How Not To Be A Shinygeek

My name is Rich Parkin and I am a reforming ‘Shinygeek’.

Naturally, your first question is, “What the heck is a ‘Shinygeek’?”  That’s a good question, because I just now made up the term.

What I’m referring to is the natural tendency of a geek to take an interest in the new and “shiny” things they come across that tickle their imaginations.  The problem with this, in my case at least, is that there are always new things that grab my attention.  A new bit of software I’ve never played with, a new skill I’d like to learn, a new book I want to read, a new gizmo I’ve never had before, or a new videogame I’ve never played.

How to Tell If You’re a ‘Shinygeek’:

  • You’re having a hard time focusing on your current task or hobby because you’re craving something new to do or learn.
  • You’re not focusing on and mastering a new idea or skill before moving on to the next new thing.
  • Your good intentions of personal and professional growth aren’t getting fully realized because you’re getting distracted by too many “shinies”.
  • You’re overspending or tempted to overspend because you’re always wanting to buy something new.

I’m not sure there’s a cure for being a Shinygeek.  I’m not even sure I want to be completely cured, because new ideas and experiences help me to learn and to be creative.  But I recognize that it doesn’t pay to lose focus, either.

So how does one learn to be a recovering Shinygeek?

Look Deeper

Chances are that there is a lot more to your most recent “shiny” than you’ve explored.  When you’re starting to get bored with it, start looking deeper and find a new way to use it.  Rediscover why you were interested in it in the first place.

Remind Yourself What’s Most Important

Remind yourself every day about what’s most important to you and set aside time for those things.  Decide whether you have enough time and money in your budget to pursue a new “shiny”.  Or if you’re already spending too much time and money on things that are less important to you, start prioritizing and cutting back.  If money is an object, consider following Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby-Steps to financial freedom.


Ultimately you choose what you do, or don’t do.  It can be hard to set aside a new “shiny” to stick with something you’re already doing — or should be doing — but it is possible.  Geeks have a powerful ability to focus their mind and attention when they choose to.  (Some might even use the word ‘obsess’.)  Leverage that power and concentrate on things that might have temporarily lost their shine but will pay off in the long run.


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