In the last few weeks I started to realise something that was quite new to me in animation. I noticed that in many cases doing the simplest thing usually works best than trying overcomplicated choices.
A good friend and animator recently told me that many young animators want to prove to themselves and everybody else what they're able to do, which most of the time results in overcomplicated acting choices. Sometimes having the animated character nearly still on screen with a strong pose is more powerful than having him do some crazy movements.
A few months back I learned the importance of a good performance to get a sincere animation. After that I also realised that the best acting in animation usually works with a strong but also simple performance.
There is no need to put crazy overlaps, follow through, arcs or anything else unless there is a purpose for it. An over animated character makes the look insincere, and this is where the planning stage becomes a very important step to me.
When in the beginning I know exactly what emotions I want to portray, I've found it extremely helpful to write everything down on a piece of paper and then come back to these notes later to see if the targeted emotions are still there. And again, when I see that I went a bit beside my intended goal , I receive comments from others that the action feels overdone. Hope this makes a bit of sense.