April 2, 2010

How To Get Things Done

Shiny object syndrome.

Also known as SOS. Easily excited about a new idea. A strong pull towards the "next" thing.

Its a common trait (some would call it an issue!) among creatives and visionaries and is usually what makes people love us. And hate us.  We can often see a long ways down the road, what the future could be, but the steps in between there and where we stand, well, we aren't always too good at following through on those or even knowing what the steps are. We are simply caught up in the excitement of the new and shiny.

This syndrome, as you may have guessed, can have devastating consequences for a person like me who is desperately working at changing her body and regaining her health. Its not that I lose interest, but there are so many other things to do and places to go that I have to constantly remind myself of my priorities. Stop, Cheryl, what is your mission? What do you have to do to get there? Will this new and shiny idea get you closer or is it merely a bunny trail. (A bunny trail seems so appropriate today.)

Shiny. Objects. Distract. Me.

I write today as a "sufferer" of a very bad case of SOS. It's fairly familiar territory for me, so a couple of years ago I posted a small slip of paper in my work area with helpful reminders and practical steps to keep me on track. I share it with you today, simple, to the point:

How To Work Better
Do one thing at a time.
Know the problem.
Learn to listen.
Learn to ask questions.
Distinguish sense from nonsense.
Accept change as inevitable.
Admit mistakes.
Say it simple.
Be calm.

How do you stay on track?


  1. These are all great points. I would add for myself: Learn from mistakes and move on. Focus on what I CAN control, not what I CANNOT.

  2. I too am a sufferer of SOS. It is hard to stay on track when all I want is the next shiny thing! I do want the skinny thing, but I sometimes, forget the long way it takes to achieve the shininess of it! You can do it. I love your post it!