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10 Signs You Are Enjoying Your Work

10 Signs You Are Enjoying Your Work

Whether you are a location independent entrepreneur, work at an office, or otherwise, you are probably spending somewhere in the range of eight hours a day at work. Perhaps when you add commuting, that goes up to 10.

Say you need to sleep eight hours a night (you really should be). That means out of your available time, you’re spending about 63% of it at work, for a large chunk of your life.

If you’re going to spend that much time on something, you better make sure you’re enjoying what you’re doing. You only have one shot at life.

How can you tell? Here are some key signs that you enjoy your work:

1. Time flies by and you lose yourself. You enter a flow state.

Flow is a nearly transcendental state where time ceases to matter–what is in front of you is all there is, and worries and other tasks slip away. It happens when you do something that is really enjoyable (like playing a musical instrumental you love) or being with someone you really care about.

It’s the same thing when you are doing work you really love. Time slips away and you look at the window swearing that the sun just came up when you see it’s dark outside.

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And the best thing about the flow state–it feels good.

2. You feel like you are doing something of value. You feel fulfilled.

Humans feel happy when they are connected to others, but also when they give or create something of value. It doesn’t have to be curing cancer (of course that would be amazing!); it could be more simple like being a carpenter and building things that people want or need. Whatever the job, you feel a deep sense of gratitude for being able to help and serve people. You feel like you are giving back and giving people your unique ideas, abilities, and talents.

It’s another thing that defines how a happy person lives their life, and how you too can stay happy daily.

3. You are excited to wake up in the morning.

If you aren’t ready and raring to get up in the morning, something might be amiss. Of course, everyone has off days. But if you continuously dread going to work to a serious amount, it might be time to change.

Whatever you do should get you excited to get up and hit the ground running full speed. It might involve you focusing on something about your job that you didn’t see before, but it should get you up and excited.

4. Your co-workers and superiors are seen as partners to give and produce something.

When you see the people you work with not just as other bodies in the office or guys who give you TPS reports to fill out, you are in the right place. You should see them as helpers with whom you can create something big. Maybe you aren’t the big boss deciding what that is, but you believe in what you’re doing, and you love that you get to work and struggle along with these people to make it a reality.

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5. You do not complain.

Many people complain about their jobs:

“It’s too early.”

“It’s too far.”

“I don’t like the people I work with.”

“I hate what I do.”

If you’re constantly complaining, you either need a mindset change (start appreciating what you have, compared to say, being unemployed and struggling to pay any bill) or it’s your internal guide showing you that you need to find a different job you would enjoy more.

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Whatever the case, in work you enjoy there may be times you complain about work load or an annoying task. But overall you know these are small potatoes compared to the happiness that comes from doing what you love.

6. You don’t mind the struggle.

Work can be a struggle. Writers spend hours editing and must work daily. Artists may do entire portraits and then throw them out. Engineers come up with designs that are faulty and have to go back to the drawing board of equations and figures.

But when you enjoy your work, you don’t care. You love the struggle. You love coming back, refining, and the process of progression to get what you want. The end goal of producing something amazing is worth it.

7. You get energized when you talk about what you do.

When people ask, “What do you do?”, you get revved up. You can’t shut up about it. That is a sign that you love what you do and you want everyone else to know.

8. You feel like your work is an extension of who you are; it is a part of your personality.

Work ceases to become work when it’s not just a means to an end. The perfect work is something that deeply resonates with something inside of you, and makes you able to output amazing quality and hours upon hours of production. You are expressing yourself and feel amazing and congruent with it.

9. You find yourself interested in extra items not assigned to you.

When you really enjoy your work, you’ll want to learn about your company or things that you might not be directly responsible for, but deal with the work in general. Even if you don’t have to do certain things, you want to learn more.

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10. You feel tired at the end of the day, but in a satisfied way.

There’s a difference between feeling tired because you accomplished a lot, versus being tired because you had to drag yourself kicking and screaming through the day using lots of your willpower. If you feel accomplished, satisfied, happy, and like you produced something of value when you work and that makes you tired, you’re doing it right.

