Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sometimes we over-think the really simple things ...

Yesterday afternoon, I felt like a big jerk because the answer to a problem I was mulling over for the past week (maybe two) was revealed to me. And it was so simple. My day job is in accounting; I had to reconcile payroll documents with my own records. (Let's not dwell on the fact that if I did this quarterly, like I am supposed to, then I would have found and resolved the issue a long time ago - procrastination will be another post.) But I reviewed this particular schedule, my auditors reviewed it, I went through every register from every pay period and could not reconcile the numbers. I finally called our payroll service and asked for some insight. As the representative was speaking, it hit me that I simply did not take certain deductions into consideration - I was following a template from last year, but things changed. It's not rocket science. The place I should have started, was where the answer was. However, I didn't think it could be that apparent, so I looked all over the place and back.

What did I learn? First, don't make issues bigger than they are, one ends up wasting a lot of time and energy that way. Second, don't overlook the obvious; it's obvious for a reason. Last, don't make calling experts (or those who have knowledge of the issue) the last option; check with them first. There is no shame in seeking assistance.

I'm also reminded not to over-think relational issues. What generally happens is I build great scenarios in my mind of what a person's actions mean or what they are thinking - all which have nothing to do with reality. I have learned that if a person says or does something that I am uncomfortable with or unsure about, it's best to just ask for clarification. That makes for better communication and understanding all around.

There are also times when my gut tells me how to react to certain situations and I don't trust it; I start over-thinking all the details. In the end, I usually come to the original conclusion, while precious time has been wasted.

My final thought is when over-thinking becomes in-action. I may get a great idea, but then I think of all the reasons why it wont work, or wont be successful. When all is said and done, if I put the energy into just planning how to move forward, rather than think about all the negative possibilities, things would move along at a quicker pace.

All-in-all, life is not as complicated as we can make it. I am going to embrace the simple way from now on; how about you?