Several times in the past week, I have heard people say that they are probably “overthinking” something. My students made the final project out to be much more daunting than I intended. A colleague obsessed over the exact wording of a survey. A relative is losing sleep debating the implications of a major remodel. A coaching client didn’t start a proposal because she had it in her mind that it needed to be lofty. I am probably guilty of the angst-inducing behavior myself as I keep putting off a writing project because it seems so daunting, whereas if I just started I would likely be finished in a few hours.

Overthinking is a mind game with few positive outcomes. It causes us to inflate the downside of something or to get in an endless loop going over and over a parade of options. Because we believe something is a really-big-deal, it’s easy to put it off until we can more thoroughly prepare or until we can perfect what we began.

Almost always, it’s better to produce a draft, craft a few talking points, or put something down rather than mentally mulling it over. What you write may not be perfect, but it surely is better than no action. Opt for overwriting instead of overthinking.

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