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Shiny Object Syndrome: A Diagnosis and Treatment Plan

By Mallory Cornell, MBA
Swiss Re Approved Auditor
Virtual Agency Solutions/Independent Insurance Agents of Wisconsin

While working with agencies, our team answers many questions on trends, technologies, and start-ups. Here’s the thing. In my opinion, almost every new trend or technology out there could be good, but it could also just be a “shiny object” that serves no clear purpose in your organization. “Shiny Object Syndrome” (SOS) is a common problem for many people. It’s the tendency to get distracted by new and exciting ideas or opportunities and lose focus on your current goals and projects. Here are some tips on how to avoid SOS:

Set clear goals: Define your short-term and long-term goals and write them down. Having a clear vision of what you want to achieve can help you stay focused and avoid distractions.

Prioritize your tasks: Create a to-do list and prioritize your tasks based on their importance and urgency. Focus on completing the most critical tasks first and then move on to less important ones.

Stick to a routine: Establish a routine that works for you and stick to it. Having a set schedule for your workday can help you stay on track and avoid distractions.

Evaluate new opportunities carefully: When you come across a new opportunity, evaluate it carefully before deciding whether to pursue it. Ask yourself if it aligns with your goals and is worth the time and resources required.

Avoid multitasking: Multitasking can be a productivity killer. Instead of trying to do multiple things at once, focus on one task at a time and complete it before moving on to the next.

Practice mindfulness: Practicing mindfulness can help you stay present and focused on the task. Take a few minutes to meditate or practice deep breathing exercises throughout the day.

Remember, staying focused and avoiding SOS takes practice and discipline. By implementing these tips, you can develop the habits you need to stay on track and achieve your goals.
New technology solutions can sometimes be shiny objects, but not always. It depends on how you approach them and your operational needs.

If you are constantly chasing after the latest technology without a clear plan or purpose, then you might be falling prey to SOS. You might be distracted by the excitement of new technology and forget about your original goals.

However, if you approach new technology solutions with a strategic mindset, they can be valuable tools to help you achieve your goals. It's essential to assess each new technology solution carefully and determine if it will help you improve your workflows or achieve your objectives.

Ultimately, the key is to use technology as a means to an end rather than an end in itself. You should stay focused on your goals and use technology as a tool to help you get there, rather than chasing after every new shiny object that comes your way.


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