Details, Details

Do you ever get bogged down in details?

I do.

I'm a detail person - which is good. I'm organized - which is better. I get slightly giddy when I get to research stuff online and find the best deals and ferret out reviews and search for coupon codes. (Two of my all-time favorite words: Free. Shipping.) Few things make me as smugly satisfied as strategizing my way into an efficient system.

You might say I like it when a plan comes together. #Childofthe80s

But then, when it comes time to make a decision, my brain can get sucked down by the quicksand of minutia. I get overwhelmed and I bounce from possibility to possibility like a monkey on crack. All those options, all those contingencies. Which is the right one? Have I considered everything? Might there be an angle I'm missing?

Two things work to break the cycle for me.

1. Change the subject.

Often, this means I need to physically walk away from the computer, so I will stop researching and obsessing. It also helps to do something with my body that is totally unrelated - go for a walk, bake some bread, play a game with the kids, pull some weeds. Eventually, my brain will stop its endless feedback loop and be still. I need white space in order to see solutions.

2. Talk a friend who isn't detail oriented.

For me, this is 100% absolutely my husband. Corey is such a big picture thinker, he doesn't even acknowledge details. He has an uncanny ability to cut through the noise and say, "Here. Do this." or "If those are your options, the answer is clearly this one." He doesn't even need to listen to all my research to get there. (He interrupts me on a daily basis with, "Kelly? I don't need to know all this.") (And no, that doesn't hurt my feelings anymore, because after 20 years, I've come to appreciate his talent immensely. He is a true visionary.) His clear, concise feedback is invaluable when I can't get the mental swirl to simmer down.

Any tips to add? What do you do to escape the snarl of specifics and get to the point of action?


  1. My husband is an action person too. He prefer action to planning, so we balance each other out well.

  2. I'm a visionary...and I rely on my gut all the time. When I start to get bogged down by details and stress rolls in, I remember that EVERYTHING always works out the way it's supposed to in the end!

  3. I think that, for me at least, getting bogged down in the details relates to my fear of failure. I fear looking back on the situation after some disastrous outcome, saying "I missed THAT? What was I thinking?" This is especially true with those kinds of decisions you can't undo or take back. What's freeing me, though, is resting in God's sovereignty. I believe it was you who wisely pointed out to me that we are not big enough to mess up God's will. That's a promise worth banking on.