Why we’re suckers for Shiny New Toys

Why we’re suckers for Shiny New Toys

(This is the 3rd post in the Tim and Tina series and read how they design their days.)

If there’s something Ten Dollar Tim knows well, it’s gadgets.

Tim’s Whoop strap monitors his Heart Rate Variability. (Cost, $360/year)

His Peloton provides on-demand HIIT workouts to lower his blood pressure and give him the energy to keep up with his toddlers. ($1,895 + $468/year)

His Oura ring promises an orderly wind down at 9:45 PM. ($399)

And his iPad Pro (with Pencil, of course) makes him a creative powerhouse. ($1,649 + $99).

There’s just one problem.

It’s 11:15 pm on Tuesday night.

It’s 90 minutes past Tim’s bedtime. (Silly Tim, he forgot to charge his Oura Ring.)

The hops from the IPA are keeping him awake.

And he’s mindlessly scrolling /r/wallstreetbets – on his $1,600 iPad.

(Draped over the Peloton are the clothes he wore to work today.)

We’re suckers for Shiny New Toy Syndrome (SNTS)

Deep inside, you and I know that no app, cool notebook, course (yes, even Supercharge Your Productivity) or wearable will give you more than 24 hours in a day, make you lose 10 pounds or make a tough decision for you.

Yet, like Tim, we can’t resist. We smash that buy button.

Then whisper to ourselves, “This time is different.”

But deep inside we know. It never is.

What’s the antidote to SNTS

Now $10K Tina is not immune to the impulses of SNTS. (Her soft spot is expensive notebooks that she orders directly from Japan.) But she’s got the money and willingness to invest in things that will drastically improve the quality of her life.

And those include the Superhuman email app ($360/year) and the ChiliPAD hydro-powered mattress cooler that got some serious airplay in Ferris’ Tools of Titans ($599).

What’s Tina’s secret to conquering Shiny New Toy Syndrome?

Meet the $10K Flywheel

Here’s why the Oura Ring won’t make you sleep more and why Superhuman won’t make your boss less annoying over email.

A tool – any tool used in isolation is guaranteed to fail.

Here’s Tina’s approach to getting better sleep.

It starts with three key behaviors:

  • She shuts down her phone (a complete power down) at 8pm – 90 minutes before her bedtime.
  • She limits her weekday wine consumption to 1 glass, twice a week.
  • She closes “open loops” into her notebook to prevent her mind from racing in bed.

Tina then layers in self-awareness.

  • She knows how to talk to her inner critic. This helps dampen her anxiety before a big presentation or pitch.
  • She’s been working with her coach on separating her identity from her sense of self-worth. It’s taken her decades to realize that this was an unrecognized source of anxiety.
  • She and her husband have a simple marital rule: “Never go to bed angry.”

The $599 ChiliPAD? That’s the tool that’s just the icing on the cake for 8 deep hours of sleep.

Khe Hy
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Khe Hy is the creator of RadReads.