A detail-oriented person does not notice every small detail, but this person does focus and analyze details differently. The trait is thought of as catching minuscule details. When we hear this, we think about being extremely observant. We falsely believe this person has a keen-eye based simply on instinct.

Being detail-oriented is more of a directional trait than pure instinct or gut feeling. Details are used as a guide for moving forward in a situation. Meaning, rather than pure instinct, detail-oriented people figure out what to focus on. If we all knew tips for being more detail-oriented, we would have a much easier time resolving situations needing an imaginative solution.

This skill can benefit situations you encounter in personal and professional life. Resolving a situation in a detail-oriented manner can save you a headache, and possibly make your tasks more manageable.

Going beyond face value

You always start at face value. Before you look deeper into a situation, you should have an idea of what you are looking at. Get the facts first. Face value is about the obvious. Check which details are clearly laid out for you. Once you note the obvious, begin to dig deeper, and take more observant notes. Try to notice the layer beneath the surface.

A tip to help with being observant, is to think of details as a chain. What other detail, whether currently evident in the situation or not, is related to the present detail.

For example, deciding on a meet-up for a project involves thinking of when schedules don’t clash, how long the meeting will be, and a location. When thinking of a location, you may consider where everyone’s next destination will be. Meeting at a location that is not far from most team member’s next destination allows them to stay longer, which means more time can be spent on the project.

Categorizing details

Remember, detail-oriented people figure out what to focus on. Organizing the situation is a great way to look at the problem. Grouping allows you to choose details to analyze. This also helps to find commonalities and patterns.

Separating details into groups helps with analyzing. Brainstorm how the current information is useful. Make note of information you do not have, and if the current information might be linked to what is missing. Think of what solutions could possibly be made from the details.

Actions are also useful details. Ask yourself what has been done to solve the situation. Think about how actions regarding the situation connect and impact each other.

Cutting the extra

Once you see which details connect, you will know what you can ignore. Begin to cut out the unnecessary from your attention. Anything not pushing towards the situation being resolved needs to be set aside. Consider the specific situation and outcome you are seeking.

If there is no connection to the desired outcome, it does not make the cut as an option. Cutting the extra is one way to make your life less complicated. Having less options helps to pinpoint core details. These details have the most impact on the current situation. Deciding a good direction to work towards, or the next step, is simpler after analyzing and eliminating extra options.

Checking off your options

Test your options one by one to see if they resolve or make progress toward resolving the situation. After eliminating the unnecessary details, the most relevant options will remain. Use these options to alter the situation. The remaining options simplify the situation, which means you have a smaller situation to resolve.

Now, you can view a situation differently. Being able to step back, check your details, and connect the dots gives a different perspective. You don’t have to know everything, but able to distinguish what is important. This is why some people find being detail-oriented puzzling. Learn to focus on what is important, and accomplishing what needs to be done will be simpler.

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