While not yet a clinical diagnosis in the DSM-5R, FOMO (fear of missing out) is a growing problem. FOMO is a dire problem among social-media obsessed tweens and teens. But digitally distracted adults also suffer from it. Many people have provided stellar tips on dealing with FOMO, but all too often, we still default into FOMO and miss out on rock-star moments. But FOMA isn’t the only acronyms that can help us better understand our current world.
In a Thrive article, Deborah Sweeney recently wrote about the JOMO (joy of missing out). This can slice many ways. I savor opportunities to unplug and work remotely from my cottage in New Hampshire. I also find true JOMO on commutes when being between two locations enables me to disconnect, if only for an hour or two. JOMO can also happen when you least expected. For example, JOMO is common when someone arrives late, and you’re suddenly left on your own, contemplating the unaccounted hours ahead. In essence, JOMO is about celebrating the here and now and about being.
I recently learned about GEMO. I was presenting a talk to a global, high-potential team and heard them reference, with delight, GEMO (good enough/move on). This got me wondering: What if we intentionally chose GEMO? We are familiar with the 80/20 principle that suggests it takes 20% of our time to do 80% of a task. It is the challenge of completing the last 20% that takes the bulk of our time. But how often is that last 20% worth the time it takes? What would be possible if we re-invested that time in other, higher value, higher impact projects? What other ways could you complete the next 10% (versus 20%) that might make completing the project even easier?
Okay, so we’ve got FOMO, JOMO and GEMO, but what about WAMM (what actually matters most)? People have been talking about WAMM for years. Bill George, for example, calls it True North. But whatever you call it, WAMM matters. In our wired world, there are a lot of distractions. This means that it is both more difficult and more essential to know what matters most. In my first book Rewired, I wrote about the importance of building fences and filters. The are barriers that prevent things that don’t matter from draining your time. When you are clear on what matters most, you know where and how to focus your attention.
FOMO serves as a reminder that we don’t need to be wired and connected 24/7. JOMO is a gentle reminder that missing out might bring joy. GEMO and WAMM are both succinct ways to keep the perfectionist and excessive sides of our personalities in check. Whatever acronym you choose to live by, what matters most is that it offers a quick way to capture a specific problem, hope, or goal.