5 Signs You’re Suffering from Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)
In an age where there’s always something going on, FOMO, or fear of missing out, is extremely prevalent. We all see the pictures and videos our friend’s post when they’re out having a great time. We get event invites and see promotions for the next big exciting thing. Do you ever feel the need to go to everything and partake in every single opportunity? Does it pain you to contemplate skipping a night out? If you see those symptoms, FOMO might be disrupting your life, and you’ll need to get yourself back on track.
1. You’re Missing Important Deadlines
If your need to be out and about is cutting into your objectively greater need to fulfill your responsibilities, you need to give things a second thought. Every month, things will come due. Work projects need to be completed, school assignments need to be turned in, and the bills need to be paid. If you’re forgetting to tend to your responsibilities because you’re so caught up in your social life, take a step back.
Create a calendar that outlines your deadlines and review this calendar every day, preferably before you go to sleep and right after you wake up. Having your most important tasks and goals written on paper in front of you will help you focus more on achieving them. Aim to complete every necessary thing at least two days before it’s due. If you finish things ahead of time, allow yourself to go out. If you’re cutting it close or you’re already late, stay in for the night. Treat going out as a reward for being super productive.
2. You’re Constantly On Your Phone
Take a good hard look at your social media habits. How much time do you spend with your phone in your hand? Do you find yourself looking at what everyone else is doing, reading all the comments, and seeing who RSVP’d to upcoming events? It’s natural to be curious about what the rest of the world is up to. It’s not healthy to feel desperate to be up to the same things.
Instead of constantly searching for things to do, find something that sparks your interest and what you can do on a regular basis. Take a martial arts class that meets every Wednesday. Learn to play an instrument. Join a film club. This will give you a regular, productive, predictable outing. You won’t need to search for ways to fill up your time and it will help you lose your fear of missing out.
3. You’re Always Broke
The fastest way to drain your bank account is to spend too much time spending money and not enough time making money. FOMO leads people to spend a lot of money. Dinner at a swanky eatery, expensive cocktails, concert tickets, and admission fees get very expensive – especially if they’re all purchased in the same night. Don’t try to live beyond your means.
Create a functional budget for yourself. Factor in all your essential expenses, like rent, groceries, and bills. See how much money you have leftover. Is there anything you’ll need to get with that money? Do you need new bath towels or an oil change? Those expenses come first. Whatever you have leftover is your entertainment budget. Pull out the cash. Remind yourself that once you’re out of cash, you’re out of entertainment spending.
4. You Leave One Place to Go to Another
You’re at a gathering. It’s a really mellow time. It’s mostly friends sitting around a bonfire, talking. You get a call. There’s another party 20 minutes away. The music is louder, and more people are there. You promptly leave where you’re at to go someplace else. Has this ever happened to you? FOMO often causes people to bounce around from place to place. This often leads to nights going on much longer than planned and very exhausted mornings.
While there’s nothing inherently wrong with spending your night out in multiple places, there’s one thing you should adhere to: a bedtime. Before you get back in the car and head to your next destination, contemplate whether or not it would be worth it. If your bedtime is an hour away, you might as well enjoy the rest of the night where you’re already at.
5. You Request a Lot of Time Off
FOMO leads to taking time off so you don’t miss events. Taking time off means lighter paychecks, and the event you’re going to will likely cost money. Unless you have some cash stashed away in your savings, FOMO can directly throttle your income and career performance at the same time.
Try not to request more than one day off per month. If possible, try to swap days with a coworker. You won’t be losing out on an opportunity to do your best at work – you’ll simply be changing your schedule to do it on a different day.
Perhaps the best cure for FOMO is learning to appreciate what you have. The right friends and the right experiences will always be there when you reasonably have time to get to them. Amp up your productivity and master your budget by learning to say “not tonight.”
About the Author
Sienna Walker is an avid blogger with an unquenched love for self-improvement and learning. Whenever not working on another side hustle, Sienna might usually be found online, doing online courses, or watching motivational videos. Feel free to reach out to @SiennaWalkerS and say “hello” to her.