Suffering From ‘Shiny Object Syndrome’

Do you suffer from SOS (Shiny Object Syndrome)? If so, let’s commiserate. 

Shiny Object Syndrome is also known as…”Squirrel!” Yes, it’s the ability to be easily distracted no matter what you’re in the middle of at the time. It’s a blessing–and a curse. 

The Blessing is having an overabundance of ideas and thoughts rattling around in my head. I have so many (amazing, of course) ideas in my head that I’m bursting to act on every single one of them. You might suffer from “Writer’s Block,” sorry to hear that. I suffer from a never onslaught of ideas to write about. 

The Curse is having so many thoughts and ideas bouncing around in my head that it’s like a bumper car rally at a County Fair. As soon as one idea takes shape, I’m instantly excited and ready to act on it. And when I jump in, I really jump in…both feet…holding my nose…and sink to the bottom of the pool. The problem is when I hit the bottom of the pool, I have another idea and I push off the bottom and launch myself toward the surface, only to rush to jump in again (over and over and over). 

The challenge for me is to stick to one train of thought, or at least stick to one subject and category. I’ve admittedly purchased dozens of domain names–and created the same number of WordPress sites for the names (seriously, I own HowToMakeFriedRice.com) –only to find myself shrugging and moving on to the next shiny idea (SOS). It’s frustrating, at best. 

They say doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is the true definition of insanity. Well then, hand me my white dress coat with the straps in the back. I’ve arrived. A padded room for one, please. Pass the jello and the little paper cup with my pills.

– Rusty ellis – SOS Sufferer

My only consoling measure is knowing I suffer from SOS. I recognize it. I embrace it and it embraces me back (by my neck at times). 

The best way for me to stop my urges to jump from one idea to the next is to wait at least a day before acting on it. I need to make an “idea list” and keep it on a pad next to my laptop.

When I have a world-changing idea for a website, I need to: 

  1. Write it down to get it out of my head. 
  2. Let it age for at least 24-hours (or at least sleep on it a night).
  3. Check to see if I have the same passion the next day.

This little checklist will surely save me a few brain cells and a few dollars donated to GoDaddy.com. 

Does this sound familiar to you? Do you suffer from SOS? How do you deal with it? 

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