Always remember:

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.

– Steve Jobs

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Published on January 7, 2021

How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

Some people see the trees for the forest, and some see only the forest, meaning they lack strong attention to detail. But even if you’re one of the people who take a macro rather than a micro view, true professionalism requires balancing both.

If focusing on the fine points is not your forte, you will benefit from training yourself to pay attention to details. You will profit by saving yourself time, effort, money, and credibility.

Why Training Yourself in Attention to Details Pays Off

You add value to your organization when you make the effort to ensure that you performed your work thoroughly and effectively. This is why job postings often list “attention to details” among the required skills.

When you present your supervisor or client with well-completed, high-quality work the first time, it maximizes your value and minimizes wasted time. Detail-oriented people are also more adept at catching mistakes that could lead to costly blunders.

Moreover, attention to detail is an indicator of possessing other in-demand employee qualities, such as organization, thoroughness, and focus. In some professions, such as accounting, engineering, medical research, and more, you can only excel if you have trained yourself to pay attention to details.

In other professions, possessing strong attention to detail is the very quality that will get you promoted to a position where you will be asked to consider the big picture.

Finally, if you are the “go-to” details person, everyone else on the team can relax a bit. They know the project is in good hands and will likely throw you more projects as a reward. This will ultimately lead to your advancement.

3 Important Aspects of Becoming More Detail-Oriented

Here are the 3 important things you need to learn if you want to remedy your lack of attention to detail:

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  1. Respect deadlines
  2. Understand the work-flow plan
  3. Build in time to mess up

1. Respect Deadlines

Deadlines lend all projects a finish line. One smart idea is to take the given deadline and work backward from it, calculating when your piece of the project is due. Then, if you stick to the proscribed schedule for completing the mini-projects that you have, you will never miss a deadline.

One important note on this: It is smarter to stick to the deadline and turn in work that merits a “B+” than to blow the deadline with “A” work. Chances are, through revision and suggested changes from others on the team, you can bring up your B+ work to an A later. But if you disregard deadlines, you will lose the respect of your boss and fellow teammates.

2. Understand the Work-Flow Plan

Your team is developing work in conjunction with other teams who have projects and deadlines of their own. When you grasp the whole work-flow plan, you may be able to either add insight to the greater project or to your own smaller piece of it that others at the firm will consider valuable.

3. Build in Time to Mess Up

You can expect that “what can go wrong will go wrong.” Don’t overpromise on deadlines. Something likely will mess up, but when it does if you built in the time to fix it, those around you won’t freak out.

Chances are, you already give your attention to several details. Take heart. You can do this! You can overcome your lack of attention to detail and become more detail-oriented.

For starters, consider this: Most people take the time and put in extra effort into the activities or undertakings that matter to them most. Training yourself to become more detail-oriented can mean adopting a similar pattern of behavior.

Apply the same attention you give to your appearance. Are you a meticulous dresser? Do you pay attention to how you pair patterns and colors, and how you accessorize a particular outfit?

This is the same system to use when you lack attention to detail with your work. Give every item careful consideration so that each one contributes to the perfectly pieced-together whole.

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Assemble the ingredients the way you do when you cook. Cooking and baking from scratch require close attention to details as you measure and add each ingredient in sequence, and you time everything so that the meal comes together at the same time.

Similarly, your work product requires you to gauge whether all the ingredients have been added and that your final product is delivered on time.

Organize your business network like you do your social contacts. If you follow a broad base of friends and acquaintances on social media, you can apply similar skills to stay up-to-date on details associated with business acquaintances.

When you meet somebody who could be influential to your career or a resource for improving your skills, follow that person on social media. Respond to their posts to keep the lines of communication flowing.

12 Tips to Help You if You Lack Attention to Detail

Teaching yourself to take note of important details involves sharpening your perceptions and thinking ahead. The following tips will help you adopt these practices. Master these habits when training yourself to become detail-oriented.

1. Learn to Listen Well

You will pick up relevant information and needed nuance when you apply the skills of active listening. In conversations, train yourself to make eye contact, give your undivided attention to the speaker, and ask pertinent follow-up questions.

