You’ve probably heard of the term FOMO or “fear of missing out” — possibly in the context of someone making fun of millenials who say things like “I can’t believe I’m not going to Coachella this year I have so much FOMO”.
But it’s not just millennials who have this problem!
I used to get FOMO and it drove me a little crazy.
I couldn’t say no to any networking event or opportunity without feeling that if I didn’t go I would not only miss out, but be negatively affecting my business or the launch of my book.
We have this weirdly held belief among entrepreneurs that just around the corner is our big break or big meeting that can turn everything around. We just have to go to enough events or connect with the right people to find it.
It’s technically true but it can drive you insane. Or in my case make your appendix burst.
It’s time we started to admit the truth.
Not all opportunities are equal and success isn’t about quantity but quality.
I’ve seen this to be more and more true over the past couple of years. It all started when I had my appendix rupture. It opened my eyes to that fact that I had been taking on too much, all because of FOMO.
After this I cut back, I started only taking on projects I knew would be useful and only attending a few key events a year.
The benefits were immediately noticeable, I not only had more time for myself, but I also had the luxury of being able to take more time with my tasks. I had more concentration and significantly less stress.
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I liked to think of it as Essentialism — which is one of my favorite books and if you haven’t read it you need to!
BUT — the Internet has coined a new term for it.
JOMO or the Joy of Missing Out has key principles that are all about disconnecting from technology, opting out and having a more minimalist approach to life.
Last year I shared the article in which sports reporter Kristin Hewitt announced that her family would be ‘doing nothing’ for the summer. Or rather that they would be focusing on what the needed most at the time as opposed to what they felt they should be doing or what looked good on social media. Even if that meant having a sofa day.
It’s not hard to find examples of people taking on the spirit of JOMO and generally checking out in favor of more quality experiences.
So how can you join in on the JOMO revolution? Here’s a list!
Make “Just Enough” lists — I rave about these all the time, but honestly it’s had a huge improvement on my productivity. I learned this idea from my friend and colleague Heidi Hanna who I interviewed in my book Listful Thinking. Rather than drowning in task after task I just cherry pick the few things I absolutely have to do to have a successful day. The idea is to ask myself, “what would be “just enough” if I did these items that my clients would be happy and I’d meet my deadlines for the day?” It gives me a chance to think about my priorities. I make my to do lists work for me and not the other way around.
Be grateful — Everyone likes to focus on what they’re missing out on, instead of what they’re gaining in return. You just have to reframe the way you look at it, sure you might have missed out on a few great Instagram-worthy photos. Instead, however, be thankful for the chance to watch a movie you’ve been meaning to check out or reconnect with somebody you haven’t spoken to in a while.
Set boundaries — JOMO isn’t about missing out on things for the sake of it and it doesn’t mean abstaining altogether. Restrict yourself to a certain number of commitments per week or create a strict deadline for logging off from work. That being said you should also give yourself a bit of flexibility — we can’t all be perfect all the time and if you cancel on something you were excited for purely because you’ve hit your quota it goes against the spirit of JOMO!