Why You Should Not Let Searching for More Evidence Delay a Decision

Here is another valuable Management Tip of the Day from Harvard Business Review. To sign up for a free subscription to any/all HBR newsletters, please click here.

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Something that often gets in the way of our ability to focus at work is our tendency to keep gathering information long after we have enough to make a decision.

How can we avoid this “analysis paralysis” and learn when to stop collecting more information?

o The best approach is to develop your hypothesis or argument early on, so that your search is focused on supporting or refuting it. If that doesn’t work, give yourself a deadline.

o For example, when working with collaborators, aim to have something to send them by the end of the day. This helps avoid an open-ended search process. It’s tempting to seek evidence to support every argument, but don’t be afraid to bring your intuition to the table. And find time for reflection.

o Create breaks in the day – maybe during a commute or while exercising – so you can make sense of all the information you have.

Adapted from “Manage Your Team’s Attention” by Julian Birkinshaw.

To check out that resource and join the discussion, please click here.

Also, you may wish to check out an anthology, Management Tips from Harvard Business Review, by clicking here.

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