This Is Why Shinny Object Syndrome Affects You (And What You Can Do About It)

Victor Mong
6 min readFeb 1, 2022
Photo by Nubelson Fernandes on Unsplash

One of the biggest challenges most people have is the tendency to complicate things and make it more diffcult than it really is.

Often, this happens because we are easily distracted by shiny objects.

When something fresh and exciting comes up, it’s all too easy to get drawn off track.

But you’ll never go anywhere if you keep changing directions. I’ve dubbed this problem the “Kitchen Sink Syndrome” (KSS).

How does the KSS stunt your career and what should do to overcome it?

Shiny object syndrome’s more annoying cousin

If you suffer from shiny object syndrome (SOS), you’re someone who’s always on to the next new and wonderful thing before you have fully implemented what you were previously on.

Kitchen sink syndrome, on the other hand, is a common occurrence. The big difference, however, is that while you go on to the next and exciting activity, you continue to try to do the previous one as well.

The consequence is at you eventually end up overloading yourself with too many things that are demanding your time, energy, and focus — tools to learn, new habits to master, projects to complete.

When you are moving from one thing to another, it’s going to be difficult to do all of them equally well. You will feel overwhelmed before you start. And you will hardly make headway on anything.

Unfortunately, with the kitchen sink syndrome, you’re failing at everything all at once, instead of failing at one thing at a time.

That’s harsh, I know. But, if the only real failure is to not take meaningful action, then both the shiny object and kitchen sink syndromes are sure ways to get there.

KSS is a bit worse than SOS because it can detail a single project.

Let’s say you manage to kick your SOS, and you focus on learning and mastering a single skill. But if you haven’t dealt with your KSS, here’s what’s likely to happen…

Instead of identifying a point of competency and working toward it through a series of exercises, reading, feedback, and trial and error…