Complexity is Killing Me

June 29, 2015

I feel inundated with complexity these days. So many competing perspectives on nearly every topic where I need to make a decision. At best it wastes valuable time. At worst it paralyzes me. Here are a couple inner monologues from rat holes I’ve meandered down in the last week:

Where should I publish my writing?
A decade ago it was simple. I posted it to Fast Company and got a lot of traffic. Now the media landscape is distributed everywhere. OK, fine so I’ll post my stuff to a variety of places. Well, that might screw up my SEO. Wait, do I care about SEO for my services? Isn’t social media more important? It is. I’ve got a fair amount of Twitter followers. How relevant are those these days? What about LinkedIn and Medium? Let me ask some people who should know the answer. Sh*t, they all have different opinions. OK, I’ll read about it online. Wait a second, most of these articles are terrible, how are these people experts? On another topic, what should I care about? Likes? Comments? Readers? Why are you worrying so much? I don’t know; it feels like it matters. Does it matter? I don’t know. On another topic, am I doing enough to strengthen relationships with people in my existing database? Probably not. What do I need to do in order to accomplish that? I don’t know. That feels like a whole different question. [Net result: A few hours exploring. No clear conclusions.]

What should my family eat?
You know bread is bad for you, right? What? When did that happen? Yeah, even the “good” bread is filled with too much processed stuff. Soy isn’t good, we’re back on butter. BTW, the governmental researcher who told us fats were bad for us all those years ago was actually studying trans fats. Fats are good. They’re cutting trans fats out of everything now because they’re horrible for you. When’s that happening? Probably 4-5 years. Snack food companies need a long runway to pull that crap out of their food. BTW, there’s a possibility that Whole Foods has been price gouging you worse than you thought. [Net result: I hate grocery shopping even more now.]

Multiply this meandering process by a factor of 10 and you get a sense of an average week. Am I alone out there? Anyone else experiencing these rat holes?

Sure, I’m an analytical person who likes to see all the angles before moving forward, so that doesn’t help. But even if I weren’t so predisposed, the speed of change and the amount of data out there these days is daunting for even the most rapid decision makers. Tangled up in this web of “too much information” is no way to live.

I’ve come to the conclusion that just making decisions with the best info I’ve got and letting the chips fall where they may is the only path forward. I can adjust as I go. Getting out of the gates is more important than finding the perfect horse because good things happen out on the track. Even if you’re failing, you’re moving, you’re gaining momentum. Nothing good happens caught up in complexity back at the gates .