We’ve all heard the stats about how much information is created each and every day, every week, every month, every year. If you’re like me, the numbers are really hard to even comprehend. For those of us who are info-addicts, we just can’t get enough information. It surrounds us. But what happens when we can’t keep up? What happens when we worry about and dwell on all the information we’re surely missing out on? What happens when fear of missing out (FOMO) creeps up and takes over?
FOMO can cause us to grasp at any and all threads of information that swing our way. This results in unfocused and incomplete pictures of what is really going on. We lose sight of what really matters.
When FOMO strikes it can be paralyzing; you’re so afraid of missing out on any little piece of information, you never take the time to act.
FOMO can strike in almost every business. But fear not, here are some ways to manage it.
Realize You’ll Never Known Everything
Seriously. Repeat after me: I WILL NEVER KNOW EVERYTHING. You have to accept this. You will miss stuff. Stuff will fly under your radar. Sometimes it will be inconsequential things. Sometimes it will be important things. That sounds like a pretty bad thing, right? Well, you know what? If you follow the rest of these tips and put them into practice, it’s not likely that you’ll miss the REALLY BIG STUFF. The stuff that will make a difference in your work and your ideas and your products.
Become a targeted consumer of information. The things you miss out on will be the things you didn’t need to know anyway.
Filter Don’t Flitter
You can’t follow every trend and topic out there. You really can’t. It might seem tempting and most of us will fall prey to this thinking, but it’s really counterproductive to flit around from topic to topic and never focus your attention on the things that really make a difference and the information you need. Instead, focus on following just a few topics that are most relevant to your business, your industry, your customers, or your ideas. By filtering, you’ll make sure that when the next big thing comes along, your attention won’t be off somewhere else with something of very little value to your work or your audience.
Make sure you’re not in the corner nibbling on the croutons when the prime rib is put on the table.
Rely on Others
Influencers, experts, and the big names in your space might already be doing a lot of the filtering work for you. Take advantage of the work of others. Of course, in order for this to work you’ll need to do a little pre-filtering of your own. Do you follow a lot of people who say the same things as everyone else? Does your twitter feed sometimes look like an echo chamber? Pare it down. Edit and prune. Be ruthless if you have to. It’s not personal.
Cut down on all the noise and you’re guaranteed to hear the important messages, loud and clear.
Pick a handful of big names in your space or niche that are must-follows for you and listen to what they have to say. They’ll likely lead you right to the big things you should be following and keeping track of.
Send Up An SOS Before You Sink
Ask for help if you need it. Take the weight of keeping up off your shoulders and place it on someone else’s. It’s ok. Really. It’s not cheating to get help with the hard and important stuff.
If you’re spending more time on consuming and not enough on creating, it’s time to turn over the info reins.
Of course, it’s good to hear messages from a variety of viewpoints and on a variety of topics, but when you’re following every thing out there because you’re afraid of missing out on any and every little thing, it’s time to make some changes.
When you follow everything, it’s just as good as following nothing. Your information taste buds get dulled and it’s hard to pick out what’s important and most needed.
Once you overcome FOMO, you’ll be back to your discerning self again in no time, back on a steady diet of good-for-your-business information.