Paralyzed by Choice, The Netflix Problem
As I am writing more these days I have discovered a challenge that is holding me back from writing more and it is a problem with more than just writing. Something that prevents me from tackling challenges and doing things I always meant to get around to. It is the problem of choosing, you can call it the Netflix problem, being paralyzed by choice.
How many times have you turned on Netflix to watch a movie, flipped through every genre and movie possible and then just watched a repeat of some old show or turned the TV off? How many times have you spent hours finding the perfect restaurant to eat at and just settled on same old place or starved to death (ok maybe not that)? With all of the access to information today we paralyze ourselves with choice and I have noticed that spilling over into other aspects of my life.
With writing it is choices like what should I write about? Is it worth writing about? Will people read it? Do I know enough to write about it? Does anyone care? These are thoughts that run through my head and in the end I write about nothing. Not nothing in the Seinfeld way but I just literally don’t write anything.
Even with exercising. Where should I run? How far should I run? Should I got to the gym? What routine should I do? Whats the weather out? What should I wear? Sometimes this delays me from exercising at all.
I even catch this problem arising at work. Whenever a difficult project or challenge arises at work we can hesitate to do something because of all the possible ways to approach it, maybe set meetings to go over these choices, type up documents to outline the problem, etc… While preparedness is certainly key to tackling challenges it is easy to over prepare which stalls us from approaching the task at hand.
Being aware of this problem is a great step but doing something about it is key. I can write a list of all the ways this problem arises in my life. I can read other articles about people with a similar problem. Or maybe I can research some books that discusses how to tackle the problem. I need to do something. Maybe I’ll just go watch some reruns of The Office on Netflix until I figure it out.