S.O.S.: you might suffer from F.O.M.O.! ( About Fear of Missing Out and Shiny Object Syndrome)

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I am attracted by the endless possibilities around me, all the stuff I´d like to learn and do, both on the personal and the professional level:

  • preparing for the AWS Solutions Architect, building a RasperryPI + React + Lambda Application, blogging on more technical topics, etc…
  • repairing my bike, juggling, editing photo books and videos from my trips

This does not sound bad indeed, it is a very good attitude: I am an open, curious, driven person!

Not quite.

I am distracted by the endless possibilities around me. Whatever I am doing I always fear I should be doing something else instead.

I am blogging — I´d better be working on some pet project!
I am working at the pc — I should read a book!
I am bouldering indoor — I´d better be slacklining in the fresh air under the sun!
I am doing anything above — I should spend more time playing with my kids!

I am a restless, unsatisfied person.

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I heard a lot about the so-called FOMO — Fear Of Missing Out and I thought that was exactly my problem. But then I started reading about it — according to this article on Times it is

and this means that

Sorry. but that´s not my case. I do A LOT in my own world, at work, at home, on my own, and with my wife and kids. And I never feel envious of others, even though especially with social networks — the exposure to their people´s digital life aggravates my fear of missing out some interesting things in life ( hobbies I should try, places I should visit etc). But not because of envy towards them, just because they contribute to making my todo-list longer and longer.

Then I read about the SOS — shiny object syndrome:

Ok, I am not an entrepreneur, but it sounds pretty accurate!

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OK, time to sit down and complete the React course I bought on Udemy… But first, let´s just read this post about Vue on Medium!

Then the definition went on:

Mmm, that´s not me. Well, sometimes I don´t even start doing something because I know that there might be something more interesting coming next, but normally when I start something I always finish it.

My problem is that I want to do too many things and this causes:

  • lack of sleep — insomnia: go to bed late to finish something, wake up early to start something — wake up in the middle of the night because of I forgot to do something or I had some new idea)
  • guilt feelings about what I am doing or I should do (like now… I spent way to much time on this blog post! :-( )
  • difficulty in switching off: I can not just sit down and relax and do nothing. it´s a waste of time!!

So? Whatever the definition… I really like that I have a full life. I just need to appreciate more what I do and have instead of thinking what´s next? or what else?

Right now my action points are:

spend less time on social networks

I quit FB 2 years ago and since then I found myself with so much more time on my hands…

set goals and allocate times

I use trello to define a kind of Kanban board for the stuff I am doing and want to do, and if I have new ideas I put them in the inbox column. By the time I will sort them and sprint plan the next task many of them are already forgotten/lost interest and can be dropped. Unfortunately, I am not a very good project manager of myself and not so disciplined yet but I am working on it.

be mindful — focus on the right now and right here.

practice gratitude

I am still trying to force myself into meditating regularly ( using Headspace or Insight Timer — and into a kind of gratitude logbook — but I find it very very hard. Those practices still look a bit too “new-age_ish_”/ sappy for my tastes, but I am sure they would definitely help.

In the end, the mantra that I try to repeat to myself is just this, and it´s the hardest thing to learn:

Do you experience such issues? What is your strategy?

header_pic: me and my family upside down in a shiny object on top of Pico Ruivo on Madeira Island

Originally published at https://dev.to on April 8, 2019.

Written by

Sport addicted, productivity obsessed, avid learner, travel enthusiast, expat, 2 kids. Technical Lead (NodeJs Serverless)

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