How to Change Your FOMO to JOMO: The Joy of Missing Out

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Most social media users are far too familiar with the feeling of FOMO: the fear of missing out. Scrolling through a feed, seeing other people’s adventures, parties, amazing outfits, and more, can fuel the FOMO. You might overwork, overschedule, and overindulge yourself just to feel part of the action. But, in the end, you might also feel totally burned out. Author Tanya Dalton experienced FOMO and burn-out early on in her adult life, so she created a new concept to combat FOMO. It’s called JOMO: the joy of missing out. 

Dalton is a productivity expert, growth strategist for female leaders in the corporate and entrepreneurial sectors, and founder and CEO of inkWELL Press Productivity Co. She is also the author of The Joy of Missing Out: Live More By Doing Less. Many have adopted JOMO as the new FOMO, especially during the pandemic, when the pressure to attend social events and obligations was inadvertently relieved. But Dalton's inspiration to practice JOMO came even before the pandemic. 

“My husband John was constantly traveling the globe working with Fortune 500 companies,” Dalton tells CircleAround. “I would describe over the phone what happened with the kids, and one day, he said three words that nearly broke my heart: ‘I’m missing everything.’ ”

“One morning, I was literally turning in circles in my kitchen, feeling helpless and not knowing where to begin on my mile-long to-do list,” she adds. “It was then that I realized there had to be a better way. This moment really set off my entire business idea. That the idea of ‘productivity’ had to be redefined if women were to live their best lives.”

"We often feel guilty for saying no when others ask us for our time, energy, money, etc. But it’s not selfish, because it actually frees up physical and mental space for us to do something else."

From that, she created a business around productivity, which allowed her husband to leave corporate America and work alongside her. Today, she helps consult clients on how they can get their lives back on track through the art of JOMO. She also has helped develop a line of customizable productivity planners to keep others on track and organized. 

“What led me to productivity, specifically helping women, was a combination of my passions really,” Dalton says. “I’m a former teacher, so teaching comes naturally to me, and I also pulled on my own experiences in life. For a long time, I lived in this world of ‘busy’ and overwhelm, racing around with little purpose or direction in my life.”

Many women feel pressured to contribute both financially and emotionally to their households, while men are often thought of as just financial contributors. “It’s not enough for us to bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan,” Dalton tells CircleAround. “We feel obligated to raise that pig on organic acorns, take a charcuterie class in order to ethically prepare it, and then garnish it so we can appear Pinterest-ready. But why? Is this really what we want? Or is it what we think we are supposed to want?”

Dalton suggests women prioritize the importance of the task at hand, rather than the time they have. “We need to scrap the traditional to-do list and create our own priority list instead,” she says. “When you have a long and scattered to-do list based on how much time you have in your day, you’re likely to not get anything important done.” When you prioritize in this way, you are able to enjoy the time you get back, from the JOMO you implemented previously.

Similarly, Dalton advises everyone to get more comfortable with saying “no,” especially when tasks or events don’t align with your personal priorities.

“We often feel guilty for saying no when others ask us for our time, energy, money, etc,” Dalton states. But that’s where JOMO comes in. “It’s not selfish, because it actually frees up physical and mental space for us to do something else.”

It may be easier than ever to feel more comfortable without committing to social obligations these days, but Dalton’s lessons are still important to keep in mind. Once you feel more comfortable with the idea of “missing out,” it’s possible to regain a more productive schedule, allowing you to place your time and energy into things you really care about.

Tags: Navigating the Pandemic, Overcoming Adversity, Start Up

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Written By

Katka Lapelosová

Katka is a writer from New York City, currently living in Belgrade, Serbia. See Full Bio

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