Attention to detail is your ability to achieve thoroughness and accuracy when finishing a task. According to Steve Jobs, details matter and it is worth waiting to get it right. However, there are lots of people who are big-picture thinkers but have a low tolerance for details. It means that they are certain about where their visionary journey would take them but they often neglect the practical details. To become successful, you need to have both strategic thinking and attention to detail. If you have a big picture in mind but it outdoes your skill to deal with the details, then you may be risking your chances for long-term success.
Many people, especially employees seek this skill. There are also lots of students who list in their resume that they have strong attention to detail. However, when you ask some of them how they can demonstrate this skill, they may not be able to answer. If you’re one of those who usually get involve in too many projects at one time but you notice that suddenly all the details of those projects start falling through the cracks, then you no longer have to worry. It’s because attention to detail is a learned skill and you can definitely cultivate it. Today, we are going to give you 10 creative ways to improve your attention to detail at work.
1. Create a Checklist
One of the easiest ways to make sure that you get all the details is to create a checklist. Before you start a task, you need to have your checklist ready. When you finish the task, you can go back to your checklist to make sure that all the items you have listed have been accomplished. When creating a list, you can handwrite it or use apps on your smartphone. This can also work when you keep on forgetting important events. You can make a list of the events you need to attend to and place that list on your refrigerator at home or on your monitor in the office.
2. Pay Attention to the Little Things
Paying attention to the little things has an enormous impact. If you want to improve your attention to detail, you need to practice paying attention to the little things. For example, at work, you can check little things such as the tidiness of the reception desk or the cleanliness of the bathroom. Or when you are talking to a client or your colleagues about work, you can write down small but important details such as names, the time and date, and contact details.
3. Put Yourself in the Shoes of Other People
For example, if you will be working on a new project at work, it’s better if you think of that project from the point of view of your manager or the person who asked you to do the project. Imagine if you were him, what would you be looking for when the project is done? By doing this, you can prevent your manager to point out things you’ve overlooked.
Aside from that, you can also look at your work objectively. Once you’ve finished it, walk away for a little while. Then come back and look at what you’ve done and see if you have accomplished the goal.
4. Get Organized
When everything around you is chaotic, details will also slip. To be able to improve your attention to detail, you need to get organized. Getting organized is not just about tidying up your workspace but also about starting to use your calendar. You can use it to mark down appointments and meetings to make sure that you won’t forget anything. You can also put there some notes or details you have about each meeting. You can also create bullet journals to make your schedules more organized.
5. Limit Distractions
One of the reasons why most people find it difficult to pay attention to details is because they are distracted by a lot of things. Therefore, if you want to improve your attention to detail, you need to limit distractions. But how can you do this? If you are working in an open plan workspace, distractions can be inevitable. But you need to learn how to detach yourself from the rest of the office and isolate yourself mentally.
Some of the things you can do to limit distractions are turning off your phone notifications and limit the time you spend checking your emails. You can also create a space where you can relax and focus and try listening to music as well so that you won’t hear other people in the office talking to one another.
6. Try Playing Focus Enhancing Games
Exercising your brain is also a great way to improve your attention to detail skills. Just like athletes who train well to increase their stamina and performance, you, as a worker, also need to train your brain to perform at its best. Playing focus enhancing games can help exercise your brain and it can also help improve your attention to detail skills.
7. Embrace Routine
It’s true that too much routine can kill you, however, the lack of it can also make you undisciplined. Therefore, you need to find an in-between that is ideal for you. Having a routine can help develop your attention to detail skill because it forces you to do the same things over and over again. It will make you familiar with going through the motions, and in turn, you will more likely pay attention to smaller things and details. Having a routine can help train the mind that’s why you should learn to embrace it.
8. Take Regular Breaks
Our brains are a muscle, meaning, they also need some downtime. When you overwork your brain, for example, when you work straight from 9 to 5 without breaks, you can be counter-productive. For you to be able to pay attention to detail, your brain needs to be well-rested that’s why it’s important to take regular breaks.
You can pause working for a while, get up and walk around the office and give yourself mental breaks. Aside from that, you can also give yourself a few minutes to read other things online such as your favorite blog. By doing this, you will be able to get back to work with a refreshed mind which can make it easier for you to spot any mistakes with your work and pay attention to details.
9. Always Prioritize Quality
A lot of people’s works suffer because most prioritize speed than quality. But if you want to improve your attention to detail, then it’s important that you prioritize quality. You should also remember that your job, reputation, and career depends on the quality of your work. If ever you are given a heavy workload, you need to communicate with your manager and ask if they value quantity over quality or if they have more long-term plans that will require setting better foundations.
10. Always Be Present
One of the major reasons why people tend to not pay attention to details is because they are not present when doing a task. Well, it’s easy to understand why people who are stressed and pressured can easily zone out. If you are one of those people, then the solution is to identify the reasons why you are not often present. If you are bored at work, maybe it’s time to move on. If you are stressed with too heavy workloads, then maybe you need to talk to your manager about delegating some of your tasks.
If you want to improve your attention to detail, then you need to be present always when doing tasks. Aside from that, you also need to be active during meetings. Because it is where decisions are made and when you are able to voice out your opinions about a certain project, it will give you the opportunity to be more involved.
These are some of the ways you can do to improve your attention to detail at work. It is a crucial skill to develop, especially for those who are just starting their careers. Keep in mind that learning how to pay attention to detail is an ongoing exercise and even detail-oriented people need it. We hope these tips will be able to help you advance in your career. If you also need tips about productivity, you can check out our post on 11 Ways to Improve Your Productivity and Efficiency at Work.