The Shiny Objects Syndrome (SOS): A danger to your productivity

Let’s find out what this is and how it can be a big obstacle to your productivity, in the long run also to the success of your business and if we want to consider it, also to your personal growth.


It is easy to understand how our eye is attracted to luminous, shiny, sparkling objects, which are registered by our peripheral vision, attracting and distracting us easily. In a broad sense, this syndrome can be defined as a constant attraction towards something that we consider sparkling, which attracts our attention, distracts us and, therefore, lose focus.


These “objects” can be new ideas, new apps, new courses to attend, new collaborations and, in short, anything that distracts your attention from what you are currently doing in your business, causing you to temporarily “leave” an ongoing project and to embark on another one.


Here are some signs that may confirm you have the Shiny Object Syndrome.

  • You have dozens of ideas for a new business in mind or on paper, but you haven’t created any business yet.

  • You are working on the creation of a product, a potential partner arrives who offers you something completely different and you get excited by the idea, abandoning the creation of your product.

  • You try one app to improve your productivity, but then you see an ad for another one, you try it; someone suggests you another, you try it, and so on. Results? You switch from one shiny object to another without certainly improving your productivity.

  • You’re working on a certain task, maybe you’re writing a post for your blog and decide to take a look at Facebook. You find an interesting post about an app, you read it and decide to download it. You are mesmerized by shiny objects and losing sight of the important actions.

We believe the concept is clear enough by now and there’s no need to give other examples. However, we would like to point out that Social Networks can be the greatest mine of shiny objects. But here’s how to avoid falling victim to shiny objects:

  • Ask yourself if this new idea is actually better than any other you are developing enough to abandon current projects and turn your attention to a new idea.

  • Ask yourself if there’s market for this new idea, or better yet, ask your current customers or potential customers. If you have a mailing list, ask your readers. There’s nothing better than having the answer for those directly involved, because if you think of launching a product that will not interest anyone, you really risk losing precious time.

  • Make an accurate, honest and objective analysis of all the projects you have in progress, of all the ideas you have thought about making or have started working on. Try to choose the winning idea, based on what your skills are, based on the progress of the project and above all, as seen before based on the feedback from your audience.

  • When you have identified the winning idea, all that remains is to take action.

Needless to say, we’ve all been victims of this syndrome, but it’s quite easy to recover. Has it happened to you or does it happen? Do you recognize yourself in this syndrome? Tell us your experience, it can be of help to other people!

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