Learn How To Avoid the Shiny Object Syndrome

Learn How to Avoid the Shiny Object Syndrome

If we can learn how to avoid the shiny object syndrome, many of us will advance far in business.

Yep, I’m sure you have heard this one before.

Experience Wealthy Affiliate

Essentially, shiny object syndrome is a disease of distraction that often plagues entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs tend to be highly motivated, and they crave new technology and developments.


These are some of the great qualities that make entrepreneurs uniquely stand out. They aren’t afraid to test their new ideas and begin new startups.

When shiny object syndrome becomes an obsession, it forces one to chase project after project, never settling with one option. Once they get to the starting line and see what the object is, they immediately lose interest and start chasing the next big thing. For entrepreneurs, these are new marketing products, strategies, and even other business ventures.

Here is a quote from one of my great readers:

“Bright shiny object syndrome is something that I used to suffer with terribly, especially in the early days when I was eager to learn about how to make money online and was looking for every opportunity and every way possible to make money online. I can actually remember buying bright shiny objects and thinking that I had found a great product, only to buy another great shiny object for and even used previous shiny object! It was seriously bad, I'm not proud of this!” - Anonymous

how to avoid the shiny object syndrome is my golden rule #3

However I wanted to express my alternative viewpoint on this very true (albeit somewhat overused) familiar term so you can see how far-reaching and damaging to our own productivity this one can be.

Let me call it this “Shiny and Dull Object Syndrome”.

There are affiliate links within this post. What this means is that if you decide to purchase anything through one of my links, I'll be rewarded with a small commission at absolutely no extra cost to you. This small commission helps me run and maintain my website.

how to avoid the shiny object syndrome is like a commandment

My Golden Rule #3: How To Avoid the Shiny Object Syndrome

In order to maintain laser focus on our most important tasks, here is My 2019 Golden Rule #3:

Thou Shall Not Chase Shiny and Dull Objects on any given day. Less important tasks will be performed only after my personal online business planned for the day is completed.

Don’t fall into these most common traps.

Don’t chase shiny (and dull) objects.

avoid chasing shiny objects

Chasing Shiny Objects: Don’t Do It

Chasing shiny objects is perhaps the biggest productivity-killer around.

We see the next best offer, get-rich-quick-scheme, or enticing product and follow the trail.

By nature as entrepreneurs, we often cannot help ourselves. We have to ADD something. We are allured by the novelty of the next exciting new product, endeavor, or business proposition.

We take on new projects and try to be everywhere, but in doing so get nowhere.

Experience Wealthy Affiliate

Like children or curious animals seeing something shiny far away, we get attracted to them, when we later realize upon a closer view the product or service we chased was a waste of time and money.

Even worse, we purchase the new product or begin our “exciting” new course only to lose interest and drop it after a short time period.

Examples of chasing “Shiny Objects”:

  • Listening to a 90 minute podcast on “Evergreen Content Writing”, only to see they are offering you a $1497 upsell at the end
  • Purchasing a new online course, then realizing after spending money it brought you zero benefit
  • Pursuing learning to play guitar, the realizing after three lessons you don’t enjoy the instrument
  • Joining a promising MLM company, then one week later realizing it is a scam
how to avoid the shiny object syndrome is avoiding toxic behavior

This is toxic behavior. Don’t take the bait.

But chasing dull objects can have as much of a detrimental effect on our productivity.

Don't Chase Dull Objects either

Chasing Dull Objects: A Big No-No!

Does this sound familiar to anyone?

One day I was making great progress with the training and building a new website, I built up strong momentum. When I began to save the content of my research for later retrieval in bookmarks.

Okay, that makes good sense.

While doing this logical action that should take only a few seconds, I noticed that my bookmark folders were highly disordered and in disarray, i.e., my WordPress folders were in the Google section, my SEO folders were in BLOG WRITING, etc.

Experience Wealthy Affiliate

Seeing this was disturbing, and I couldn’t stand it.

So I diverted from my main work and began re-organizing my folders, searching through many different ones and redirecting the sub-folders, and even the sub-sub folders into their correct main folders.

Funny folders

One ½ hour passed.

