The little things are important. Even if you’re really great at something, you’re sure to make a few small errors if you take on a project with that skill. Unless that is, you learn to be a detail-oriented person.
Becoming a detail-oriented person does not happen overnight. You’ll have to spend months or even years practicing attention to detail if you hope to join their ranks.
Here are some of the most common skills detailed-oriented people have, and you should learn.
Skills of Detail-Oriented People
What are some of the most essential skills you have to exhibit to be considered detail-oriented?
Have Debates with Yourself
When you’re dealing with a book, a movie, a seminar, or any narrative with complex ideas, you should take a moment to talk to yourself critically about those ideas.
Ask yourself questions like:
- Is that counterpoint valid?
- Are the solutions being presented actionable in the real world?
- What are the glaring problems with this plan, and how could they be overcome?
- Am I biased here?
There’s a name for critical debates like this: the Socratic method. You may remember when you were told to engage your fellow classmates with the Socratic method in school. It’s a good learning exercise, as it helps to expose flaws and improve on an idea or series of ideas.
The same principles hold true if you hold Socratic seminars in your head. They will help you to identify flaws and draw closer to perfection.
Proof Your Work
We’re not just talking about writing!
After you finish any job that you can look back on before submitting it or otherwise declaring it finished, do so. Keep an eye out for mistakes or anything you feel you could improve upon.
Once you’re finished, do it again. If you get through your third go-over without detecting any mistakes, you’re good to go.
Reviewing something you just did, again and again, might sound like a tedious hassle, but it’s satisfying to go over your own hard work. It helps you make it even better, too, so you’re even prouder when you submit it.
Keep an Eye Out for Body Language
It is widely agreed that non-verbal cues actually make up most of the communication process. The way people hold themselves or the tics they may not even be conscious of are huge windows into how they’re feeling.
Detail-oriented people take full advantage of that often-ignored aspect of communication. By actively reminding themselves to assess a person’s physical appearance and body language, they can tell much, much more about what’s going on with others than most people can.
Pay Attention to Things No One Else Will
Whenever you have an experience along with other people, focus extra attention on remembering the secondary or tertiary details that you think will slip other’s minds. Even if it means you have a more tenuous memory of the primary details.
Let others remember larger ideas. Designate yourself as the keeper for the more specific ideas.
When everybody is discussing the experience later, you can chime in with “Remember when [insert insanely specific detail here] happened? What did you think that was meant to imply?”
People will be surprised by how perceptive you were, and they will probably file you away in their heads as someone who sees all the details.
This is a great way to get noticed as a detail-oriented person because others don’t realize what you don’t know. It’s what you did pick up that has an impact.
Keep Your Processes Organized
It’s easier to pick out a bit of dirt on a clean white surface than on a cluttered surface. Well, it’s the same way with all processes and identifying problems within.
If you keep your processes simple, straightforward, and clutter-free in the first place, it will be much easier to isolate any small issues and deal with them.
Those processes might include things you do for work, socially, or in your home life.
Be Specific in Your Communications
This one’s pretty straightforward: when transferring information to other people, be as specific as possible when you refer to something.
Whether you’re talking about something you need to delegate at work or the directions for cooking a meal, be very descriptive. It saves time for both you and the other person, and it ensures you can provide better support if more is needed.
How To Become Detail-Oriented
Every time you do any task, you must keep the skills of detail-oriented people listed above in mind and try to practice them yourself. You almost certainly won’t succeed at all of them at first. Over time, though, they’ll become more ingrained.
After a long time, you may start doing them without even having to think about them. Only then can you truly consider yourself a detail-oriented person.
Keep a Detail-Focused Diary
Before bed is the best time to practice skills if you want to internalize them. And practicing a detail-focused organization just before sleep is a fast way to become a detail-oriented person.
Your diary should cover “normal” topics like what you did that day, but it should approach things systematically. Arrange the stuff you did into categories, snd attempt to critique your methodologies wherever possible. Highlight the mistakes you made and how you can learn from them and focus on the details.
Narrow Your Focus
Ask others for help. When you’re doing less, you can pour more effort into the things remaining.
Don’t be afraid to delegate or call in favors if possible, because keeping it simple is a hallmark of the detail-oriented lifestyle.
Hopefully, this brief guide helps you understand a bit about how detail-oriented people act and how you might get there.
The devil may be in the details, but spotting the devil before he can make things tough for you is a huge advantage.
IF YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR A DETAIL-ORIENTED LIFESTYLE THAT YOU DON’T SEE MENTIONED HERE, DROP THEM IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW!