Working virtually is growing at an exponential rate and in so, changing daily work styles.
Often, distractions lead to procrastination and rush completion of projects and tasks. Distractions have a higher likelihood to occur when working virtually and unfortunately, attention detail can suffer hindering the quality of our work.
With a competitive job market, producing excellent work is imperative. Overlooking details can be extremely costly, detrimental to clients or your employer, and in some cases, even hazardous. It is important to be cognizant of deliverables and be open to valuable feedback.
You can improve your overall attention to detail by using a few strategic planning and structural review techniques. Quality work can bring you the competitive edge that you need!
Step 1: Take Your Time
Don’t rush. For increased accuracy stop and take a moment and a deep breathe before starting a project. Make sure your mind is focused on the project or task at hand. Understand what your end goal is and what you are looking to accomplish throughout the project before diving in. Ask yourself, what does impressive and quality work look like here, and what is important to success.
Step 2: Little Things Matter
With today’s technologies, misspellings, grammatical errors, formatting and typos should be near non-existent. These may seem small, or little mistakes but they can add up, and they matter. If correct spelling isn’t important, how can your boss or a client be sure that the larger project is important to you as well? Check and re-check or utilize corrective tools to your advantage!
Step 3: Jot Down Goals
Write it down. Electronically or physically, it is up to you. Make sure you comprise a list and utilize an agenda. When you write something down, you are nearly 45% more likely to accomplish this goal, then if you did not put it on paper.
Step 4: Be Organized
You do not have to tidy up your work-space, but make sure everything is organized and updated. Plan your calendar in advance. Know all deadlines that are upcoming, stay organized using calendars, color coding, notifications and time blocking.
Step 5: Quality Over Quantity
Finding the right amount of time to complete a project may be difficult. Some people work at a fast pace, while others work slower. Evaluate a project upon assignment and how much time is a reasonable expectation for completion. Make sure your boss or client knows your timeline to ensure similar completed expectations. Speeding or rushing through projects to seem diligent will likely compromise the quality of your work. Producing an accurate and above board finished deliverable is always optimal!
Step 6: Be Present
In a world of ever-growing technologies, it is easy to get distracted during the work day. It is easy to get lost in one’s work, especially when you are virtually working in a computer all day long. Take a few moments during your task to take a step back and look at the work that has been done so far. Look to see if there have been any errors or if you have gone off your directed path. Mindfulness is about being aware and awake rather than operating unconsciously.
Step 7: Ask for Help
It is not a real expectation to assume you have every skill set in the book. Or that everyone of your skill sets is at expert level or well-developed. If you are unsure of your work, always as a colleague or a mentor for help. Even a quick review of your work, may provide valuable feedback into future projects, improving quality.
Step 8: Stay Educated
Staying educated today does not always mean going back to school. It can mean that you attend training's, start your own project, conduct research, listen to podcasts, network, find a mentor… the list is endless! Remaining in the forefront of today’s technological advancements, news updates and training programs will allow your mind to grow and expand. Enhancing your cognitive ability aids with the growth and improvement of your attention to detail.
Step 9: Review
Take the time to review your work upon its completion. Place yourself in your client or bosses’ shoes. Review your list of goals. Did you accomplish everything? Is your work clear, organized, professional? If you are unsure, compare to other projects you may have had and ask yourself if this measures up or does this go above and beyond?
Step 10: This is Long Term
Improving your overall attention to detail will not happen overnight or in a matter of hours. It is something you will have to work at over time. Start small by re-reading each email before you hit send. Check that everything you want to say is clear, concise and contains no grammatical or spelling mistakes! Making permanent changes takes time, and that is okay!