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5 Reasons Why Your Boss (or Business) Wants You to Take a Vacation

5 Reasons Why Your Boss (or Business) Wants You to Take a Vacation

Travelling has always been a huge passion of mine and I love the experience that travelling brings, as well as the cultural awareness, learning opportunities and adventure, but I also appreciate the break it provides and the chance to recharge the batteries.

The trouble is, more and more people are scrapping their holidays thanks to demanding workloads, when in fact, this is exactly the time you should be taking one.

According to a survey for jobs site Glassdoor by Harris Poll of more than 2,000 people, the average UK employee uses just three quarters (77%) of their total annual leave. The study found that in the past year just 50% of employees have used their full quota.

But if you are one of those people that think if you take a couple week’s break from your computer that the world will fall down, the only person you’re kidding is yourself. Stop playing the hero. To be blunt, you are not the center of the universe, the only person capable of operating an efficient business or pushing forward a project!

Whether you are a business owner or employee, your business or your work could actually benefit from you taking a holiday. Here are 5 reasons why.

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A holiday will reveal hidden weaknesses

Many fear that taking a holiday will result in something catastrophic happening within the business or perhaps projects being delayed because you haven’t checked your mails in two weeks. You don’t mean to sound egotistical (well I hope not) but you genuinely feel that you are the vital ingredient in the success, and without you, things will fall down.  Rather than this highlighting that you shouldn’t be taking a holiday right now, what this actually highlights is that there are weaknesses in your management and processes.

For example.

Perhaps you’re worried that the suppliers won’t deliver on time, as you’re not there to chase them, but this just highlights that you’re suppliers aren’t as trustworthy as they should be.

Or if you’re worried that staff won’t peruse the right activities in your absence, then maybe you haven’t been clear enough on the team’s objectives and priorities are.

Before you go on holiday, write down what is bothering you about taking holiday and then work out how to iron out that chink. If you can sort this out before you take off for a holiday, then this should hopefully improve the overall health of the business as you uncover some hidden weaknesses that you might have previously overlooked.

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A holiday will get the creative juices flowing

Taking a holiday will certainly boost creative insight. When do most of your light bulb moments happen? Usually when you are not thinking specifically on the problem, when you’re on the toilet, going for a country walk or just about to doze off? This is because you’ve allowed your brain some space to think creatively!

By taking a well deserved holiday (especially one that will allow for some relaxation, adrenalin filled fun or an eye opener to a new culture) will boost your creativity and you might just be able to learn something new to bring back to your business or work.

A holiday will teach you how to delegate

Delegation is a tricky art to master, even more so as a small business owner as you never really want to give up control of your baby. But without delegation, you’ll burn yourself out by trying to do everything, plus you’ll deny your staff the chance to fully learn the ropes.

Taking a holiday will force you to look at what you can (and cannot) delegate by analysing what you do, what are your priorities and your staff’s skill set.

To help with ‘letting go’ and delegating, a pain free way to help is to set up systems in order that your staff, employees or colleagues know what to do even when you’re not there. Have a set of SOPs (standard operating procedures) or FAQs (frequently asked questions) at hand for them to refer back to once you have delegated the task to them, in order that they can familiarize themselves with how to complete tasks.

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A holiday will give you a technology detox

The perils of working in front of a computer are becoming increasingly made aware of, and there is no denying that the technology era has also brought with it its demons – new health issues are emerging such as computer vision syndrome, “text neck” and self esteem issues over who of your “friends” is having a better time than you on Facebook.

The media are increasingly reporting that having a technology break is vital and some top CEOs swear by taking a technology detox once a week, banning the use of emails and mobiles for one day a week. The fact that the phrase “digital detox” has even made its way into the Oxford Dictionary online is proof that we need a break from technology some times.

A holiday will be the perfect place and time for a technology break – with expensive overseas calls and text costs plus your reliance on local WiFi, you’ll hopefully be able to ditch the digital and recharge your batteries!

A holiday will give you a chance to enjoy yourself

What is success to you? Is it to have a million pound business by 35 or become CEO in the next five years? Maybe, but what else constitutes to you seeing yourself as successful and happy? What do you consider “wealthy”?

Wealth shouldn’t just be seen on monetary terms but also quality of life, experience and happiness. After all, what is the point of having millions in the bank if you have no one or no time to share it?

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Taking a holiday will benefit you and in turn, your business and work, as recharging the batteries will result in a boost in motivation on your return back to the daily grind. It will also remind you why you slog it out in the office in the first place. Taking a week’s break to sample the delights of the wine regions in the south of France, or taking two weeks to learn how to scuba dive in Thailand will certainly add to your feeling of wealth and success!

 

Go on. Book that holiday now!

Featured photo credit: morguefile via morguefile.com

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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

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