Productivity Tips

The Ugly Truth about Shiny Object Syndrome

Shiny Object Syndrome. Ever heard of it? Entrepreneur calls it a “disease of distraction.”

I’m pretty sure that every entrepreneur has suffered from it at some point, especially early in our business adventure.

There are SO many tools available, but which one is right for you and your specific business needs? Free, free trial, paid? Which one do you choose?

There are a few problems with Shiny Object Syndrome.

  1. It can be VERY expensive
  2. It makes us terribly unproductive

Let’s chat about the importance of figuring out our tools ASAP so we can become more productive.


Wasted Time

When we are constantly changing tools, say project management tools for example, we are using a lot of time setting up each tool.

Not only do we have to set up each tool, but we have to learn it. How will we know if it’s what we are looking for if we don’t take the time to learn exactly how they work? Even if you learn through trial and error, you have to do a lot of work in that tool before you figure out if it has the look and capability you’re looking for.

Does it integrate with your other tools for seamless workflows?

Is it visually appealing? Can you add your branding?

Can you track things the way you need them to be tracked for your specific business?

How well does it work with and for your team?

This is a lot to figure out and if you’re testing 3+ tools, you’re looking at least a month’s time lost to working in these systems.


Do some market research. Find people with businesses similar to yours and ask them what they use and why they love it. Find out why they don’t love one that you’re considering.

Clock - Wasted time and loss of productivity

Lost Productivity

When you’re learning a new tool, things are slowed way down.

You don’t know the shortcuts.

You don’t know how you want it to look.

You don’t know how to set your team up for optimum success.

While all of these things are vitally important, every minute you spend learning about this new tool is a minute you can’t work with your clients, work on your marketing, or take time for yourself.

Your business goals will take much longer to accomplish if you are constantly learning new tools.


After you’ve completed your market research, pick the one you think will work the best for you and stop looking at what else is out there. It will take you at least a month to get this new tool set up for your business and for you to learn most of the ins and outs of it. Do your best to make it work for you, don’t look for reasons it’s not perfect.

Your End Goal

In the end, your goal is to be 100% confident in the tools you use and the systems you set up. It won’t take any brain power to bypass the next “big thing” when you see it pop up because you’re already content with what you have. You also won’t spend money on anything extra.

A free or reduced product doesn’t actually save you any money if it doesn’t work for you. In fact, it will end up costing you more money in time lost. Save yourself the trouble and stick with what works.

What tools are you 100% sold out to? Which ones will you be doing market research for?

Katelyn Patton Accountability Coach
The Ugly Truth about Shiny Object Syndrome

6 thoughts on “The Ugly Truth about Shiny Object Syndrome

  1. Yes – this is such an important topic. I’ve worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs and this is one of the biggest issues. Thx for shining a light on the “shiny syndrome”!

  2. Such smart tips! Putting in a little time to research your best options (and stick with them!) can save so much time in the long run 🙂 I find myself excited by all the different options, and want to try all the things, and consistently have to bring myself back to centre and focused on my main goal!

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