Advertising

What Is FOMO (And How to Get Over It and Move on)

Advertising
What Is FOMO (And How to Get Over It and Move on)

What is FOMO, exactly?

Are you unable to say “no” to a party invitation, even if you have work to do? Do you feel like an outsider if you don’t see the hottest Hollywood movie everyone is talking about? Do you feel that you have to buy the latest and hottest “making money online” information product because everyone else is doing so?

If you have been in these or similar situations before, you have just experienced FOMO. Social networking has exacerbated this problem and made it something we now have to actively combat.

In this article, we’ll look into what FOMO is and how to get over it.

What Is FOMO?

I learned about FOMO by reading a book Find Your Focus Zone by Lucy Jo Palladino. In that book, she described FOMO with an everyday example: Have you ever felt that you had to pick up the cell phone right away when it rings?

The longer the phone rings, the more and more you experience the fear of missing out (FOMO). You feel that there is something important you are about to miss if you don’t pick up the phone immediately.

Advertising

The most important element in FOMO is the word “fear,” It makes us to do things even when we necessarily don’t want to. It’s logic versus emotion: When a compelling option is presented to us, we feel like an outsider if we say “no” to that. We may even fear that we’ll miss the opportunity of a lifetime if we say “no.”

At the same time, we know that we probably shouldn’t say “yes” because we may be spreading ourselves too thin. Also, there are going to be plenty of other opportunities out there, so missing this one probably won’t make a difference after all.

Symptoms of FOMO

When you are a victim of the fear of missing out, you are going to experience at least one of the following:

Procrastinating — Being Unfocused and Stressed

It’s obvious that when the temptation to say “yes” to a request is too big, you accept yet another task or project.

In practice, you are spreading yourself too thin. Not only are you stressed out by too many activities in your life, but it increases the likelihood for procrastination. This is because you cannot keep up with your schedule and you start finding excuses for not doing something you promised.

Losing Money

Sometimes you don’t want to feel like being an outsider in a group by making different decisions than the rest of the people.

Advertising

For example, I have been in internet marketing circles for a couple of years, and every time there is a big product launch coming, there is a lot of buzz around it.

Since this “next shiny object” is probably going to make you rich and famous overnight, you don’t want to miss out. If you do, others are going to be rich and famous, not you.

Unfortunately, in many situations like these, nothing groundbreaking is going to happen after all (no fame, no money, just hard work). It is yet another product launch, which is going to waste your money if FOMO gets a hold on you.

Feeling Overwhelmed

Being overwhelmed is one of the symptoms of fear of missing out. When you are unable to say “no,” feeling overwhelmed is destined to happen at some point.

There is just too much going on at the same time, and you are unable to focus on anything properly.

How to Get Over FOMO

There are certain things you can do when you experience FOMO.[1]

Advertising

What Does FOMO Mean and How Do I Deal With It?

     

    1. Be Aware of It

    The first thing is to be aware of the feeling. Stop for a moment and acknowledge when you are having a feeling of FOMO.

    Understand that this is a natural (although undesirable) way of reacting in a certain situation. We all wish we could say “yes” all the time, but we’re only human.

    2. Be Honest With Yourself and Others

    Honesty is one of the best ways to deal with the situation.

    First, you have to be honest to yourself: If you say “yes,” you have to understand that you may be spreading yourself too thin.

    Advertising

    Second, it is also important to be honest with others, too. They have to be aware that you may not be 100% committed to their requests if you have plenty of action going on at the same time.

    3. Make a Quick Decision Regarding the Situation

    One of the worst things you can do is be on the fence. As long as something is left undecided, it is using your brain capacity for nothing.

    That’s why it is imperative to say “no” to an opportunity as quickly as possible if you feel you are unable to commit to it 100%.

    When you say “no,” you may even regret your decision at first. On the other hand, if you are meant to experience the opportunity at all, it will come available to you at a later time.

    4. Change Your Perspective

    Lastly, one step in defeating the FOMO is to see if a situation or event supports your short or long term goals.If it doesn’t, it’s likely better for you to get off social media sites that can increase FOMO and say no. Instead, focus on everything you have to be grateful for in life at this moment. Try spending time with friends and family and improve the important relationships in your life. These are the things that you’ll really regret missing out on and what will ultimately improve your life satisfaction.

    The Bottom Line

    FOMO can lead you to distraction and can push you to do things you really don’t care about. However, there is a way to overcome the fear. Once you learn to handle it, you will feel better and will feel ready to take on more things that add genuine fulfillment to your life.

