Start Small

“The best way to avoid data overload is to start small and focus your efforts on the most important portion of your website. You’ll be tempted to look at everything and try to understand every aspect of every part of your site. Doing so can quickly lead to frustration and won’t allow you to take full advantage of the opportunities you have.”

This quote’s from Actionable Web Analytics, but it jumped out at me as a widely applicable message.

With the large selection of options available daily about where to invest your time, it’s difficult to make a choice. For example, some days I just want to  spend all my time coding, and other days I feel most productive when I split it across reading and writing. The best way to not get overwhelmed by your choices and their consequences is to just get started by deciding on, and focusing on one option.

The goal, is to take full advantage of the opportunities you have. Spending energy thinking about the possible consequences is not deciding, and it’s is counter productive. Out of the options available to you, some will be better choices than others. Some actions will have bigger impacts, and moving accomplishing certain goals is more important than others, but seeing all your goals laid out in front of you is different than moving them forward. You can always change course after you’ve started. If you discover that what you’re doing isn’t working out, or it doesn’t feel right, you can always switch. What you can’t do though is in up in an analysis paralysis. Keep the momentum going. 

Not having direction leads to frustration. And not having direction is caused by misaligned objectives, priorities, and actions.

  • Having an objective means you know what the end result is
  • Having priorities means being aware of which values and objectives are more important
  • Having actions is being clear with what steps that will move those objectives to completion

Having the complete picture will give you confidence. So one way of gaining confidence, is to start building the system. You start to build the system by starting small. Once you start small, you’ll start to develop a clearer picture of what your priorities are.

Actionable Web Analytics: http://www.amazon.com/Actionable-Web-Analytics-Business-Decisions/dp/0470124741

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