Have you experienced decision paralysis?
Decision paralysis is a state of not being able to decide on a matter when there is no clear best option. It leads to an extended period of information gathering in the hope that more information will guide the decision maker to an option that is the clear choice.
Activation energy, on the other hand, is the energy it takes to overcome decision paralysis. Activation energy is the effort required to move from indecision into action.
It’s the energy required to stand up out of a warm bed on a chilly spring morning, or the energy it takes to go for a run after a long day of work. The way to beat decision paralysis is to master activation energy.
Decision paralysis passively sneaks into my personal life occasionally, and the end result is often a wasted Saturday morning. Give me a month off of work and decision paralysis sets in like thick fog over any sense of purpose or responsibility. That’s what happened to me recently when I found myself with a month of no responsibilities. I quickly became indecisive about what to do with my free time and started to waste a lot of it.
About a week into my month of no responsibilities, I made a decision to spend each day purposefully and intentionally. So I set out to define how I wanted to live.
Start A 30-Day Challenge
A 30-day challenge is my version of lent, only without religion being involved. It’s a time to strip away my power of choice for 30 days, and commit for that time period to performing an action or abstaining from an action. Without the power to choose, I can focus exclusively on the energy it takes to follow through with my commitment.
I decided that my 30-day challenge would be to forgo my regular afternoon pale ale (or two) and all alcohol, for 30 days. I chose this 30-day challenge because it directly takes on my temptation to sit around and watch Seinfeld reruns. After all, what good is sitting on the couch if you can’t have a beer?
My friends have called me crazy. They don’t quite understand. But you and I know that the feeling of taking control of our lives is much sweeter than an IPA. This brings me to the second decision I made in an effort to start living intentionally.
Build Something – Even If It Sucks
Part two of my goal to live intentionally and beat decision paralysis is to build something, even if it sucks. First, I would have to commit to the thing I was going to build. Second, I had follow through with that project.
You’re currently reading my “build something.” I decided to build a website, which quickly turned into a decision to build two websites. The Millennial Post and PatentDirection.com have been my labor of love for the last month.
I didn’t realize how much I would have to learn to build two websites. I’ve learned to code in HTML and CSS. I learned all about typography. You wouldn’t believe how much time I spent thinking about the font you’re currently reading; The font type, line spacing, and font size were all deliberate decisions. I hope you enjoy it. I also had to learn about website hosting, WordPress, themes, and current design trends.
If you had told me 6-months ago that I would be running two websites, not drinking beer, and be a pro at website design, I would call you crazy.
Isn’t that what you want, however, to be surprised at how much you’ve changed in the last few months?
Live Intentionally. Live Purposefully.