How to Keep Your Focus in a Busy, Tech-filled World

Black holes suck all the productivity out of B2B tech

With all the great SaaS tech available out there, it’s hard to avoid getting sucked in to a new purchase every week. After all, these are AWESOME tools that will DISRUPT [insert industry here], right? Surely, you NEED to sign up for at least a trial to see how it is, right?

As a Geek, it’s hard to avoid shiny object syndrome. We understand exactly what the new tech is bringing to the marketplace, and we often get caught up in the buzz and hype of it all. I know what that’s like, as I’m constantly fighting my own shiny object syndrome (or rather, the gadget gene in my DNA 🧬 that keeps my head on a 360 swivel for all that new tech). 🙃

As a tech content marketer, you’re continually bombarded with all these new products and ideas. In one day, you could go from:

“Huh, I can’t believe I never thought of this before…time to revamp our entire marketing strategy!” to

“Ooh, that new software could really streamline our marketing process, I wonder how we could integrate it?” to

“Where can I find the stream for the latest smartphone launch? It’s gotta be on Twitter here somewhere….”

Shiny object syndrome is real, and it can derail any hope for success for your tech content marketing strategy and processes. Let’s take a look at a few ways you resist it and stay focused on what’s good for your B2B tech business.

How Shiny Object Syndrome wreaks havoc on your tech business

A creative mess can disrupt your B2B tech business

When you’re constantly distracted by every new and exciting tech product or launch that you see, your business suffers. How? Let’s take a look…

Lower productivity: Pick your study, but every one says that switching between tasks and interrupting your work tasks can destroy your productive time. Computer scientist and psychologist Gerald Weinberg says it can destroy up to 80% of your productive time, which is crazy. Every time you stop what you’re doing to check email, read that latest social media post, or whatever, you’re falling further behind.

Less runway for good ideas: Some projects take time to blossom and flourish (like content marketing). It can be tempting to drop them when you’re not seeing results IMMEDIATELY. Which means you’re probably giving up just before you’d see the results from your efforts. You don’t give your ideas enough of a runway to gain speed & traction to take flight, which impacts your tech business.

Wasted money: Good projects aren’t free; you’ve probably spent a lot in time, effort, software, services, and more. Every time you drop a project, you’re wasting all that money.

Less commitment: When you spread yourself too thin and split your focus on multiple projects and ideas, you’re reducing your commitment to each one. Chances are, none of them will succeed because you aren’t dedicating the time & effort each one needs to succeed to their full potential.

Less trust: When you’re constantly bouncing from one idea to the next, customers and prospects will trust you less. They see you flitting about, not taking anything too seriously, which makes them concerned about investing tens (or hundreds) of thousands of dollars in your B2B tech product.

4 Ways to overcome Shiny Object Syndrome

So, how can you avoid Shiny Object Syndrome and ensure you keep your B2B tech business on track?

Have a flexible schedule every day

Flexible time

No need to schedule every minute of your day, but you do need to have a clear idea of what you’re going to do every day so you can avoid getting distracted by shiny things.

Take some time at the end of your day to plan what you’ll do tomorrow. List out what you hope to get done and by when (Task 1 will be done by lunchtime and Task 2 before 2pm, or something like that.) Some people like the old fashioned paper To Do list, while others might use an app or software tool like Todo or Google Calendar to help.

Turn off notifications on all your devices

Turn off notifications on your smartphone

My smartphone only notifies me for phone calls and text messages; that’s it. I don’t need every app on my phone alerting me to new information, especially my social media ones. The same should go for you. When you hear that notification sound, we’re conditioned (like Pavlov’s dogs) to check immediately.

At work, it’s usually email that sucks up most of our time (over 25% of our days, according to McKinsey). Harvard Business Review (and many others, like Tim Ferriss) advocate having a set schedule for checking email, such as once per hour (if you get a lot of email) or only several times a day (morning, midday, and mid-afternoon) if you have less.

For busy marketers who need to keep a finger on the pulse of social media, schedule time in your calendar to check all of your accounts, just like your email. That way, you’ll know how much time you need to dedicate to it and aren’t distracted by all the alerts.

Set business goals

This strategy is another good one to keep you on track with your work. Setting business goals will remind you that you need to stay focused to reach them and also help you decide on the activities to do to reach them. Examples include: social media posting goals; monthly revenue goals; reducing customer churn rates; and increasing website visitors or signups.

Schedule time to try new things

There’s always going to be a new technique or tool to try in the technology industry. That’s a given. It’s one of the great things about this industry, right?

Instead of ignoring all these new things, why not schedule time in your day to think about them or try them out? That way, you’ll be able to work through your ideas or try out the new product without feeling rushed or like you’re ignoring something else important.

When it’s not “play time”, use a tool like Evernote or Notion to jot down your ideas or thoughts so you can come back to them when you’re ready.

Shiny Object Syndrome is a hard thing to ignore, but you can tame it to prevent it from derailing you completely. Use these strategies to manage it and learn new ways to focus, while still pursuing your business goals.

What other tactics do you use to avoid Shiny Object Syndrome at work? Hit the comments and let me know.