More and more people I talk to suffer from BSOS—Bright Shiny Object Syndrome—the repeated abandonment of a task in favor of something that looks more appealing. Bright shiny objects come in all forms, but they possess a common characteristic: they are less important than the task at hand. Never has there been so many sources of BSO’s to contend with or technologies that bring them instantly and constantly to our attention. Email, text messaging, Twitter, Facebook, and more are all grafted together in a personal appendage—the mobile phone. Recently, I drove to the store on an errand only to discover that I had inadvertently left my phone at home. I felt like a part of me was missing. How could someone reach me? How could I respond to emails, or texts, or a Facebook update? For goodness sake, how did I run these errands before I had a mobile phone?
That bright shiny object has gotten me in trouble at home too, particularly at the dinner table. Ding. A text message arrives and in my Pavlovian rush to respond, I draw an unappreciative glare from my bride. The bright shiny object won my attention and she didn’t appreciate it. I wondered then, as she did, if that bright shiny object had instead become a not so pretty master.
Your thoughts? In what ways might your bright shiny objects keep you from focusing on the more important?