4 Life Hacks To Stop Overthinking

” Am I good enough to do the job?”

“How will I solve this algorithm? I am not able to figure it out in the last 2 hours.”

“How can I design 3 social media posts in 6 hours? Even an all-nighter wouldn’t be enough for me.”

College is often a chaos. Sometimes, it’s difficult to figure out the right choice. When I was in grad school at IIT Varanasi, sometimes I faltered in delivering things in time. Whenever there was an air of commotion in my mind, I would hang out with friends for a sip of tea or go on short motorbike rides to clear my mind.  Although it worked for smaller problems, later on, I realized that professional commitments require a much more organized approach. Here are 4 Numb Tips to help you fight overthinking.

1. Learn To Say ‘NO’

steve jobs overthinking

“Don’t Hold It That Way.”

This was Steve Jobs reaction in 2010 when Apple iPhone 4 customers complained about WiFi and Network connectivity issues when they held an iPhone in a typical way.”

Key Take Away

Sometimes be a badass and say ‘No’ to your boss or manager. Well, you don’t have to be as rude as Mr. Jobs because being rude can jeopardize relationships. However, you can definitely master the subtle art of saying a ‘No.’ and at some point, you just have to ‘STOP BEING NICE’.

In my brief work experience, I have realized that you can never reach your maximum productive capacity if you have too many simultaneous commitments, even if you are the best multitasker the world has ever witnessed. At the end of the day, you would never reach the coveted ‘Work-Life Balance’ if you don’t learn to say ‘NO’.

2. Feel Comfortable In Your Shoes

tina fey face perfection is a myth

She is Tina Fey. She is a successful comedian and actress. She has a noticeable scar on her face to flaunt which she had accrued as an outcome of an assault in her childhood. However, she focussed on things which she was good at and didn’t care much on things she had no control over.

Key Take Away

The reason I brought up Tina Fey’s story is to raise my concern over the fact that negative body image leads to depression. In a study conducted in Brown Medical School, USA, it was found that out of 286 adolescents who participated in the survey, 22.1% were not happy about their weight or physique. People tend to spend quite a lot of time thinking about things that they have no control over. A perfect figure is a myth.

Maybe you should start feeling comfortable under your shoes and stop whining about things you can’t change. A lot of you may have watched the famous TED talk of the psychologist Amy Cuddy where she talks about the ‘power posture’. Certain postures can boost confidence.  Although you can’t change your complexion, you can work on your posture. This would make you feel confident about yourself. Sitting at home procrastinating or thinking about your friend’s last Instagram post won’t help.

3. Don’t Let Other People Dampen Your Own Inner Spirit

Here is an anecdote from my high school days when I was preparing for IIT JEE. For people who aren’t aware of IITJEE, Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) is an entrance exam to get into Indian Institutes of Technology for graduation in engineering and it has a success rate of roughly 0.5%-0.7%.

When my father asked for feedback, one of my teachers told him that “I was a mere average student who don’t stand much chance to get a good rank in the exam.”

Later on, I went to get an All India Rank of 2571 out of 1.3 million applicants.

Key Take Away

An outsider’s perspective shouldn’t irk you and propel you to cast doubt on yourself. You should know your potential and more importantly, know when to give up and draw the line. Well, I don’t want to sound ‘self-righteous’ but very often I find people wasting their time overthinking whether to venture out on a path they are very enthusiastic about, based on people’s perception.

4. Done Is Better Than Perfect

‘Celluride Wireless’ founder filed a lawsuit against Travis Kalanick, the CEO of UBER claiming that he stole his idea which he presented to him in 2003. While the truth of the duel is yet to surface or will never surface, it is a fact that UBER changed the taxi booking service like no one else ever did.

Key Take Away

Reid Hoffman said,  “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you are too late.”

An idea forms just 5% of a product. Filing a patent right takes a few years. As an entrepreneur, you may spend days wondering about new ideas to fine tune your product. However, overthinking on engineering design may actually lead to a loss of revenue. Once you have a working model that does fine, just launch it!

Reaching perfection requires a lot of tweaking and overthinking can kill your chance if you are in a competitive market. So, focus on a progressive mindset, rather than perfection. The perfect time will never arrive.

2 Replies to “4 Life Hacks To Stop Overthinking”

  1. Thanks for the post. Especially the last point has a lot of meaning for engineers, let’s hope I follow the text.

    1. Thanks Akash! Good to know that you find the article insightful.

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