There was a time when people thought that planning and more planning was the way to get things done. Now, people are starting to realize that executing on ideas is more important than planning for perfection, especially in business.
When you catch yourself spending too much time in your own head, consider how you can turn things around. Here are 10 things you need to remember when you are overthinking anything in your life.
1) Tune into Yourself
The first thing to do is pay attention to your thoughts. You can catch them getting away from you if you aren’t paying attention to them. Pay attention to how you feel, think, and act when you in a state of overthinking. You probably aren’t producing a lot or getting actual work done.
2) Change Your Tone
Instead of focusing on what can go wrong, start making a list of all the things that could go right. When you focus on the positive, good things, start to happen. When you focus on the negative, you focus on everything that is wrong and lose sight of opportunity and possibility.
3) Distractions Are a Good Thing
If you ever find yourself obsessing about a problem, try to shift gears and give your brain a break. Focusing on something else, even for a little while, can help your brain get the much-needed digestion time it needs to process the information you’ve given it.
Not to mention, when you distract yourself, your brain has time to solve the problem in other ways. We tend to consciously try to fix things, but subconsciously our brains are working to provide solutions we don’t see yet. You know that feeling of ah-ha! When a solution suddenly comes to you? That’s what happens when you move on from a problem and start to focus on something else.
4) Let Go of Fear
Nothing can stop you from moving on in your life like fear can. If you focus on the negative and the things that are stopping you in your tracks, you will never get anywhere. Many people are actively working to work against their fears and they are accomplishing amazing things.
Don’t let your fear stop you. Or at the very least, use it to fuel you and prove yourself wrong.
5) Look at Things from a Different Perspective
Rather than try to solve problems from your own perspective, take a minute and put yourself in the customer’s shoes, or the company’s shoes: what would they do? How would they want the problem to be solved?
Sometimes we get so caught up in what we think that we forget there are multiple ways to approach a problem and we overthink it to death. When you change your point of view, answers and solutions become obvious in different ways. You just need to be open to trying something different.
6) Progress Over Perfection
When you are in the middle of overthinking everything, remember that you don’t have to have the perfection solution to move forward with an idea or project. Making progress is more important than achieving perfection, especially when it comes to working life.
You can adjust things as you go, but if you wait for the perfect time, place, solution, idea, concept, day, week, month or year, you will be plagued with that problem forever.
7) You Can’t Predict What Will Happen
While you might not be able to predict what will happen in the future, you can heavily influence it by making decisions in the here and now and having the confidence to trust your own judgment.
Sounds easier said than done, but it is possible to stop overthinking all the things that could happen: start by focusing on what is happening right now and deal with that first. Then move on to the next thing.
8) Set a Timer
If you are feeling frustrated with your inability to move past a problem, set a timer and allow yourself to continue to focus on it for only that length of time.
This will prevent you from waste an entire day or more on something that you can’t fix right now. Decide how much time you will dedicate to this problem and move on
9) Acknowledge Your Efforts
Even if you aren’t making the kind of progress you were hoping for, take a moment to acknowledge the effort you have already put into it and any small wins you might have had up to this point.
If the issue or problem is important to you, then you’ll be able to come back to it when you have a clearer head. And if not, then be okay with letting it go.
10) Practice Gratitude
While you are stuck in a period of overthinking something, take a moment to be grateful for the problem. Afterall, it doesn’t have to be a bad thing that you are faced with solving this problem: it could be a good problem like how do I spend my lottery winnings?
And if it’s more like, how do I pay my mortgage, than start from a place of being grateful for having a house to pay for in the first place. There’s always another way of looking at what is happening that can get you out of the cycle of overthinking and start moving you in a direction that is more desirable to you.
Looking to reduce stress and live a calmer life? Check out Hack Spirit's new eBook on the Art of Mindfulness. They explain how to use mindfulness to overcome an overactive mind, be more focused and reduce suffering, fear and anxiety. Check it out here: https://t.co/SyyoaFhBuW pic.twitter.com/sF6tL9Mp27
— Lachlan Brown (@Lachybe) March 14, 2018