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Billionaires Advice on Staying Focused to Avoid Shiny Object Syndrome

“If you chase two rabbits...You will not catch either one.” ~ Russian Proverb

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

The benefit of today’s technological age is that it avails us with a lot of opportunities. And with a click of a button, you can have whatever information you need on any given subject. For entrepreneurs, managers, and business executives, it means they can go after whatever project they desire without feeling constrained by lack of information.

The flip side of having this enormous amount of information at our disposal is that it brings a conflict of interest, it makes decision-making more difficult, and can also limit our concentration level.

Shiny Object Syndrome is a problem faced by most entrepreneurs, managers, and executives due to the abundance of information and opportunities available at their disposal. It is characterized by trying to utilize every new idea or opportunity that one comes across. This attitude is what leads to loss of focus, and makes one take on more workload to compensate for wasted time. Lack of focus coupled with excess workload is why so many people experience burn-out, frustration, and depression.

Many companies also fall victim to the shiny object syndrome. They fail to define their values and objectives, and they try to venture into new territory that is perceived to be profitable without sticking to a particular niche. This is why many companies never get to become great.

Below are a few dangers of shiny object syndrome:

  • This leads to a lack of focus.
  • Inability to complete a project.
  • It encourages wastage.
  • This leads to unnecessary distractions.
  • Lack of mastery or specialization.
  • It consumes time, energy, and other valuable resources.

How to Avoid the Shiny Object Syndrome

1.    Define your Priorities

“While you can have virtually anything you want, you can’t have everything you want,” Ray Dalio.

The best way to set yourself up for failure in life is by trying to do everything – that is, not having priorities. Because there are boundless opportunities around you doesn’t mean you can go after all of them. Doing so will only lead to frustration and a lack of specialization.

We all have to understand that life is all about prioritizing and that the best way to succeed in life revolves around time and resource management.

2.    Define Your Values and Objectives

“Having a good mission is not enough. You need a concrete objective, and you need to know how you’re going to get there.” ~ Bill Gate

The reason why most businesses and people never get to perform at their best is that they lack objectives and value. To succeed in life or whatever our endeavor requires that we lay down what’s most important to us. Failing to do so would only lead to goose chase, endless frustrations, and disappointment.

To, therefore, eliminate the prospect of chasing after every perceived good idea, or concepts, Jim Collins in his book ‘Good to Great’ advised that we find out what we are good at and stick to it.

3.    Learn to Say No

“There will always be an unending supply of opportunities, things to do, causes you care about, and on and on. Knowing when and how to say no to projects, social invitations, and other requests or your time frees you up to focus on objectives that matter.” ~ Warren Buffet.

Saying NO can be a huge challenge for most of us especially when an offer is tempting. The ability to reject a perceived good idea or concept is an important time management technique. It gives you the ability to focus your ability to the exclusion of every other thing. It increases productivity because all the effort is centered on a task or activity.

4.    Have Goals

 “Life is like a giant smorgasbord with more delicious alternatives than you can ever hope to taste. Choosing a goal often means rejecting some things you want in order to get other things that you want or need even more.” ~ Ray Dalio

Just as a map is important to a driver, goal setting is important to everyone and organizations. Goal setting is a technique that aligns your focus and keeps you motivated towards an objective. It is what ensures that you stay committed even when you encounter difficulties.

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