It’s very tempting to try and do everything all at once when you’re caught up in the excitement of starting a new business, a new role or when changing direction. Or if you’re someone who finds it hard to let go. Or if you want to be involved in everything and find it hard to stay in your lane. You have Pro-Fomo.
Professional Fear of Missing Out is, ironically, one of the ways you will miss out. When you’re trying to be involved in everything, working excessively to try and clear that (un-ending) to do list or be all things to all people, you will inevitably miss something. Or burn out trying.
Your efforts and focus get diluted and, as can often happen, you don’t hit deadlines or meet expectations, your attention is divided and your energy diffused. The result – you don’t do a great job, or you do it too late.
How do we solve this?
Think of your work effort as a five-course fine dining experience rather than an all you can eat buffet.
If you’ve ever heard of the 80/20 rule (also called the Pareto Principle) then you’ll understand that 80% of your outcomes derive from 20% of your efforts. Think about it for a moment. Are you focusing your efforts where you’ll get the most results? Or are you watering down your results and impact by not being focused on the activities that really matter?
To ensure success it’s advisable to have a plan – and stick to it. Like a menu. It sets out in detail the stages we can expect, they have a logical flow and they complement one another. You could use also use the Eisenhower Matrix to help you decide what is more important and where to focus your attention.
Plan your work or ‘courses’ so there is an engaging and interesting introduction that you build momentum from as you move forward, perhaps with a few flourishes or hidden ingredients to draw attention but always following a defined direction. That way, your efforts will bring rewards. You’ll be seen as strategic, sharp-minded and focused on the things that matter.
If you’re trying to do everything and not do anything particularly well, why not try a session of career therapy and find your focus. Swap Pro-Fomo for clarity and direction and move your career forward with confidence.