is really just some other form of the same thing.

Perfectionism is a common trap for creatives. Share on X

So, we need to look at how we can overcome that practically, so the future actually sees us producing and creating things rather than sitting on ideas or having thoughts of creating something that never ends up being created.

We want to make sure that your output gets out into the world and seen and heard. Even if it’s just a little bit. Hopefully, it gets seen by a lot of people. That is always the most desirable thing, but unfortunately, I don’t think history is on the side of people… like not right now, maybe in the past… but I don’t think history is on the side of the people who aren’t prolific, who aren’t constantly creating, constantly publishing, and shipping and putting new things out there.

History is not on the side of those who aren't prolific producers. Share on X

But you might be scared to do that. And that’s where analysis paralysis comes in. So, let’s talk about solutions. And I think all of these are worthwhile solutions. It’s just that you may not immediately feel like trying some of them, which is why I wanted to present more than just one.

Publishing Under a Pseudonym

The first solution is publishing under a pseudonym.

This is something Derek Sivers talked about quite a bit in the early days, which was if you’re scared of trying to get something perfect and putting it out there and have it be perfect, then why not just invent a pseudonym like “Crunchy Frogs 84” or whatever you want to call it.

And then set up a new channel and just publish fun goofy stuff to it without worrying about trying to get it right or worrying about trying to get it perfect.

We all have things in our lives that really seem to come easy. So, you want to look over there, not the stuff that’s hard. If you’re struggling to move forward in your music career, then look at the stuff that’s easy for you.

Maybe you have a daily workout routine. Amazing. So that is something that’s going well, and maybe you’re not even thinking about it anymore because you’ve been at it for a while, and you’ve been getting results and you’re feeling better and you’re looking better so you’re not even thinking about working out at this point.

Perfect. That’s what we want to do. We want to do the same thing except with our creativity and our music.

Go out, create a new channel, call it something completely ridiculous, and just put out 100 songs. That’s all there is to it. Really.

I know some of you are still scared. So, let’s move on to another solution.

Establishing Deadlines

Another solution that has worked very well for me and has worked well for a lot of people is deadlines.

I’m sure that in your job or freelancing career or whatever it is that you do on the side… Most of you are probably not doing just music. But if you are, congrats, I’m glad to hear it. I want to hear more about what you’re up to there.

But if you have a side job or if you have a job, you have certain deadlines and yes, you may dread them. And yes, you may not really want to do them. But when you have them, you get tend to get it done. Don’t you?  It’s the same thing. We want to create self-enforced deadlines in our lives for the things that we’re up to. That can make such a huge difference.

When you have deadlines, you tend to get it done. Share on X

It’s how my life works. People ask me, “How do you get it all done?” One of the reasons is that I live my life by deadlines. I always have deadlines for just about everything that I’m doing, and it might be tight. It might be grueling. It might even be a little bit of a grind at times, but if I’m making sure to take care of myself, and I’m all right, and my well-being is taken care of I can always meet those deadlines.

But like it or not, I have deadlines for my clients every single week, if not almost every single day. If I don’t keep to those deadlines, sure, I might be able to get away with it once or twice, or maybe extend the deadline, or if I’m in communication, I can figure something out. But otherwise, there would be dire consequences for not having and keeping those deadlines.

And it works the same way in your own creativity. Yet again, this is something that you might try, and it may not work the first time. This is the thing about getting things done in general, is there are all these practices that we can put into place, but without our foundations solidly in check, like our mindset and our psychology and our attitude and what we’re thinking and feeling about life in general, sometimes these things can be hard.

Finding Accountability

And so finally, and this is almost, I would like to say it’s foolproof and it almost is. The almost completely foolproof solution to analysis paralysis is accountability. So, having other people keep you to your word.

The almost completely foolproof solution to analysis paralysis is accountability. Share on X

There is a problem with accountability though. Because I grew up in the church. And I went to church for 30 years straight. And there were accountability things that people would take on from Bible studies or Sunday School. One person would fall off and then the other person would fall off. I observed that a lot, so what I’m recommending in place of that is mastermind groups.

I’ve got one that I’m creating, it’s not ready to go yet, but when that is available, I’ll be sure to let you know. But I have so many other projects on the go right now. That one is probably going to stay on the back burner for now.

The other one that tends to work very well in accountability is coaching and community. When you have that two-pronged approach, a coach, that’s guiding you, supports you, and has you looking at completing one thing per week…

And that’s really the structure we use at Elite Players: “What are you committed to accomplishing this week?” There are a million things you could do, and there’s a ton of content in Elite Players, and we’re looking at ways of streamlining and combining and compiling and all that kind of stuff.

What are you committed to accomplishing this week? Share on X

But the bottom line is there are just so many things you could be doing in your music career, hundreds, or thousands, and at any given time we need to prioritize and look at what is the most important next step that we need to take, right?

So that’s what we’re talking about. When you have a coach, and then when you have a community, a forum of people that are supporting you and are looking at each other going, “Hey, did you get it done? What happened? Did you have a breakthrough? Did you have a breakdown? How did things go?”

When you have that, you tend to stay on track, and I honestly think that’s the most effective solution.

The Recession is Here

Look, I can see the way the economy is going right now and we’re not going to be in a great place here. But I’ve known that for a while. I don’t know if that’s something that you were present to.

So, I think the plan is we’re going to break off, well not break it off, but I think we want to make just the members forum available to the people who want to join the forum and have that accountability.

We’re looking at that possibility here soon but, in the meantime, we’ve still got Elite Players. It’s there for you to join and be a part of so we look forward to seeing you on the inside.

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