How to Avoid Falling Prey to Shiny Object Syndrome

Feb 28, 2021Coaching0 comments

Many professionals struggle with shiny object syndrome. It is a habit that causes you to get sidetracked by new and exciting tools, ideas, and things rather than focusing on important but perhaps less enticing but more important tasks. Shiny object syndrome can often leave you feeling overwhelmed. This is because you never fully complete your projects.

You need to recognize that new is not necessarily better

The first thing to understand when resisting shiny object syndrome is to know that what is new is not always better. While it is important that you keep up with the latest trends and updates, learn to differentiate between what is worth pursuing and what is not. There is no need to chase every new idea, tool, or process.


You should look past the buzz

There are many bright, shiny objects in the world to distract you; and more coming every day. Learn to see past the hype. What is good for another company may not be good for you or your team. Instead of diving headfirst into something new, give serious thought as to how it aligns with your priorities. 


Consider, is it a good fit?

What is new and different may not be the right fit for you, your team, or your clients. Before pursuing something new, consider: 
•    Is this what I really need?
•    Will it add value to my work and life?
•    What are the pros and cons of doing this?


You need to manage your distraction sources

Another way to resist shiny object syndrome is to limit the many ways you may be tempted to veer off course. If you are part of social media or professional groups or if you receive emails that recommend new offerings and new products, you must deal with the burden of reading each recommendation and assessing if you should buy it or try it. Evaluate your social media feeds and email subscriptions. If they are not adding value, unsubscribe or leave the group. 


Be aware of switching costs

Anytime you change tools or processes to something new, there is a price to pay. This could be a monetary cost, a mental cost involved with changing your focus, or the time involved learning a new system. Consider these costs anytime you are enticed or intrigued by something new. 


Try a wait and see approach

Many new ideas and tools do not last. Many products that claim to be the best get replaced by new ones in short order. They do not always live up to their claims. This is why it is a good idea to wait and see if you really need or can use something. Unless you truly need that new tool or item now, it is most likely prudent to hold off on buying it or switching to it.  

 If you are constantly distracted by shiny objects, you are limiting your chances of becoming a better leader. Instead of chasing the newest trend and beginning again every time something flashy catches your eye, work on becoming the best in your field with the tools and strategies you already have in place.   And this will help you thrive.


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