03 July 2019

Getting too fixated on one thing keeps you from becoming more efficient

Sometimes, we can’t help but overthink certain circumstances, especially when running a business. Business leaders are cursed with having a constant assault of things to think about make decisions on all the time. As a Business Coach, I’ve worked with a lot of business owners who also find it challenging to manage their time more efficiently.

If you’re a notorious overthinker, you tend to second-guess every decision you make and foresee dreadful consequences in your mind. You find it hard to move on to the next thing and you probably get caught up in conversations that you’ve already had yesterday. You invoke images in your head each time you are presented with a situation, and as a result it may cloud your judgment or you end up not having a decision at all.

Unless your only job is to sit around and think about things without having to do anything, thinking too much prevents a business leader like from getting anything done. You will not be able to master your own time because you easily get stuck in one state. Below are some tips on how to fight the urge to overthink.

Spot and get rid of destructive thought patterns

Excessively ruminating and persistent worrying are the two most destructive thought patterns. Ruminating is when you dwell too much on the past. For instance, you regret saying certain things during yesterday’s meeting, or you keep on going over and reviewing every step you’ve made in a recently-concluded project.

Persistent worrying is when you make negative — often disastrous — predictions about what’s going to happen in the future. This is when you’re constantly anxious about a looming change in the office, or you’re worried about the pending impact of something you just did.

As soon as you identify these thoughts, you can start to develop a defense so you won’t entertain them in your mind. Overthinking can become such a habit that you might not even recognise that you’re actually doing it. Start paying attention to how you think so you can become more aware. When thoughts aren’t productive, make an effort to snap back to normal thinking. Remember, thinking is only helpful when it leads to positive action.

Your mission is to solve the problem, not magnify it

Your main focus should be looking for solutions to problems. By thinking about solutions, you can help yourself envision a positive outcome. Dwell on what will happen if you’re able to execute a great solution, not the opposite. The more you think about the worst-case scenario, the more problems you need to think about and waste precious time on.

It’s easy to get carried away with negative thoughts. It helps when you acknowledge that your thoughts can sometimes be unreasonably undesirable. Challenge your thoughts by coming up with alternatives that lean towards positivity, not doom.

Sometimes, testing a new method wouldn’t hurt anybody

Forcing yourself to stop thinking about something will backfire. The more you try to avert a thought from entering your brain, the more likely it is to keep popping up. If you’re stuck in one place, try changing your activity. Allow yourself to get distracted — for a short while — by something that’s unrelated to the situation. This will help you pacify the barrage of negative thoughts so you can get back to solving the problem with a fresh mind.

Make time for reflection.Stewing on your crises will never result to anything productive, but a little reflection session can be helpful. Spend around 15 minutes reflecting on the bigger picture. This allows you to step back and see a broader perspective on things.

Have you been wasting your time overthinking? Work with a Business Coach like me to help yourself improve your time management and decision-making skills. My extensive clientele consists of companies based in all of the Midlands including Leicestershire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Staffordshire. Discover how REACH Business Coaching can help you grow your business by attending our free workshops and seminars.

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