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Avoiding shiny object syndrome will help you get unstuck

Shiny object syndrome is hindering your success
Avoiding shiny object syndrome will help you get unstuck
Photo by Shubham Dhage / Unsplash

My very first job in 7th grade was umpiring Little League baseball games. I enjoyed the opportunity to be around a game I loved and wound up becoming quite good at it. However, I’ll always remember my first game calling balls and strikes as the home plate umpire.

I was standing too tall so I was looking down at the strike zone instead of level with it and I was a little off to the side, so I wasn’t seeing it straight on.

This led me to call a ton of pitches as a ball outside the strike zone when in fact they were good pitches. I think the poor 10-year-old kid pitching even started to cry 😭

The coach of that team came out to talk with me. Instead of voicing what I can only imagine was incredible frustration and displeasure with how I was doing, he simply suggested I get a bit lower to be level with the strike zone.

He suggested I change my line of sight.

I was the same person umpiring the same game, with the same players, on the same field, but I changed my vantage point. That’s when the game became clearer, I became more confident, and I started doing really well.

All because I changed my line of sight.

Too distracted to start

The same thing goes for what many people call Shiny Object Syndrome. In our world with unlimited choice of resources, content, tools, products, and hacky experts, we’ve never been more distracted by shiny objects.

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In our world with an unlimited choice of resources, content, tools, products, and hacky experts, we’ve never been more distracted by shiny objects.

If I just get that iPad, we say, our life and productivity will improve.

If I just read one more book, we say, we’ll get that final kernel of wisdom necessary before starting a project.

If I just start the current popular diet, we say, we’ll finally get our health back on track.

With constant distraction from shiny objects, we are getting stuck because we’re in search of just one more golden nugget of wisdom, one more tool, and the perfect way of life.

We have trouble even leaving the starting line since we’re looking around at all the shiny objects instead of the important body of work in front of us.

Take the small steps to focus your line of sight on what’s important, block out the noise, forget the next shiny thing, and just start.

Try simply changing your line of sight.


Ready to downsize your relationship with work and quit burnout?

Hi, I'm Grant Gurewitz. I'm on a mission to end burnout at work. I've been in tech for 10 years (ex-Zillow, current: Qualtrics) who suffered deep burnout and came back from it with no help of the hacky advice out there.

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