Shiny Object Syndrome or SOS is the term given to people who can be easily distracted by new exciting things, and I know that I suffer from it. I can be completely focused on an email or project and something shiny grabs my attention, whether I see it on Facebook or something pops up in a search on Google, it catches my eye, and I can be off on a tangent to the next thing, completely distracted from what I was just doing.

In my career, I have managed my SOS by approaching most things as a project. Projects always have a start and end date and very clear deliverables. I am often willing to take on a new project, even if my workload is heavy, because the attraction of a new challenge is more than I can resist.

SOS can be an issue for some people as they could start many things and never finish them. I am very aware of my SOS condition and have to make a very conscious effort to stay focused and finish what I am doing before getting distracted by the next shiny thing. Even if I allow myself to get distracted, I have to go back and make sure I finish what I started, otherwise I know I will feel exhausted and frustrated, from being constantly busy, but never actually getting the results I want.

Whilst researching this topic, I learned that SOS can have a negative impact on people like small business owners who get distracted by too many ideas or the latest fad, and end up going off in too many directions and never completing anything really well. They think of a new idea or hear of a great new gadget or marketing technique, and there’s great energy and excitement in starting something new, but then not everything gets completed. This is also prominent online where countless people have started websites and blogs and abandoned them within a year or less because they got tired of writing posts, or worse, no one was visiting their website. I am at the very early stages of blogging now so can the same thing happen to me with this blog? I hope not and to ensure that it doesn’t I will have to write about a broad range of topics to keep myself interested and set myself some goals to keep myself focused.

So, for someone like me who has a serious case of SOS, what it takes for me to be happy to stay focused is to have a lot of variety. I love variety and I pursue different interests in different aspects of my life. I used to worry about my SOS, but I don’t anymore. I know how to manage it and for me variety truly is the spice of life. I just have to make sure I don’t lose focus on what’s most important for me and people that depend on me.

Here are my 5 simple tips on how to manage your SOS:

Choose your goal – sometimes people with SOS have so many ideas they find it hard to decide on what to focus on.
Own your goal – make a commitment to it and develop a plan of tasks and actions you are going to take.
Start the first task towards your goal.
Keep on going – this is the hardest step for people with SOS. Remind yourself why you’re doing this, keep to the action plan and stay focused.
Finish – keeping focused is tough but have the end goal in your sight and you will get there.
The above steps sound so simple, but for someone with SOS, they are so incredibly hard to follow. There is no easy way around it, you just have to finish what you have started knowing the feeling of accomplishment will be worth it.

Own your goal!

p.s I’d love to hear your take on this topic. Click on the link below, let me know…

If you know someone who will benefit from reading this, share this post now. It might be the spark they need to give their goal a real go.


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