In the process of reorganizing, I ran across a few interesting articles on SEO I had saved previously that I read before which I began to re-read. My brain told me re-reading these articles was important to shore up my SEO knowledge, which would gain me great benefits later. This led me to a 2nd SEO article.

Another 90 minutes passed.

STOP IT!  Why am I doing this NOW?

Was this necessary at all?

Would the earth have ceased revolving and my business stopped functioning if I didn’t re-organize my folders AT THIS TIME while I had already gained good momentum doing the training and building my new website?


Instead of wasting a total of 2 Hours, this time should have been spent continuing the training and building my website. And worse, it completely KILLED the momentum I previously had built!

This is what I call the Dull Object Syndrome.

how to avoid the shiny object syndrome, and also dull syndrome

Just as with shiny objects…..

Don’t fall for chasing dull objects.

Focus ONLY on the most important tasks at hand at the moment, which in this case was doing the training and building a new website.

Eliminate Visual and audible distractions

How To Avoid the Shiny Object Syndrome:  Eliminate Visual and Audible Distractions

  • Log off all programs you are not using
  • Turn your phone off while working on tasks requiring full attention
  • Mute your phone while you are working
  • Turn off notification sounds on your computer
  • Close all visible folders on your computer other than ones related to the task at hand

Eliminating such visible and audible distractions will help you stray away from Shiny and Dull Object Syndrome.

stay away from Sneaky Distractions

Stay Away From the Sneaky Distractions

There comes a time when we all need to make very important decisions. Hard decisions but rather necessary ones.

Decisions that can change our entire year.

Ones that can alter the arc of an online business’s momentum straight out of the start gate.
Let this serve as an important reminder.

how to avoid the shiny object syndrome is like gold

I hope My Golden Rule #3 will truly help you to maintain your laser focus on those most important tasks at the moment and to keep you away from those sneaky distractions that inevitably can creep in.

Above all, I hope you learn how to avoid the shiny object syndrome.

Please leave any comments below.

About the Author

KAJU is the band leader and founding member of OFF THE HOOK, one of the premiere dance party bands in the New York Tri-State Area. After contracting a mysterious hand disorder, Kaju now writes to help other musicians and artists deal with disabilities. Currently he is a Full-time Affiliate Marketer and 1-on-1 mentor at Wealthy Affiliate, a community that can help anyone start an online business without prior experience. This is where he teaches others how to make a great passive income. Read more about his story here!

  • Mitch Crim says:

    I think it starts with Shiny Object Syndrome (SOS). Once in full gate, we are that much more susceptible to Dull Object Syndrome (DOS). Once afflicted by SDOS, it is that much more difficult to overcome. A friend once termed it as Detailitis. I would say, Damn the Details, Full Speed Ahead!! My apologies to Admiral Farragut!!!

    Thanks for sharing!!

    • Kaju says:

      I like your friends term “Detailitis” Mitch, and I may also be prone to this insidious malady at times. But I try to corral it before it runs away on me!
      Stay away from both SOS and DOS, and as you say “Damn the Details”….and Full Speed Ahead!!

  • Such a great, instructive post! I came to Wealthy Affiliate with absolutely no experience and lots of insecurity. I really appreciate your last point about distracted by the reorganization of folders in your favorites as opposed to direct work on your site. For me my insecurity drives my distractions leaving me overwhelmed. My website journey and vision has taken longer to solidify as a result. Now two years later I am able to distinguish between info that is valuable and info that is not.

    • Kaju says:

      Thanks so much Stacy and great to see you:) We’ve all been there, I especially know that overwhelmed and distracted feeling all too well, as my own Dull Object Syndrome has driven me down many a rabbit hole too many times to recall!

      When we often times become insecure in our journey, that’s when procrastination and distractions overwhelm us simply because it is our own coping mechanism defense. It has been this way for thousands of years predating modern humans and has been scientifically proven. Reorganizing our folders when we are feeling insecure and overwhelmed with our fledgling businesses is in essence the same coping response Neantherdals had when they etched beautiful drawings of Woolly Mammoths and bison inside cave dwelling walls. This was their coping mechanism when they were overwhelmed by the dangers of the hunt outside the cave.

      Check out my other post where I go into more depth on this topic https://myaffiliaterockstar.com/how-does-the-5-second-rule-work/

  • >