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Doesn’t Feel Like Work: 15 Signs You Are Doing What You Love

Doesn’t Feel Like Work: 15 Signs You Are Doing What You Love

Doing what you love looks and feels an awful lot like, well, being in love!

1. There don’t seem to be enough hours in the day.

You’re working on your project, and you think of a solution to a particular client’s problem, so you jot it down. And then you stumble across a really cool article that you just have to share with your social network. And then you get a call from a client who needs a quick consult. And then you think, “Oh, I should call this person and wish them a happy birthday.” While you’re talking to them, you think of other people that your work would help and ways to tell them about it, and you jot those down. And oh, yeah, your stomach is growling, you really should eat. And now, oops, time to pick the kids up from school already, and you totally forgot to walk the poor dog or update your website!

Why, oh why, aren’t there about five of you?

2. You bound out of bed, full of energy and eager to get the day started.

You rush through the “have tos”—exercising, eating, brushing your teeth, all of the other bodily maintenance stuff we all gotta do—so that you can dive in.

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3. You can’t wait to finish what you’re doing so you can start the next project.

While working on your current project, your creativity is in overdrive, coming up with new schemes and products—each one so much more exciting than the last!—that you have to force yourself to finish what you’re working on before starting the next one.

4. You are an idea-generating machine.

You wake up in the middle of the night or early in the morning, your head spinning with new ideas. You begin keeping a notebook or a voice memo recorder next to your bed, because you know you won’t be able to get to sleep again until you write these ideas down.

5. When you’re working, time flies.

You start working at 9 a.m., and when you look at your watch again, it’s after 2! (Oh, crap, missed that lunch date with the girlfriend, and she’s gonna be pissed).

6. You work like your hair is on fire.

You’ve been eating nothing but rice for the last five days because you can’t be bothered to go to the grocery store, and you find yourself turning your underwear inside-out and wearing them again because doing laundry means you would have to take a break from working, and who has the time?

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7. You have to resist the urge to tell everybody in the world what you’re doing.

When people ask you, “How are you doing?”, you have to bite your tongue to keep from talking their ear off about your latest project, even though, deep down, you really don’t care what they think. But you want to keep a FEW friends!

8. Your income starts increasing.

You started out doing this for free, or for a few dollars an hour, but before you knew it, you started getting calls from clients who wanted to pay you $50, $100, $500, $1000 a project—and you weren’t even looking!

9. Your health gets better.

Those stubborn pounds you’ve been trying to lose for the last 20 years just start melting off without your doing anything different. Your energy is through the roof—but wait, did you even drink any coffee this morning? Your psoriasis or acne clears up, and you can’t remember the last time you had a migraine. You go to the doctor, and he takes you off of your blood pressure medication and antidepressants because you no longer need them.

10. Good things start happening to you.

Suddenly, clients start lining up outside your door, or you get a big promotion or pay raise at work. Attractive, eligible men or women start showing up in your experience, or your partner starts wanting more sex. Your car, which is usually fussy about starting in the morning, mysteriously starts firing right up.

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11. New, positive people start showing up in your life.

The person sitting at the next table next to yours in the cafe spontaneously starts talking to you, and pretty soon you’re chatting as though you had known each other your whole life. Or someone you haven’t heard from in years gives you a call out of the blue, and to your delight, they are even more awesome than you remember them!

12. Suddenly, everywhere you look, you see more and more things related to what you love.

You’re cruising down the highway, and suddenly you notice billboards advertising products or services like yours, and you appreciate their clever marketing tactics. Or everybody starts posting videos and pictures about your favorite topic on Facebook. Or you see something that you need for your business marked down 50%.

13. People start treating you like an expert.

You’re going about your day, dum-de-dum, and suddenly someone emerges from the woodwork and tells you about a problem that they have that you can solve. The thing is, you’ve never seen this person before in your life!

Creepy? Nah. Meet your next client!

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14. You wish everybody could feel like this.

You want to shake everyone and say, “Look! Look! Look at how cool everything is! You can do this, too! Why are you choosing to stay so miserable?”

15. At the end of the day, you fall into bed, exhausted and deeply satisfied.

As you lie in bed, you review your day and remember the things that made your client happy, the smile you put on someone’s face, or the kick-ass article you wrote, and know that you have done the best job you ever have in your whole life. And tomorrow, it’s gonna be even better.

How many of these things have YOU experienced?

Featured photo credit: Closeup portrait of a group of business people laughing / Richard Foster via flickr.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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