Training yourself to pay better attention to details in conversations includes learning to fully concentrate on what others have to say. If you find it hard, there’s no harm in taking notes on what they say.

2. Pay Attention to Social Cues

Make a point of noticing body language and facial expressions that provide insights into how others perceive a situation. Social cues offer details that give you an understanding of how words and actions impact others. The infamous character Michael Scott of the television show “The Office” epitomizes the consequences of not paying attention to others’ body language.[1]

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3. Follow Rules

Rules and protocols usually come about from lessons learned and are put in place to avoid further mishaps—whether from a safety or efficiency standpoint. If you’re given step-by-step procedures to follow, check them off as you go. Also, return to the rules at the project’s end just to make sure you adhered to them all.

4. Take Notes

Note-taking is a way to boost your retention and gives you something to refer back to when you need to keep track of pertinent details. You will also heighten your focus as you listen for relevant information. Review your notes shortly after the meeting or conversation and highlight the content that you intend to apply.

5. Prioritize What Needs Your Attention Now

When you have a full slate of work that demands your attention, take a few moments to sort assignments from most to least urgent. Keep a calendar, spreadsheet, or project planning software up-to-date with schedules and deadlines to help you stay organized.

As you tackle each urgent assignment, give it your full attention so no details are missed. Give yourself ample time—especially if you tend to be someone who waits until the last minute—as rushing can make you overlook important details.

6. Have a Detail-Oriented Assistant Check Your Work

If you lack attention to detail, then it makes sense to seek help from someone detail-oriented. If you have this option, take advantage of it. Two sets of eyes are better than one. Just be sure to credit your assistant for their help once the project is completed.

7. Learn the Rules of Writing Well

English is a difficult language, and grammar, punctuation, and spelling can all sabotage you unless you pay attention to detail. When in doubt, look it up. Free to use website services such as Grammarly can help.

8. Proofread Before You Hit Send

Nothing is perfect in its first draft. If you lack attention to detail, then put in the extra effort before submitting things. Before you send off any written work, check carefully not only for misspellings and incomplete sentences but also for improper tone, inappropriate colloquialisms, and inconsistent formatting. When your written communications are error-free, they will have their intended impact.

9. Minimize Distractions

It is impossible to stay focused when colleagues carry on conversations nearby or your mobile notifications ding you throughout the day. Do your best to limit distractions.

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If you are working where there is a lot of noise or side activity, try wearing noise-canceling headphones or seeking out a quiet corner. Disable your notifications when you need to focus, and resolve to only check them after you have completed your assignment.

10. Take Breaks

It may sound counter-intuitive to stop and take a walk, but it’s necessary. Walk away from the screen. Moving from one task to the next across the span of your workday is a recipe for brain fatigue. Give your brain a recess time when you come to a natural stopping place or after you complete one project and before you start the next. These short pauses are necessary for sorting through all the details needed for coming up with successful solutions.

11. Make Time for Reflection

At the end of a workday, take a few minutes to go over the day’s events in your mind. What was said or relayed in conversations? What is the status of the projects you worked on? What else occurred that you should pay attention to? Could there have been any details you might have missed that you should address tomorrow?

12. Keep a Detailed To-Do List

This simple organizational tool is your best ally for getting your work done on time and for paying attention to the details. If you are pressed for time (and who isn’t?), write your list to coordinate with dayparts.

Allot a certain number of hours to complete each task, do it, and then check it off. Nothing feels more rewarding than completing all the tasks on your list. But if you can’t finish them, then carry them over to the following day.

Final Thoughts

Details may seem small, but they can become a lot larger when they are overlooked. If you know you lack attention to detail, commit to training yourself to embrace the many facets that can help you consistently excel in the tasks you set out to accomplish.

When you begin to catch your mistakes in advance or apply the tidbits of information you gathered from paying close attention, you will know that you have trained yourself in the fundamentals of becoming detail-oriented. After that, you should start hearing the phrase “Great job!” more often.

More Tips on Boosting Your Attention to Detail

Featured photo credit: Cristina Gottardi via unsplash.com

Reference

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