    Advertising

    More on the Fear of Missing Out

    Featured photo credit: Erik Lucatero via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Very Well Mind: How to Deal With FOMO in Your Life

    More by this author

    Timo Kiander

    Productivity Author and Founder of Productive Superdad

    How to Create a To-Do List That Super Boosts Your Productivity The Crucial Letter Your SMART Goal Is Missing What Is FOMO (And How to Get Over It and Move on) Do You Do This Common Mistake When You Start Working on Your Tasks? 9 Valuable Lessons Learned After Writing My First Book

    Trending in Focus

    1 The 5 Fundamental Rules Of Working From Home 2 How to Increase Attention Span If You Have a Distracted Mind 3 10 Reasons Why You Have Trouble Concentrating (and Their Solutions) 4 How to Use the Prioritization Matrix When Every Task is #1 5 How to Become Indistractable: 4 Powerful Tactics to Help You Focus

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on January 5, 2022

    The 5 Fundamental Rules Of Working From Home

    Advertising
    The 5 Fundamental Rules Of Working From Home

    Suppose you finally took the plunge: resigned your corporate job, decided to follow the passion of your life and (by lack of a new office space, of course), you started to work from home. Welcome to the club! Been there for a few years now and, guess what, it turned out that working from home is not as simple as I thought it would be.

    It certainly has a tons of advantages, but those advantages won’t come in a sugary, care free, or all pinky and happy-go-lucky package. On the contrary. When you work from home, maintaining a constant productivity flow may be a real challenge. And there are many reasons for that.

    For instance, you may still unconsciously assimilate your home with your relaxation space, hence a little nap on the couch, in the middle of the day, with still a ton of unfinished tasks, may seem like a viable option. Well, not! Or, because you’re working from home now, you think you can endlessly postpone some of your projects for ever, since nobody is on your back anymore. You’re your own boss and decided to be a gentle one. Fatal mistake. Or…

    Advertising

    OK, let’s stop with the reasons right here and move on to the practical part. So, what can you do to squeeze each and every inch of usefulness and productivity from your new working space and schedule (namely, your home)? What follows is a short list of what I found to be fundamentally necessary when you walk on this path.

    1. Set Up A Specific Workplace

    And stay there. That specific workspace may be a specific room (your home office), or a part of a room. Whatever it is, it must be clearly designed as a work area, with as little interference from your home space as possible. The coexistence of your home and work space is just a happy accident. But just because of that, those two spaces don’t necessarily have to blend together.

    If you move your work space constantly around various parts of your house, instead of a single “anchor space”, something awkward will happen. Your home won’t feel like home anymore. That’s one of the most popular reasons for quitting working form home: “My home didn’t feel like home anymore”. Of course it didn’t if you mixed all its parts with your work space.

    Advertising

    2. Split Work Into Edible Chunks

    Don’t aim too high. Don’t expect to do big chunks of work in a single step. That was one of the most surprising situations I encountered when I first started to work from home. Instead of a steady, constant flow of sustained activity, all I could do were short, compact sessions on various projects. It took a while to understand why.

    When you work in a populated workspace, you behave differently. There is a subtle field of energy created by humans when they’re in their own proximity, and that field alone can be enough of an incentive to do much more than you normally do. Well, when you’re at home, alone, this ain’t gonna happen. That’s why you should use whatever productivity technique you’re comfortable with to split your work in small, edible chunks: GTD, pomodoro.

    3. Work Outside Home

    In coffee shops or other places, like shared offices. It may sound a little bit counterintuitive, to work outside your home when you’re working from home. But only in the beginning. You’ll soon realize that working from home doesn’t mean you have to stay there all the time. It basically means your home is also your office and you’re free to go outside if you want to.

    Advertising

    I know this may not apply to all of the “work from home” situations, but for those related to information processing, when all you need is a laptop an internet connection, that usually works beautifully. It adds a very necessary element of diversity and freshness. It can also be the source of some very interesting social interactions, especially when you have to solve all sort of digital nomad situations.

    4. Go Out!

    Working from home may be socially alienating. After almost 3 years of doing it, I finally accepted this as a fact. So, apart from balancing your home time with consistent sessions of working outside of your home, you should definitely go out more often. Our normal work routine, the one that is performed in an office, that is, makes for an important slice of our social interaction needs. Once you’re working from home, that slice won’t be there anymore. But your need for social contacts will remain constant.

    So, my solution to this was to grow my social interaction significantly over what I was having when I was working in my own office. Going out to movies, running in the park, meeting for drinks or just chat, whatever it takes to get me out of my home/working space. On a one to ten scale, my social life before was around 3 and now is at a steady 7.

    Advertising

    5. Thoroughly Log Each And Every Day

    It goes hand in hand with keeping a personal journal, but this time it’s about work, not personal feelings and experiences. Keep a detailed log of each project and be always ready to pick up from where you left one day or one week ago in just a matter of minutes. It’s not only a productivity enhancer, although it will help you be more productive, but it’s more on the accountability area.

    When you work from home you’re your own boss. And, for any of you who are (or have been) bosses, this is not an easy position. You gotta keep track of all the information about your team and of every advancement in your projects. That’s what a boss is supposed to do, after all. When you work from home you have to perform this bossy role too, otherwise you will be lost in your own unfinished ideas and endless project stubs faster than you think.

    Featured photo credit: Ian Harber via unsplash.com

    Advertising

    Read Next