I wonder at what point the term “overthinking” was coined. Because you’d think thinking can’t ever be bad, no matter how much of it you do.
And yet, one of my biggest obstacles to productivity is overthinking.
Overthinking stops me from getting past the idea stage of writing and on to actually writing. It keeps me locked in the planning stages of a trip, without ever really crossing over into enjoyment and engagement when I’m on the trip. I’ve always been a planner, someone who loves the details and logistics of an event almost more than the event itself. And while this rapid-fire thinking can be useful in the early stages of a project, it becomes inhibitive when it’s time to complete it.
And so I have to find ways to stop myself from overthinking.
For writing, I do this by taking on projects like this challenge and NaNoWriMo. I’m competitive enough that I’ll eventually convince my brain to override its overthink mode in order to complete a task. If I’m under a deadline, I’ll do what it takes to make it, even if that means shutting off the overthinking part of my process. This challenge has been great for knowing that I have to post every day, and while I’ve been striving for great content, I eventually have to hit “publish” if I want the post to go up in time, which means I have to stop overthinking it at some point.
For traveling, it means knowing when to shut off my phone, put away the map, and let adventure happen. It also means keeping my eyes open for something off the beaten path. While it’s nice to go into a new place with some advance knowledge, sometimes the best things aren’t on any lists.