The Blog.

Is this why you get stuck in indecision?

2 Jun 2014 | Clarity & Focus

Things have been a little crazy over here lately. My diary has been changing so fast I’ve had a hard time keeping up!

Just in the last week I’ve had two cancellations, one last minute booking and two lots of international travel to organise. And that was on my week off!

So I’ve been doing some regrouping, and trying to work out where some of my own plans fit in with everything else. The plans where I’m not answerable to anyone else but me.

And I found myself stuck.

Stuck in indecision. Trying to work out – do I do it this way or that, or the other? Do I go crazy guns blazing or will I just end up going out guns blazing? Should I pare it down, simplify it, delay or ditch my plans altogether? Or should I just stop analysing it and JFDI – whatever ‘it’ is?

No kidding I’ve spent the best part of the day stuck, deliberating, trying to find a way out. Painfully aware of how much time was passing when I’ve got so much to get on with!

I hate being stuck in limbo. I’m a girl who likes to have a plan. Even if that plan is “make it up as you go along.”

As I was staring at my calendar, wondering “what exactly am I stuck on here?” I noticed something.

The decisions I had made quickly were all ones that were bound by someone else’s timetable.

  • We’ve got an emergency – can you fly to Dublin to cover a workshop on Tuesday?
  • The only date we can do is the 18th. Can you do it?
  • This opportunity only comes up once a month/quarter/year…

In all those situations, the parameters are defined. There’s a specific timeline involved, set by someone else. And limited options: are you in or out? Yes or no?

Of course, there’s work involved with reshuffling, planning and logistics to accommodate those changes, but the decision itself was relatively easy to make because someone else had defined the problem.

By contrast, the decision I got stuck on was my own. I was in control, but because of that, I had too many options. There were too many variables. I was paralysed by having too much choice and I was trying to solve the problem by coming up with more options!

I didn’t need more options. I needed definition.

I needed to be ruthless and limit my options. Once I did that, the decision came quickly and I was free to move on (thank goodness for that!).

Has that ever happened to you? Are you stuck on a decision at the moment, where you have too much choice?

Instead of coming up with more ideas, try limiting your options, and see what that does for your clarity.

Drop me a line in the comments below and let me know how that works for you.


  1. Richard Tubb

    Grace – a very useful blog post and one that rings true with me!

    As Warren Buffet said “The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say no to almost everything.” I’ve found that if a decision isn’t clear to me, it’s sometimes best to do as you say and limit your options – including saying no to an opportunity.

    The more I’ve done this and said “no” the more obvious it has been to me when to say “yes” to opportunities too!

    • Grace Marshall

      Thanks Richard! Brilliant quote and a great reminder. I’m naturally very much a ‘yes and’ girl, so it’s always good to be reminded of the power of saying ‘no’ 🙂

Image if author Grace Marshall

About Grace

I coach, train, write and speak on productivity. I help people adopt new ways of working and thinking about their work to replace stress, overwhelm and frustration with success, sanity and satisfaction.

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