Do you suffer from SNOS?

I have a confession – I love technology and new gadgets. My husband often teases me that office organization and technology stores are my shoe stores. I’ll admit I have what a client calls the “Shiny New Object Syndrome” (SNOS) – most of us do.

Whenever a cool new item comes out (smartphone, computer, tablet, scanner-and yes handbag or shoe!) that little thing in the back of our heads says “ooh I want that” and we add it to our “like to have/must have” list.

Now I’ve been told a few times in life that “I’m old enough for my wants to hurt” so I am familiar with the concept of delayed gratification (thanks to my mom for that important life lesson). Understanding delayed gratification has saved me considerable expense, time and aggravation.

As much as I love technology what good is the latest and greatest gadget or tool if I never use it?

As Professional Organizers, we often see the impact that impulse shopping has on our clients’ lives. For some clients it’s all about clothing or accessories, while for others it’s a love affair with technology. They purchase items and before they begin to use them, they’ve moved on to the next thing.

The SNOS Technology Trap

I have a client that struggles with “shiny new object” syndrome when it comes to technology. He is always looking for the next best thing. He has spent a lot of money on expensive technology resources instead of investing wisely in a few strategic solutions.

Many times when we give in to consumer or peer pressure we purchase a new item to replace a perfectly functioning item without considering how we will use it or if it will really fill that perceived need or void in our lives.

It’s easy to fall into the technology SNOS trap with the constant updates, upgrades and advances in technology happening with months (if not weeks) of our purchases.

Treating SNOS

Sadly, there is no real cure for SNOS, but there are treatments and strategies that can help.  Here are a few questions I ask when helping a client with technology SNOS.

  • What significant problem will this new item solve for them vs. the people portrayed using it? Marketers are very skilled at convincing us we have a problem that doesn’t really exist in our lives. Help your client identify the exact pain point they are feeling and whether or not the new tool is the answer.
  • Is it really different from a resource that they already own? If they can’t show you significant differences and applications for the new tool, re-examine their existing solution to see what can be tweaked to make it work better.
  • Are they using all the features and functions of their current resource? Frustration usually comes from not knowing how to accomplish their goals with what they have. Revisit tutorials or arrange additional training to help them get the most from existing resources.
  • What’s the worst thing that will happen if they wait a while before they buy it? As a former marketer, I know that the longer someone delays a purchase action, the more likely it is that they won’t follow through. Encourage your clients to set a waiting period before they buy something. Chances are something else will catch their eye before the time is up. If they are still eager, explore trial options to see if they will actually use the tool before spending valuable dollars.

Although you can certainly ask more questions, if these few are answered honestly, clients often realize that no matter how cool the new gadget, something they already have still functions perfectly well.

There will be times that the new solution is a better fit for a technology need. If that is the case, you will have helped your client identify a role that it will play in their process and they can buy with confidence—not regret.

To help someone fight SNOS, encourage them to explore existing resources that may be under-utilized. They can dust of what’s old, make it shiny and fall in love again.

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Nicole Chamblin
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Nicole Chamblin

I’m Nicole Chamblin, a productivity “coachsultant”, the Chief Visionary and owner of Visions Productivity Solutions. Through onsite consulting, virtual coaching and live training sessions, I love teaching ways to more effectively manage the 3 Ts™- time, team, and tasks. If you’re a small business owner or a department head of an established business that has never taken the time to put in place back end administrative processes to improve productivity, efficiency, communication and collaboration– I can help.
Nicole Chamblin
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