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How to Avoid Shiny Object Syndrome and Stay Focused During Your Day

Updated on May 12th, 2023

Shiny object syndrome can be my biggest downfall. The phone sounds off with a notification. I see something on social media. I get a random thought. It so easy to fall off track and I know I’m not the only one.

Most entrepreneurs suffer from shiny object syndrome each day. It’s the ultimate distraction that occurs when you’re supposed to be focusing on one thing but then something else seems attractive so it steals your attention. As a reuslt, your focus gets shifted and you likely don’t end up getting any results.

Luckily, avoiding shiny object syndrome can be successfully applied if you focus on making small but regular changes in your habits. Here’s how to avoid shiny object syndrome and stay focused during your day so you can accomplish more.

Set Clear Intentions For the Day

What you do during the day starts with a clear plan. I hardly ever start my day without having an idea of what my schedule\ is and the priorities I set. This is crucial.

Regardless of what system you use, write down 2-3 clear objectives for the day. Choose these objectives based on your overall larger goals and your ‘why’. That way, it will be harder to deviate from them when shiny object syndrome tries to set in. You’ll know that even though a distraction seems promising, you have a clear set of tasks to focus on for the day that are going to produce specific results if you follow through.

Stop Your Top 3

If you are constantly getting distracted during the day with shiny objects, identify your top 3. What causes you to fall off track the most? What shiny objects do you often give into and where are they from.

My top 3 involve social media, my email, and YouTube. I love spending time engaging with all three of these things but there’s a time and a place to do so. When I’m focusing on my core goals for the day, I simply just limit my time with these things and it helps tremendously.

I used to check my email a gazillion times per day. This was something I had to wean myself off doing. I typically respond bvack to messages in a reasonable timeframe but no longer feel like I have to do it every 5 minutes.

Create a ‘Dump’ List

I’m not going to lie, I get distracted by my own thoughts a lot during the day. Minimizing the effect of my top 3 helps a ton, but I still have thoughts that come up from recent conversations or experiences that can lead me down a dangerous rabbit hole if I’m not careful.

So what I do is create a ‘dump’ list. Each time I get a thought, I simply type if out real quick and dump it onto a digital list that I have with Evernote. I absolutely love Evernote for organizing my thoughts and planning stuff you. You can create certain folders and categories for all your brain dumps.

Then just keep Evernote open throughout the day so you can add to it and keep it moving. Sometimes, I go back to Evernote when I’m re-evaluating my goals or am ready to work on the idea I jotted down. Needless to say, by doing this I’m still able to capture the shiny object in the moment, but I store it away for later and continue focusing on the task at hand.


Shiny object syndrome can destroy your productivity and prevent you from meeting so many goals and milestones in your business. Keeping distractions at bay so you can work on your business is crucial and these tips will definitely help.

Don’t expect results to happen overnight because you didn’t develop a tendency to look for distractions regularly overnight either. Challenge yourself to do some of these things for 30 days and build a true habit.




Choncé Maddox

Choncé Maddox

Choncé Maddox is a debt expert. She helps ambitious millennials and Generation Z get our of the mounds of debt they are in following college. In 2015 she realized she couldn’t afford to do her own laundry, she was so broke. She had to make a change. Over the next three years she personally tackled $50,000 in debt and became debt free. She teaches others her passion since.

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