Attention to detail is often equated with being perfect in every task one undertakes. However, that may not be the only way to perceive it. Perfection can be stressful. It is often unrealistic and paralyzing.
Attention to detail is really about constant improvement. It is about doing things better, being better. It is about improving yourself. It is about doing the little things better to make the big things amazing. It is about improving quality and creating excellence.
Excellence is achievable, perfection is not.
People like to be recognized for their hard work. Everyone has their reason for working hard, whether to get awarded, impress someone, or because of their innate desire to do good work. Whatever the motivation, good work is the goal. In an environment where we might be vying for recognition or reward, taking the time to pay at-tention to the details of our work can be what separates us from the pack. We are ready to go the extra mile and take care of simple things. Slips, however small and silly give off a sentiment of carelessness or being sloppy.
However, this can be a slippery slope. While attention to detail is important, an obsession with detail is self-defeating. Often the details blind us from seeing the big picture. They prevent us from spotting the important bits from the information overload that engulfs us. They often prevent us from even making a start, from getting to the finish line for want of something meagre or little.
Attention to detail can be acquired and made a habit. It can be broken into a set of precise to-dos, to work on and improve. What are they?
- Observe – To notice the subtle details
- Listen actively – Active listening helps us receive and interpret information accurately
- Schedule – Plan realistically achieve within the given time
- Introspect – Look inward and examine your thoughts from time to time
- Remember & recall
- Focus – Improve keenness of perception
- Question – Ask the right questions at the right time
- Perceive – Stay open to normal human behavioral responses