Paying attention… will make you better at your job and more popular with your coworkers.
1. When you don’t pay attention, details fall through the cracks.
Mechanics, accountants, surgeons, web developers and administrative assistants all have one thing in common: their work is dependent on getting those details right.
2. Real communication requires real listening.
If you spend conversations waiting for your chance to talk, you’re not paying attention to what the other person is saying — which means that you’re missing an opportunity to engage with them. You might even be losing out on some great ideas.
3. If you ignore the details, you might miss an opportunity.
If you go about your workday focused solely on the big picture, you might miss the details. Don’t confuse busyness with productivity.
HOW TO LEARN TO PAY ATTENTION
1. Do one thing at a time.
Most people aren’t good multitaskers, despite what they tell themselves. Even task-switching costs something in terms of energy and focus. Do one thing at a time, and you’ll stand a better chance of doing that one thing well.
2. Identify the parts of your job that require special focus.
Check for accuracy, consistency, and completion. These steps will work for almost any detail-oriented job. Break down your specific duties with an eye toward opportunities for error. Where do mistakes happen most often? Where are they most serious?
3. Practice Mindfulness.
One reason you might have trouble paying attention is that there’s a lot to pay attention to, these days — and a lot distracting you, from social media to smartphones to ever-expanding workdays. Re-train your brain to focus on the here and now, not what’s coming down the pike. A few minutes a day can make a big difference. There are even apps to help you get started.