Are you easily distracted by bright and shiny new ideas?
Do you find that you constantly start new tasks only to move on to the next task before finishing the one you are meant to be working on? Do you only ever make it through 60-70% of a new training course, before ditching it for a bigger and better course out there (only to do the exact same thing 60-70% of the way through).
Well, there is a good chance that you have Shiny Object Syndromen.
Don’t worry, it’s not fatal. Just know that if you fail to do anything about it, you will find that it will move you further and further away from your goals. It will leave you feeling that you have spent the day/week/month/year running around in circles, but upon review finding you have not actually accomplished anything.
And you are not alone. Bright Shiny Object Syndrome is extremely common!
Exactly what is Shiny Object Syndrome?
Shiny Object Syndrome is the tendency to get sidetracked or attracted by some new exciting and attractive idea. You get distracted from the bigger picture and go off in tangents instead of remaining focused on the goal and tasks that you really need to concentrate on.
We think of a new idea for a service we can offer, a new piece of fitness equipment, or new software and suddenly all of our focus is centred on this new exciting idea.
Of course when we fall into the alluring trap laid by Shiny Object Syndrome we form a habit of having a whole pile of tasks that have been started but never completed.
In addition, countless hours and money are wasted in pursuit of this new shiny object without having taken a moment to consider whether this new item, technique, service or product is right for your business.
I know it’s hard not to get excited about every new idea that comes past you.
And hey, I am not looking to reign in your creative juices. After all a lot of these ideas will be good ones.
Instead, what I want you to remember is that you are running a business and before diving towards that next bright shiny object, stop and ask yourself:
- Is this right for my business?
- Does this “thing” help me reach my goal? If in doubt, go back and review your Core Values, Mission, Vision, Goals and Priorities.
- Would this “thing” enhance the experience my clients have working with me and would they be willing to pay for it?
- Do I have the time, resources, energy, and money to put into this to make it successful?
- Do I have too many open projects sitting on my desk that need to be finished before I begin something new?
- Do I have the ability to finish this new project, plus implement and maintain it?
- What do I have to accomplish before starting something new?
There’s nothing wrong with loving innovation. In fact you should embrace it but just make sure you don’t lose focus on what’s most important for you, your business and your clients.
By referring back to your Core Values you are reminded of what you stand for.
Your Mission reminds you of the reason WHY you do what you do.
Your Vision shows you where you want to go.
Your Goals and Priorities clear up what’s important so that you can focus your time and energy on the things that matter– and not waste your time on things that don’t.
Always bear this in mind.
How do you know if you suffer from SOS?
If you answer yes to any of the following questions then there is a good chance you are attracted to Bright Shiny Objects.…
- Do you buy products or items that you never use?
- Do you start projects or tasks that you never complete?
- Do you easily get distracted by the latest fad or product?
- Do you say to yourself “I might use this at some stage in my business”?
How can I prevent Shiny Object Syndrome?
We have reviewed a number of pieces on goal setting, focus and productivity looking for a common thread to possible solutions that can help you stay focused and on track.
This research led us to realise that all successful business owners and entrepreneurs are not great because of divine moments of inspiration. Instead
these individuals are successful because they are organised, focused and regularly committed to improving their services.
We all know people who can’t seem to organise their life and that lack of organisation holds them back.
So to avoid you falling into this trap, here are some simple steps to help you complete those important tasks and projects and stay on top of your personal growth:
We are all generally good at this step.
Victims who suffer from Shiny Object Syndrome often find themselves continually “starting” things.
Unfortunately, we then get caught in a never-ending loop which looks something like this:
Start –> Start Over –> Start Again –> Keep Starting
Avoid this trap! Keep going and then you have to do something really, really important…
This is where most people go wrong. They fail to make a decision and stick to it. This frequently causes indecision and ultimately the task on hand grinds to a halt.
So, make a decision then decide to do whatever it takes to actually get the task done.
Do you follow your decision up with action or not?
When you take action on a goal, you’re committed.
If you decide to never do anything about it you will find shiny object syndrome will continue to ravage every aspect of your life, so please commit to taking action.
If you’ve made it this far, guess what?
At times things are going to get tough. It is at this point that most people will want to give up and switch attention to the next Bright Shiny Object.
Whenever you get to this point you need to focus on the WHY you are doing this. As I mentioned earlier, focus on your Goals and Mission to remind you of your WHY.
If you quit here, you’ll never really be cured and you will never truly rise to the levels of success you deserve and can achieve.
Remember, challenges are there to be faced and once you overcome them the rewards are there to be enjoyed.
When things get tough just keep moving forward. Momentum is key here and no matter how slow your progress is just keep working towards the end goal.
This is a crucial step. FINISH. Work to an end point. Don’t leave something halfway done.
Now, this doesn’t mean everything is going to be a roaring success, but it does mean you’ll have a finalised project.
Scratch the completed project off your to do list, pat yourself on the back for this success, and jump into your next project. Momentum is on your side.
And don’t forget to have fun!
Download our free e-book Grow Beyond Trading Time For Money – click on the image to start your download.
Unlike simple online courses, marketing agencies/services, and mastermind groups that serve the fitness industry, NPE is the only one that digs into the real numbers that drive long-term success and stability in business.
Article written by NPE Coaching for the What’s New in Fitness Magazine – Spring 2018 Edition.