The Allure of Shiny New Things

by Brenda on February 15, 2011

Certain people - women, people with ADHD, blonds to name a few - are sometimes said to be distracted by shiny objects. It’s a snarky implication that seems to indicate lower intelligence.

We ADDers actually tend to be quite intelligent although the average person may not think so. Still, it’s true that we can be distracted by shiny objects.

Now I don’t mean shiny objects literally. What I mean is something new and different.

It doesn’t take much for boredom to set in with us. We want excitement! We want something brand new that we haven’t experienced before.

This need for something new is why systems that may have worked for us in the past no longer do.

Let’s say you went out and spent a fortune on one of those Franklin planners. They have all sorts of sections to fill out and all kinds of information at your fingertips and you love it!

And you use it faithfully, for about a month or two. Maybe more, maybe less. At some point another even cooler planner will catch your eye and that will mean the end of your Franklin.

Or maybe you have a housekeeping system like Flylady and it works great for you. Until one day you start slacking off a little and then the next thing you know you’re looking for a better system that will really work for you.

You know what?

It isn’t Franklin or Flylady that’s failing you. It’s you. It’s that next shiny object just out of reach.

So does that mean you’re doomed to always reinventing the wheel?

Of course not.

You just have to outsmart yourself.

When you notice a pattern of constantly losing interest in something - feeling that it’s just not working for you - do two things.

First, realize that what’s happening here is basically that you’re bored and you need something different. The system you’re using might actually be quite effective, you’re just tired of it. Also realize that you will never find the “perfect” anything.

Second, find another planner, system, whatever that makes you happy and willing to stick with it.

Now here’s the difference: when you get tired of your new system, don’t go searching for something entirely different. Go back to the one you used before.

It’s kind of like putting some toys away for a while and then when you bring them back out they seem like new.

This way, when you go back to your old system, you’re saving money and time you would have spent learning something new.

And if you still find yourself yearning for something shiny, pick something entirely new.

Learn to speak a new language or how to dance or how to carve wooden shoes. Expand your mind, yourself and forget reinventing the wheel.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Amy February 16, 2011 at 8:07 am

This is so true. I have always been an impulse buyer. Knowing that, I speak to myself outloud sometimes and tell myself, “I don’t need that”, and make a concerted effort to keep with what I have (ie: planner, etc). It’s definitely a struggle. A brand new planner, purse, kitchen gadget, it’s all so dreamy. I don’t usually realize how quickly I tire of things until I have a fit of minimization and find some things in duplicate or triplicate and realize the pattern. Seeing it and remembering it, and making the effort not to stray from my existing routine or tool, has helped me minimize the “impluse” buys. :)

Morela February 16, 2011 at 10:52 am

That is so frustration. Not being able to stick with one thing is one of my biggest problems.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: