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Simple Steps to Move Forward So That Success is Inevitable

Simple Steps to Move Forward So That Success is Inevitable

It’s strange isn’t it?

Why is it so hard to move forward? One step forward, another back, yet another sideways? Sometimes it can seem like we are just going around in circles.

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Blockages

Most blockages come from unresolved problems. So how do we become blocked and what can we do about it so that we are free to move forward? Most blockagesare in our heads. These mental blocks come from a variety of sources but they usually fall into these categories:

  • The past. We were either hurt in the past or made a mistake and it still bothers us. Perhaps we have experienced serious adverse circumstances and may have a lot of forgiving to do. Whatever the reasons you still have to move forward in spite of any unfinished business. Unfortunately, the past can linger in your brain as a distraction that continually pulls on your attention and energy to give it its due, so it can be hard to move forward when this occurs. Unfinished business can also make claims on your energy that prevent you from being wholeheartedly in the present.
  • The future. The future always holds uncertainty which opens the door to self-doubt. It can harness our imaginations in a negative way and make it hard for us to see useful decisions and choices. It can also open the what-if door and keep us suspended in questions that cannot be answered.
  • Our view of ourselves. All of our blockages reflect in some way our view of ourselves, our abilities, competence and potential for success. If our self view was damaged, then we may have a hard time visualizing a way to move forward.

How To Handle Blockages To Move Forward

Blockages are tricky to handle. We really cannot ignore them. If we do, our inner voice will demand our attention. We also need to realize that many of our inner challenges can’t be easily solved with an affirmation or visualization. They take a concerted effort and some time to heal and repair. What’s needed is a strategy so that we can move forward. So what can we do? I think the easiest way to handle blockages is to treat them as long-term companions in our lives. And give them their due. One way is to write in a journal every day in the morning and the evening. The amount of time doesn’t have to be great. By giving attention to the part of you that needs healing you are then freer to move forward. And you will feel better about yourself and therefore do better as a result.

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There’s More…

Ok, so we have set aside time and attention for our healing needs, but we still have to move forward somehow. How do we do that in a way that enables us to take intelligent risks and still honor ourselves and our limitations? The trick is really in how we go about it:

  • Avoid pushing yourself too hard and too fast. By accepting limitations, you actually stand a better chance of success because you are not fighting yourself.
  • Be prepared for and accept obstacles as important information. Sometime obstacles occur because of details that we need to pay attention to. We may not notice when we are going too fast or when we need to take a step back because we have missed something important.

Achieving Goals That Matter

You can succeed in anything you do as long as you give the work your all. To be able to give your work your all, you must have total acceptance of yourself. This is why making sure you address your hurts and unfinished business is so important. It frees your energy for your current tasks. To really achieve goals that really matter, and to be able to consistently work at them try this approach. Start with these questions:

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  1. Where am I? Define or acknowledge where you are.  This step also lets you be honest with yourself about the skills, resources  and limitations you have.
  2. What do I need? Notice I said need not want. Sticking to our needs keeps us closer to our true and authentic self and less likely to go off on a wild goose chase or seek less fulfilling pursuits – like excessive consumption.  Need can be anything from a need to earn enough to live on to engaging in creative work. But it needs to be a real need  born of our talents and desire to contribute to the world and not one that comes from others or societal pressures.
  3. What do I need to do to get what I need? Here you close the gap between the present and the future but you do so in a grounded way, because you are staying in touch with the realities of the present, who you are and your real needs. You can move forward intelligently and confidently, taking one step at a time.

The Benefit Of Being Grounded

Being grounded has the important benefit of enabling us to be serious about what we are doing, Seriousness has important implications for the quality of our work and therefore makes our work more satisfying. Have you ever decided on a goal, and felt a certain weakness inside about it? That feeling of weakness come from something not being right, probably in one of the steps above. Using the three questions will help you feel confident, appropriate and serious about what you are doing. That internal synchronicity will show up in your excellent results.

Featured photo credit:  Young businessman moving a knight on a chessboard via Shutterstock

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More by this author

Maria Hill

Maria Hill is the owner of Sensitive Evolution, an online platform dedicated to improving the lives of highly sensitive people.

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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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