The Internet is a wonderful information tool. I would not be nearly as well-informed or as effective at my work without it. But it can lead to a severe form of procrastination similar to “analysis paralysis”.
The Problem With Too Much Information
The problem is that there is so much information – including partial information and conflicting information – that is is not obvious exactly what one should do to accomplish a particular goal. Like Aesop’s fox, I have a hundred options before me and cannot choose.
Falling Into The Trap
With a few clicks and keystrokes, a web search can reveal hundreds, thousands, or millions of potential information sources on almost any topic, so it’s easy to fall into the trap of reading “just one more article on X” instead of actually doing X.
I’m guilty of it. I’ve read so many articles on SEO and social media strategies and info-product development and internet marketing in the last year that they all blur together. Many of them offer concrete plans of action, and several of them contradict each other. A lot of them are just trying to sell you something garnished with a whiff of useful information, though there are many legit sites that offer a ton of useful information as well as tools, tutorials, webinars, training, and consultation.
The other day, I ran across a statement that hit home – the author was talking about selling online, and stated that some of your audience will never buy from you because they are reading your stuff as a form of procrastination.
…because i was reading his stuff thinking ‘well there is some good info here but nothing that makes me want to whip out the credit card’ – and I realized that the author was offering seriously good advice about selling online but I was just continuing to read because it was easier than risking, committing, and doing something concrete.
Analysis Paralysis Antidote
I’m done. I’ll still scan the RSS feeds every day, but it’s time to make a concrete plan for each of the ‘real soon now’ projects, and start working the plan. And dropping the projects that aren’t that promising or important.
I’ve been reading about blogging instead of writing articles. I’ve been reading about marketing instead of creating and selling products. I’ve been reading about organization instead of Getting Things Done.
What are you reading about, instead of doing?