I believe we all go through the phase of having a shiny object syndrome at one point or another. Unfortunately, not everyone is lucky enough to cure their shiny object syndrome at a young age (if ever).
To begin with what exactly is a shiny object syndrome (SOS)?
Shiny Object Syndrome is when a person gets distracted by new thoughts and ideas and never focuses or completes anything.
Symptoms of a Shiny Object Syndrome include:
Procrastination: This will prevent you from focusing on one task and will shift your focus preventing you from moving forward.
Slow decision making: With the advancement of technology we have many opportunities and decisions to make. Multiple options could potentially create anxiety and lead us to make the wrong decision (if any). Slow decision making alone cost me upwards of 5 figures during my first year in business as I took too long to make a firm decision. Eventually, I lost the opportunity due to my focus being shifting from one thing to another. (Lesson learned)
Wasted resources: Time, Money and Productivity. We often waste these resources chasing after the shiny object. Whether it be purchasing a new business creation program before completing the previous, or switching from weight lifting to CrossFit before completing your current schedule. Either way, both scenarios results in money, time and productivity loss.
Unfinished project: SOS ultimately results in multiple unfinished projects due to moving from one thing to another. At some point, we come to realize the number of projects we’ve attempted and had left uncompleted. Unfortunately, at this point what’s left is regret, wasted resources and what if’s.
However, regardless of what’s happened in the past, realize that today is a new day.
It’s time to leave the past behind and start focusing on today and work towards tomorrow. For that reason, I want to share my two simple yet effective methods of curing a shiny object syndrome.
Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture the heart. - Ancient Indian Click To Tweet
HOW TO CURE YOUR SHINY OBJECT SYNDROME
Set SMART Goals
Smart goals are essential to success and I cannot stress the importance of setting smart, targetted and exciting goals for your business and life. This stage, the stage of planning and creating your goals often determines whether a person will succeed or fail.
The reason many fail regarding setting smart goals is due to short-term thinking. When we have a new goal, a business idea or a new routine we would like to implement into our life we ultimately seek instant gratification. This is why we lack long-term planning, we are so privileged to live in such technologically advanced society that we take it for granted. We automatically assume everything will occur fast and easy, and as a result, when things don’t go to our expectation we shift our focus towards the next shiny object that we come in contact with.
Here are 5 steps you can take and start setting SMART goals:
Specific: Have clear and well-defined goals, “making more money” is not a specific goal. However, increasing your revenues by acquiring new clients is. The same approach goes for other goals including health and fitness. Being specific with your goals is a beneficial approach as they are a reference point if you get lost.
Measurable: Set goals that are measurable, if your goal is not measurable how will you ever know if you’ve achieved it or not. Adding measuring tools such as numbers and dates to your goal will help you evaluate the progress. In our scenario, if the goal is to increase revenues by $250,000 within a year, a better way to put this would be to acquire 11 clients at $2,000/month throughout 2017.
Attainable: As Bill Gates said, “Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years”. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Starting a new task we often get excited and set ridiculously high and difficult to achieve short-term goals. Goals we may not be capable of achieving at our current stage. It’s best to set attainable short-term goals as this will prevent you from jumping at the next shiny object if you fall short and feel discouraged.
Relevant: Keep your short and long term goals relevant on the direction you want to take your life and career. This will allow you to focus more on what matters and less on the “hype” based projects. If your goal is to excel as an author but you start scattering your focus on non-relevant projects, you will eventually waste your most valuable resources. Use your time, money and productivity to support your main goal!
Time-Bound: Have deadlines! Nothing is worse than having an open time-frame as it leads to procrastination. Committing to a deadline will help you focus towards completing the task on hand and prevent possible intervention from other non-task related distractions.
It is important to understand the value of creating SMART goals before beginning any sort of project.
Believe In Yourself More Than You Fear
If you forget everything on this post and on Project Compound, remember this! Believe in yourself more than you fear. Fear is one of the main triggers for your shiny object syndrome, if not the only trigger.
When you start a new project, at some point you’ll begin facing difficulties and setbacks or perhaps you won’t achieve results at the rate you hoped. This is the point where fear and negative self-talk will come into play. You’ll begin talking yourself into changing your focus and chasing after new tasks, tasks that are not relevant to your primary goal.
The moment you realize fear coming into play:
Stop and get back to yourself!
You are in the process of completing your current project, however, you will consider that other thing at another time.
Besides, if that other thing is as important as they say, then it will be around by the time you complete the task at hand. If not, be happy for not falling into the hype!
The reality is, you become attracted to the shiny objects at the moment of doubt and struggle caused by your current circumstance.
There are times as humans we get uncomfortable to the point we give in to our doubts and struggles. This is when we seek imaginary comfort by attempting to move onto the first thing that attracts us.
Every time you allow fear and self-doubt to trick you into falling for your shiny object syndrome, fear wins and you lose. Realize that you have everything you need in front of you and get to work.
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